By Traveler Confidential Staff
THREE CHEAP WAYS TO FLY PRIVATE
Traveling is great, but dealing with airports and long lines can be a headache. Not to mention TSA screenings and the lack of legroom on some commercial planes. It’s enough to stress even the most patient traveler. But, it seems to be the price we pay for reasonably priced airline tickets, and for essentially not being rich.
But wouldn’t it be great to fly like a VIP and travel like the one-percent? Now, with a growing demand and too many empty seats, a few private jet companies are flying everyday travelers in small, private planes across the country for a price comparable to commercial airline tickets.
Here are three companies slashing prices on luxury jets for passengers:
California-based Sky-500 is known as the “empty leg jet charter.” When the company can’t fill each flight with passengers or cargo, it makes less money. So, in order to offset that, it offers commercial airline passengers the opportunity to fly private in those planes for cheap rates. Here’s how it works. You log on and search for flights. If you find a flight you like, book it at the offered rate or make a bid at a cheaper price. Sky500 then confirms whether the flight is still available and notifies you once its confirmed. Then you are charged the agreed price and told the departure date and time. This option gives you some bargaining power to negotiate for less expensive tickets.
Here’s the deal. JetSuite offers last-minute daily flight deals on private jets to thousands of airports. The jets typically have from four to six seats. Prices begin at $536 each way-FOR THE WHOLE JET. That’s equivalent to flying coach across the country. And better yet, that breaks down to anywhere from $89 per passenger for a six-seat jet to $134 per passenger for a four-seat plane. Like the other companies, it offers significant discounts on its surplus inventory. Once registered on the website, you can visit the daily “Suite Deals” section to browse what’s available and then request an entire jet for a particular destination. It’s just that simple. Once onboard, you’ll have complimentary Wi-Fi, in-flight entertainment, and of course LOTS of room to walk around and stretch.
Lastly, Surf Air demands more money up front, but offers unlimited flights. Customers pay a $1,000 initiation fee, plus a monthly rate that starts at $1,950. With this payment, you can fly on an unlimited number of flights to listed destinations. Right now, flights are between northern, central, and southern California as well as Las Vegas. Registration, payment, and flight selection are done on the website.