A jet card is essentially a prepaid card that allows customers to purchase a certain number of hours on a private jet. While this can seem to be an attractive option for those who want the convenience of private air travel, there are some drawbacks to consider before investing in a jet card.
In this article, we’ll discuss why Admiral Jet doesn’t offer a jet card programme and why ad hoc charter is a better option.
What is a Jet Card?
Some private jet companies offer a jet card, which is essentially a prepaid block of flying hours. This is packaged into an offer with guaranteed availability.
A client would pay upfront for the number of hours they plan to use, and then they book flights whenever they need them, drawing down the hours. A private jet card would seem to give a client assurance that an aircraft is always waiting for them no matter the flight departure or destination airport. Some companies that offer jet cards own a fleet of jets, others are simply brokers, and when they receive your request to fulfil your prepaid jet card trip, they provide you with an ad hoc charter, in exactly the same way as they would if you did not have the Jet Card.
This can seem like an attractive option as it feels like you already “own” your flight hours.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Jet Cards
One perceived advantage of using a jet card is that it offers convenience. Customers can book flights whenever they need them without having to worry about long-term contracts or maintenance fees associated with aircraft ownership.
However, there are some drawbacks to consider before investing in a jet card program.
- If booking from a private jet company who owns a fleet, customers will not have access to every type of aircraft.
- If booking last minute a customer may have to compromise on the aircraft they take – taking one that is available at the time they want to fly, or from the airport they want to fly from as they will be choosing from a finite fleet of aircraft.
- Jet Card Companies may require customers to pay additional fees for last-minute bookings or cancellations.
- There may be other hidden fees, which eat into your prepaid hours such as: time on the ground, taxi time, de-icing, delays due to weather, and minimum usage restrictions, e.g. if your flight is 60 minutes, but your minimum usage for each flight is 90 minutes you will be billed for 90 minutes, thus losing 30 minutes of your prepaid flight time.
- Customers pay a large lump sum upfront at a fixed hourly price which is calculated to cover the provider for all eventualities, and therefore will not be the most advantageous cost to you.
- You receive nothing more than you would if you booked ad hoc charter flights and paid for each one as and when you fly
Compare with Ad Hoc Charter
With ad hoc charter, no matter how short notice the booking we will position the right aircraft into the airport at exactly the time you want to fly. This is because we offer our clients access to all aircraft available on the market that are free on the day you wish to travel.
We only take payments for each booking as you book.
Most importantly, you will receive the ultimate service each and every time you book ad hoc charter with Admiral Jet, as we want you to be thrilled with your flight so that we see you back onboard again soon.
Are Jet Cards Worth it?
A Jet Card is actually only a “wrapper” for ad hoc charter, and you may find there are hidden charges, and inconveniences compared to ad hoc charter.
As you can see, with both business models it is likely that an aircraft would be positioned in to your departure airport, as it is improbable that there would be just the right jet waiting for you in the right place at the right time.
Jet card providers may sell the card by “locking in” an hourly rate that may seem to give you peace of mind, but beware of losing hours for reasons other than actual flight-times.
Overall, we don’t think that Jet Card programmes benefit the customer for the reasons discussed above.
The Best Alternative To Jet Cards | Admiral Jet
We firmly believe that ad hoc charter allows clients access to private jets when needed without any long-term commitments.
With Admiral Jet you have the same assurance as you would with a Jet Card, and more benefits on top:
- We will always arrange your flight perfectly, on the right aircraft for your trip and number of passengers.
- You can be in the air within 2 hours of booking.
- You will have one point of contact who is available 24 hours a day.
- Whether you want to book just 2 hours in advance or plan flights for the whole year we are happy to work with you at your pace, and we will only charge you at the point of booking.
- No Jet Card required, no complicated calculations or diminishing flight hours or extras to pay for, everything is included in each bespoke quotation.