No Lines, No Waiting: Private Jets Offer First-Class Experience

Photo courtesy of NetJets

Update 2018: Jumpjet is no longer in operation. Please click here for an article from Forbes with further details.

If you’ve ever boarded a flight, you’ve been there: Long lines at the security gate, limited leg room, and unexpected layovers. Sure, you may have gotten a great deal on airfare but after finding your seat and shoving your carry-on bag into the crammed overhead compartment above it, you probably started wondering if the hassles were worth the ticket price.

Fortunately, you have other options. Unfortunately, it’s going to cost you – a lot.

In the United States, 11,261 private jets were registered for use in 2012. The U.S. makes up 47.9% of the world market for private jets ahead of Europe (20.8%), Asia Pacific (11.8%), and Latin and South America (11.6%). In 2012, NetJets, the world leader in private aviation, logged more than 300,000 flights hours across its fleet and traveled more than 110 million miles. Apparently, NetJets gets around.

So what will a jaunt in a private jet cost you? Well, that depends. According to Forbes magazine, the average jet charter rate for the most luxurious option, the Gulfstream 550 (or G-V for those of you who prefer hip-hop over Hank Williams), is just over $8,600 per hour and includes seating for up to 14 passengers along with such amenities as Wi-Fi, an airshow system, full-service galley, and spacious cabin. Want to rent the G-V for a weekend trip from New York City to San Francisco? An all-inclusive ride will cost you a hundred grand. If that seems a bit excessive, perhaps the Cessna Citation Excel is a more practical option. This medium-sized business jet is the most popular model in the U.S. and runs about $4,000 per hour. What a bargain.

If you don’t run around in the same social circles as Jay-Z and Beyonce, perhaps a membership with Jumpjet is a better option. A membership-based airline, Jumpjet provides travel on private jets at prices comparable to what you’d pay for first class seats on your typical commercial carrier. Jumpjet offers a tiered membership plan that provides a set number of trips for a monthly fee. Fees start at $2,350 per month for 10 domestic round trips per year on flights up to 3.5 hours, and jump to $5,500 monthly for 10 round trips per year on flights anywhere in the U.S. Additionally, all members are required to pay a one-time $550 application fee. Jumpjet fliers enjoy all of the comforts of private-jet travel and because the company utilizes general aviation airports, they can avoid the TSA. It’s a win-win.

Ready to hop aboard and head out? Great. I’ll pick-up the limo and meet you there.

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