Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Fortune.com/Don Reisinger: JetSmarter Is Making Private Jets a Lot More Accessible


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JetSmarter Is Making Private Jets a Lot More Accessible
By Don Reisinger June 12, 2018

If you have a few extra bucks to spend and want to take a private jet on your next vacation, JetSmarter is making it a bit easier.

The company on Tuesday announced that you can now sign up for its private jet service without paying a membership fee and get access to both chartered jets and private jet shares when you travel. But you’ll still be paying much more than you would for a commercial flight and even a bit more than you would if you had a JetSmarter membership.

JetSmarter is an increasingly popular private jet service that lets you either charter your own private jet or find another jet taking off nearby for you to tag along. If you’re the person chartering the jet and willing to share seats with other JetSmarter members, you’ll be reimbursed for all the seats others take. So, for instance, if your flight from one city to another costs a total of $15,000 for a 10-seater, you’ll need to pay that upfront. But if you decide to share the ride and others tag along, they’ll pay $1,500 for each seat, and you’ll be credited for all the seats others take.

If you’re a traveler who wants a flight ready to go, you can simply choose how many seats you want and pay only for those seats.

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JetSmarter started as a membership service, and that membership lives on. For a starting price of $4,950 a year, JetSmarter members get priority flight availability and access to a 24/7 concierge. They’ll also pay less than non-members. But by expanding JetSmarter to non-members now, it’s possible for the company to expand its reach — and for many of the flights that don’t have additional travelers, to get some new people.

In a statement, JetSmarter CEO Sergey Petrossov added that the move could allow for more routes and increased flight frequency.

In order to access JetSmarter, you need to download the app on iPhone or Android handsets. You can then create a JetSmarter account and decide whether to become a member.

Although it’s costly to be a JetSmarter member, the discounts it affords might make sense for some frequent travelers. In some of the flights I priced out in the service, I could have saved more than $1,000 per seat just by being a member.

JetSmarter’s membership-free update is available now.
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