“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Your vacation begins as soon as you walk out your front door. This includes the journey to your destination, and waiting in long airport security lines can dampen that journey. The upside is that there is a pleasant and comfortable alternative for a smooth travel experience— fly private.
The convenience of bypassing security lines is a major plus, alongside the timing of the aircraft to your needs and the comfort to sit back and relax. Oversized leather seats with plenty of leg room, chef-prepared meals, clean rest rooms and personal waiters are just some of the luxuries when flying private.
If you are thinking about going private on your travels, these are just a few of the options out there for you.
A number of apps now allow you to browse, book and buy within minutes on a few airlines. JetASAP is a free, self-service app tagged “Airbnb for travel” and lets travelers secure and book private flights right from their phones. Unlimited access is available from $79-$399 per year. The app boasts more than 1,000 bookable daily trips.
FlyJets operates like a travel search engine, letting you filter results by aircraft size, location and departure time. Booking options include full charters, seats on shared charters and group-purchases. Travelers can bid on flights without a fixed price.
Charter companies work with dozens of private air operators to locate your ideal flight and manage door-to-door logistics, with no long-term commitment. Aero offers white-glove service on a fleet of 16-seater black jets. The company flies to Los Cabos, Mexico; Sun Valley, Idaho; England, France and more.
Wheels Up provides access to more than 1,500 aircraft with a fleet that includes planes like the King Air 350i and Citation X. With the Wheels Up app, non-members can browse and book one-off flights. Core memberships cost $17,500 plus $8,500 in annual dues and include guaranteed access to certain tiers of aircraft plus access to partners like Abercrombie & Kent, Hertz, Tropic Ocean Airways and more.
Fly-share companies are the best by cost. Companies like Surf Air and JSX allow travelers to grab a seat on a private jet charter—sometimes for as little as $100 each way—sharing space with only a handful of other passengers. Additional perks include no security lines and departure from private terminals.
Through tiered subscription programs, a monthly or annual fee unlocks access to an entire fleet of aircrafts that can then be booked on demand. VistaJet’s fleet includes corporate jets and the long-range Bombardier Global 7500, which boasts a bedroom and full-size kitchen. Membership options include a three-year private flight subscription for those who fly between 25 and 49 hours per year.
Set Jet is one of the most affordable private air travel options. It has a $100 monthly membership fee and one-way flights start at $750. The company offers domestic routes from Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Scottsdale, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and more. Last-minute travelers (members) can book a flight up to 24 hours before takeoff and grab a seat on an existing flight up to 30 minutes before takeoff.