If the paying customer – that person shelling out $5,000 to $20,000 per hour - cancels his or her trip, then your empty leg will also be cancelled. If you were going somewhere, make sure your hotel and car rental reservations can be changed without penalty. If you were using an empty leg to get home, make sure you also scan the airline schedules and availability so you have a backup plan. Most empty legs can be cancelled anytime before departure, and reasons can include that delays earlier in the day meant your pilots ran out of time to something on the inbound flight broke and needs to be fixed. Oh, and that’s it. You’ll get a refund of your money, but you’re usually on your own, perhaps sitting in a private jet terminal at an airport with no commercial flights.
Delta Private Jets, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, earlier this year launched Sky Access. You pay $8,500 and can fly as many empty legs as you want at no additional cost. You also get 20% off select fares on Delta’s airline flights. There is a $500 fee if you cancel or no show. Over this weekend 66 empty legs were listed, although some such as Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, all of 30 miles, wouldn’t even give you time to pop open a beer. More interesting was Washington D.C. to Chicago and New York to Sarasota. There were also Nantucket to New York and Las Vegas to San Francisco, however, they were both on Friday, so the wrong direction for most people, and that’s the point, and perhaps a good segue to discussing the some of the downsides.
En effet, selon Corentin Denœud – cofondateur de la société WiJet dont nous parlions plus haut – près d’un vol d’affaire sur deux s’effectue à vide. La majorité des avions étant basés au Bourget, si le propriétaire d’un jet privé souhaite aller, disons de Saint-Tropez à Ibiza, l’avion volera à vide du Bourget à Saint-Tropez et volera ensuite à vide entre Ibiza et Le Bourget… Au lieu de faire voler des avions en pure perte, pourquoi ne pas proposer des vols en jet privé en profitant des jets inutilisés par leur propriétaire ? C’est ainsi que Corentin Denœud a colancé – avec Alexandre Azoulay et Jean-François Hochenauer, les cofondateurs de WiJet – la plate forme et l’application mobile Cojetage. Depuis leur site ou leur application gratuite, vous pourrez trouver des vols en jet privé à des prix défiant toute concurrence.
Another example is the ACJ350 XWB – the world’s most modern VIP widebody corporate jet. Capable of flying 25 passengers up to 22 hours, this ultra-long range jet offers Xtra comfort, Xtra innovative technology and Xtra efficiency. For the spacious cabin – which provides 270 square metres of floor space – the ACJ350 XWB is outfitted with Easyfit provisions, ensuring smooth completion for customers.
There are potentially even better deals. JetSuite offers SuiteDeals for as little as $500 each way. You have to sign up on its website, but when I visited, it didn’t have any flights listed. Wheels Up has a program called 8760. You pay $6,900 annually and access empty legs for as little as $320. You also get entry to its hospitality at events at the Super Bowl, The Masters, other high profile confabs, plus an Inspirato Key Membership which normally has a $10,000 initiation fee and then $3,500 annual dues.