The most economical option is chartering, which doesn't require any cash upfront (other than a deposit) through companies like Tradewind, Sentient, and Solairus, (which we took home from North Carolina). Of course, there are the old standbys like NetJets and Marquis, who sell fractional ownership (like 1/16th) of a single jet for upwards of $100K. One step down from that, pricewise, is the jet card, where you buy a set amount of hours from a company like Nicholas or Private Jet Services, and can use those hours for different planes. Then there are membership models like WheelsUp, where you pay $17,500 as an initiation fee to fly in their fleet, and then a $8,500 annual dues fee starting the second year. It's like a country club—only you're guaranteed access to a KingAir350i or Citation Excel / XLS instead of a golf course.
Charter companies offer a tailored service in which the client has a choice of meals, drinks, staffing levels and additional services. Tour companies aim to maximize profits, so public charters usually only provide a very basic service to passengers, with a cheap -- or no -- meal, minimal staffing and low baggage allowances. With a private charter, organizations can take advantage of options such as video conferencing, business services and corporate branding. In-flight meals are of a better quality, and passengers do not have luggage restrictions. With public charters, passengers still have to stand in line for check-in and security, so they need to be at the airport two to three hours before the flight. With a private charter, you can pass straight through security and onto the aircraft.
I have worked with Joel and Stratos Jets for several years and it has always been a pleasure. Most recently they booked a flight from St Petersburg, FL to Sanford, FL to Niagara Falls, NY with us on our Citation CJ1. The experience, as always was flawless and realtime feedback and communication meant the ASAP flight went without a hitch. Thank you Joel and team, I look forward to many more years of business with you.
I travel regularly for business and have booked charter flights through a number of different private jet companies. At the beginning of the year, I was referred to Joel at Stratos. Since then, I have booked a number of flights through Stratos. His team does a great job ensuring we have a seamless travel experience. I would definitely recommend Stratos to others.
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