For those who don't mind mingling with strangers, companies like Tradewind offer shuttles between places like New York and Boston, Stowe, and Nantucket, as well as Caribbean Islands like St. Barth's and Anguilla. (Flights begin at $250 plus tax each way.) The bonus? On a route from from San Juan to St. Barth's, a Tradewind rep will meet you at your terminal and help shuttle you through. JetSuiteX, affiliated with JetBlue, sells seats on planes between Burbank and Las Vegas.
Delta Private Jets, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, earlier this year launched Sky Access. You pay $8,500 and can fly as many empty legs as you want at no additional cost. You also get 20% off select fares on Delta’s airline flights. There is a $500 fee if you cancel or no show. Over this weekend 66 empty legs were listed, although some such as Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, all of 30 miles, wouldn’t even give you time to pop open a beer. More interesting was Washington D.C. to Chicago and New York to Sarasota. There were also Nantucket to New York and Las Vegas to San Francisco, however, they were both on Friday, so the wrong direction for most people, and that’s the point, and perhaps a good segue to discussing the some of the downsides.
When you play the empty leg market, you need to be very flexible and understand that there’s a decent chance your empty leg may not happen or might be moved. If the customer chartering the inbound flight wants to leave a few hours later, your flight will be delayed. On the flip side, your planned departure could be suddenly moved up because Mr. Big wants to leave earlier.
Same on return flight except we arrived a good half hour early but crew jumped to task and loaded us and dogs promptly for return. Only item worth mentioning was during climb out to altitude both my wife and I heard numerous bumping sound on both sides of fuselage up and down the sides and top. We have owned our own planes and owned shares in jets through Flight Options and chartered often over the years and we have never had this type of noise. It almost sounded like rivets coming out or random bird strikes (which I knew it was not). I mentioned it to the co-pilot and he told me to report it so maintenance could be sure to check it out. Said it may be a maintenance issue on an older aircraft but a first for me. After attaining altitude the noise did not reoccur. All else went according to schedule and the pilots were very professional and assisted on and off with dogs and luggage. I would use again this service. Thank
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.
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