Flying Private Is Far More Realistic Than You Think

Six myths about private jets, debunked

May 13, 2016 9:00 am

Flying: it used to be wonderful.

The romantic rendezvous at the gate. The highballs. The keeping your motherloving shoes on.

Now it’s the third ring of hell. Security guards are getting so thorough with the frisking they should be buying us all a drink first.

Which is exactly why the private jet industry on the rise.

Now, you may think you need be Scrooge McDuck to snag a charter. Not true. In fact, there are many a myth afoot about those gold-plated puddle jumpers. We tapped a couple friends in the know — Sergey Petrosov, CEO of JetSmarter, and David Zipkin, VP of Tradewind — to help us debunk them.

Myth One: You must charter an entire plane.
Tradewind runs scheduled shuttles purchased by the seat. Same goes for JetSmarter, which offers shared private planes for members and non-members alike. No hassle. No delays. To boot, itinerary and name changes can be made at no charge.

Myth Two: You need the pocket change of a sovereign to fly private.
For frequent business travelers, the services pay for themselves within a matter of months. And what you may be dishing out in dollars, you’re gaining in saved time. “Private charters can cost less than the airlines on certain routes,” says Zipkin. “Additionally, some private charter aircraft, like the Pilatus PC-12, are capable of landing at smaller airports that are closer to the ultimate destination, saving you time and money.” Meanwhile, services like JetSmarter and Surf Air are on a mission to democratize the industry by offering unlimited private flights to members who pay monthly or annual dues.

Myth three: Booking private jets is difficult.
Booking private flights makes booking commercial flights look like brain surgery. Typically, you’re booking directly with the carrier — or even the plane itself. No middle man. And JetSmarter has an app that’ll get you on a plane in as little as 12 hours.

Myth four: Private jets adhere to the same rules as commercial flights.
This is the best part. No lines. No security. No cavity search. Just come with an ID. If everyone’s early, you leave early. And private flights are often allowed to take off in weather that would ground most commercial flights by finding alternate routes to the destination.

Myth five: Private jets are slower than commercial flights.
Not the case. They take the most direct routes, some models can fly higher than large commercial flights to avoid turbulence, and you can bet your generously cushioned ass you won’t be laying over, either.

Myth six: Smaller planes are not as safe.
Big or small, takin’ to the skies is still the safest way to travel. Private jets are regulated by the same FAA standards as commercial flights and rigorously monitored for maximum security.


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