Jet cards were the perfect solution for flying privately for over a decade. In many instances, you’d receive similar perks to fractional ownership but without the costs of buying a private jet, paying the hefty management fees, and getting tied into lengthy contracts.
Instead, jet cards allow you to secure private jets in increments of time; for example, you might be able to purchase a package of 20 hours. Or you’d buy $100,000 worth of private jet time. If you needed more time or flights, you’d buy more. Once you had a membership, you could find a jet with as little as a few hours’ notice and reserve in minutes.
If a provider didn’t meet your expectations, you’d switch providers. It was a straightforward way to fly privately.
Often, a private flyer might hold jet card membership with multiple providers, as they could cover different routes or destinations or have special offers. For example, one provider might offer discounted rates on transcontinental flights, another didn’t have a surcharge on South African flights, and another was great for the short haul.
Jet card changes
Over the last few years, things have changed for jet card flyers. Some of the biggest jet card sellers have stopped accepting new customers.
Some of the largest charter and fractional private jet operators might not be able to renew clients’ cards once they run out of hours. And half a dozen companies have halted new card sales.
However, there are still around 40 providers that offer jet cards with fixed rates that will provide guaranteed availability, although there will be significant differences from what jet card memberships looked like a few years ago.
For example, providers still taking new clients might lean on:
- Extended lead time to book
- Increased daily minimums
- More peak days
- Higher surcharges for peak days and travel outside the UK or US, price hikes
- Plus, many no longer offer discounts for long-haul destinations
What’s next for jet cards?
Private aviation is booming, but a big unknown is how the major players of jet cards will continue to adapt and edit the terms and conditions that come with the membership in the future. Unfortunately, a big issue with jet cards is that many are changing the terms and conditions mid-contract, meaning that even though you may sign up with specific terms, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way for long.
So, when choosing a jet card membership, you need to be aware of the details and how quickly any new conditions can come into play.
One of the most common issues we see in private aviation is that people follow their friends or the recommendations of their work colleagues or neighbours. Still, most users will have different flying needs, so just because one membership might work for someone else doesn’t mean it’ll be perfect for you.
JetAhead™: an alternative to Jet Cards
The private aviation industry has never been as busy as it is now, and there are no signs of it slowing down, and this can make choosing the perfect private jet and operator hard to book.
Are you looking for the flexibility of jet cards from a few years ago? Fed up with ever-changing terms and conditions and struggling to secure a jet for your event, repeated business trips or even summer vacations?
So are we, which is why we’ve created JetAhead™, perfect for those who frequently travel via the same routes and may have their diary mapped out months in advance. Our new program delivers transparency and flexibility.
Here’s how it works:
- You book an aircraft for a day or multiple days at a fixed daily rate. The further ahead you book, the less you pay.
- The aircraft is exclusively yours for the duration you’ve booked. You fly wherever you want (subject to crew duty limits).
- You pay the variable operating costs of the flight in arrears from your account.
- You don’t pay any positioning charges.
It’s as simple as hiring a car.
Why choose JetAhead™?
Intrigued but clear how JetAhead is different? Well, here’s how JetAhead™ differs from jet cards and fractional ownership:
- No changing T&Cs.
- No fuel surcharges because you’re paying actual fuel costs on the day in arrears.
- No rounding up of taxi times vs flight times.
- It’s your aircraft for the day, exclusively, it won’t be late for departure.
With JetAhead, we’re always fully transparent about the costs of your trip, making your air travel simple, seamless, and stress-free.
Why should you be confined to strict scheduling when you can book a private jet for the day? Your jet is allocated to you, so there’s no waiting around for other travellers, as the plane is for you – and only you – for the day.
Even better, we’re on your schedule because it’s your jet for the day. So, if you want to set off earlier, no problem. You’re running a bit behind? We’re ready and waiting.
Download the InstaJet app
Use the Instajet app to find flights globally, you can browse the route and time you need, before viewing the available aircraft categories and their prices.
All you need to do is find the flight you want, and then let us know you’re interested via a simple tap of a button, and a Personal Flight Manager will guide you through the rest of the process. And don’t worry, browsing our app is no obligation and there’s no commitment to immediately purchase a flight. The app doesn’t take flight payments, it just makes it easy to find the options that meet your needs. So, why not download the Instajet app today and start browsing your next private flight?