Wings Up is unique in the private-charter game as there is no membership or long-term commitment required to take advantage of the company’s services. Any traveler can charter an aircraft through Wings Up without prior engagement and because there are no membership fees, the bottom line cost is much lower—sometimes up to half price—compared to other flight charter companies.
If the paying customer – that person shelling out $5,000 to $20,000 per hour - cancels his or her trip, then your empty leg will also be cancelled. If you were going somewhere, make sure your hotel and car rental reservations can be changed without penalty. If you were using an empty leg to get home, make sure you also scan the airline schedules and availability so you have a backup plan. Most empty legs can be cancelled anytime before departure, and reasons can include that delays earlier in the day meant your pilots ran out of time to something on the inbound flight broke and needs to be fixed. Oh, and that’s it. You’ll get a refund of your money, but you’re usually on your own, perhaps sitting in a private jet terminal at an airport with no commercial flights.
No matter what company you're flying with, be sure to ask if there two pilots or one. (Though two pilots are standard on commercial flights, regulations vary for private planes of all sizes.) It also helps to ask if the operator owns the plane—typically, companies that own their planes offer better service. Never forget to ask about daily minimums and taxi fees. "If the hourly rate is $9,000 and you have a single 40-minute flight, you might assume you are going to pay $6,000," says Doug Gollan, creator of PrivateJetCardComparisons.com. "But if your provider has a daily minimum of 1.5 hours, you are going to actually be charged $13,500, plus taxi time, which in my comparisons I have found varies between being included and up to 12 minutes per segment."