Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
Connections around the globe give Wings Up the ability to create this bespoke experience for its clients. After submitting a flight inquiry, travelers are contacted with a quote within hours. Wings Up works directly with the owners and operators of aircrafts around the world. The company has access to an extensive fleet of aircraft and certified flight personnel—FAA Part 135 certification, to be exact—to ensure each chartered flight is not only economically sound but also safe and stress-free.
Would highly recommend anyone looking for charters to contact Stratos. Their team was second to none in handling our request from first call to post flight. The CEO was even kind enough to phone me to ensure that we had located our crew at the FBO just prior to departure. I have run multiple aircraft in flight departments for many years and can truly say that its hard to find this level of professionalism in the business.
Depending on who you believe 30-to-50% of all private jet flights are ferry flights. However, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily dirt cheap. Magellan Jets, which sells jet cards and on-demand charter also offers empty legs, and while you have to contact the company for pricing, it says rates start at $3,000 per hour. Airstream Jets enables visitors to its website to download a list of active empty legs and while most of the 13 listings were for the next two weeks, there were flights posted through mid-November, one an empty leg in September on a Gulfstream G-IVSP from New York to London for $49,900. Another broker quoted the same date and route at $92,000. Even more attractive was a G500 charter this weekend from Palermo, Italy to New York for $35,000. Quotes for a non-empty leg charter that I received from another broker for random dates in August started at $111,000.
I was thouroughly impressed with the professionalism of the Broker Joel, the flight organizer Sarah and the crew on both legs. The aircraft was clean, in good shape and right on time. The crew was friendly and professional to me and my guests. Two small issues were getting a tail number on less than 12 hours that made getting our rental cars more complex than necessary and more significant was being notified by our bank that you tried to bill my flight a couple times when I paid in full prior to first leg. All in all I would use them again but would encourage one contact who checks in daily a few days prior to flight rather than me having try to figure out who to call when it looked like a couple problems were coming up.
Of course, the cheapest way to fly privately is to have a friend who invites you on their flight. Then there are the semi-private charters like JetSmarter, JetSuiteX and JetClass where you can buy a seat on a scheduled private jet and corporate shuttle flight sharing it with strangers, much like if you were on a commercial airline. You can buy tickets on these flights for under $200 and you do avoid those crowded main airport terminals. However, if you want to have the real deal experience, chartering your own private jet, you are looking at something between $5,000 and up to $20,000 per hour depending on the size of aircraft and routing.
WE were told to go to First Aviation Services terminal at Teterboro but our plane was at another terminal so we wasted over 45 minutes trying to find our aircraft and our agent was not at all helpful. In fact he told us someone was coming to pick us up and they never came and we had to find someone to help us get to the terminal our plane was located at. The agent asked us for our rental car info but when we landed in Naples the rental car was not at the terminal and we had to find a ride over to the other side of the air field to get our rental car. The flight was great but the handling of the pre and post flight were below normal and not what I am used to when I fly private.
Coordinating air travel for large numbers of passengers requires careful planning and constant diligence. Overlook even the slightest detail and it can result in unnecessary delays and frustration on your travel day. With more than a decade of experience in booking group jet charters, Stratos Jets will handle the logistics so that you can travel with complete peace of mind.
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