Wheels Up! Your Guide to Private Jet Travel

jet_smarter_stock_image_WEBPrivate jet travel was once only reserved for C-level executives and superstars. Now, it’s becoming more accessible thanks to a few companies that are selling flat-fee memberships or individual seats to business travelers and adventure seekers for a fraction of the cost normally associated with this one-percenter amenity. Here are three companies to check out:

Surf Air

Pay a $1,000 initiation fee and receive unlimited flights for a membership fee starting at $1,750 per month. Surf Air Plans include monthly, annual and group rates for families and corporations. Surf Air flies between Las Vegas and Hawthorne/L.A. Metro on Friday and Sunday. Other routes include Los Angeles, the S.F. Bay Area, Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Carlsbad, Monterey, Truckee, Napa and Palm Springs. Advantages include flying out of private air terminals with complimentary parking and free Wi-Fi. A flight can be booked instantly online.


Selling seats by the ticket instead of a membership fee, JetPurple has expansion plans in 2016 with four regularly scheduled weekly flights on 9 leased public charter aircraft (Airbus ATR-42 twin turbo-prop planes with 30-seats) between Phoenix/Scottsdale and San Diego, Las Vegas and Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico and from Los Angeles/Burbank to three Asian destinations. Flying out of private terminals at major-city alternative airports and operating as a U.S. Department of Transportation regulated public air charter, JetPurple launched its service in 2012 in Michigan. The estimated cost for a ticket from Phoenix to Las Vegas is $500, compared to $700 for a commercial business class ticket.

Jet Smarter

An app that allows the consumer direct access to the private jet marketplace, Jet Smarter eliminates the middleman. It has a membership program that costs $9,000 annually and a $3,000 initiation fee. Jet Smarter divides its service into three areas: JetCharter, whole aircraft charter where users customize their trip based on destination and aircraft; JetDeals, one-way and shuttle flights on a private jet offered at discounted rates for non-members and free for members; and JetShare, shared aircraft charter offered at a fraction of the price. JetSmarter also recently launched a ride-sharing service that allows users to purchase single seats on charter flights from select U.S. cities at cost-effective rates.