Do Fresh Options Really Add Value?

James Butler Analyzes the Latest Programs from Flexjet and Flight Options

Bethesda, Maryland • April 2007

In his April/May 2007 “Inside Fractionals” column for Business Jet Traveler, Shaircraft CEO, James Butler, examines the latest program offerings from Flexjet and Flight Options.

Flight Options’ “Fractional First” program includes the following features: (i) owners may fly 80 to 120 percent of their annual flight hours and pay management fees only for the hours flown, (ii) taxi time is not deducted from annual flight time, (iii) discounts are provided for longer flights, and (iv) fuel charges are based on Flight Options’ actual fuel costs. Butler critiques each of these features to help owners understand that, in some cases, they may not be as attractive as they seem.  

Butler then turns to Flexjet’s “Versatility Plus” program, which (i) allows owners to carry over substantial flight hours from year to year without penalty, (ii) allows fractional owners to buy and sell hours through Flexjet, and (iii) expands its prime service area to include Bermuda, the Caymen Islands, the Greater and Lesser Antilles and all of Mexico. Butler further explains that under Flexjet’s new “AnyTime Options” program, owners may purchase concessions such as guaranteed upgrades and downgrades, guaranteed multiple use and short-leg waivers. Again, Butler provides a detailed analysis of the pluses and minuses of this new offering.

In closing, Butler reiterates, “Each of these programs has something to offer… Yet, in many ways this is a zero-sum game between you and your provider. One thing remains unchanged, however, and that is the imperative that you understand your needs and go beyond the simple brochures to ask hard questions that will enable you to make the best possible investment.”

Inside Fractionals: “Do Fresh Options Really Add Value?”

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