There are dozens of jet card programs today and selecting the program and the provider best suited to your needs requires quite a bit of due diligence. As CEO of the private aviation consulting firm, Shaircraft Solutions, James Butler takes the leg work out of the process for his clients.
A recent article in Business Jet Traveler pointed out some of the features worth considering when deciding on a jet card program, such as: service areas, daily flight time (not just flight-leg time) minimums, call-out times, cancellation policies, differences in service between fractional- and charter broker-based programs, and even cabin layouts. However, as Butler explains, the provider offerings and policies are only one side of the equation. As no two travelers are exactly alike, an in depth understanding of your unique travel needs and budget is critical in identifying (and crafting) the best solution.
As if the myriad options aren’t confusing enough, flashy marketing strategies often mask the complexity of any private aviation deal. “An operator with a couple of underutilized aircraft will come up with a pithy name, print up a fancy brochure and create a jet card program that may not be able to meet its promises,” Butler cautions.
On occasion, your choice may come down to two or three providers/programs offering pretty much the same basic terms. That’s where having an expert navigate the process for you comes in especially handy. “Despite what the jet card company tells you, there’s often room to negotiate additional benefits that will add substantial value,” says Butler. “A consultant or attorney on your side, with knowledge of where there’s room to negotiate, can add substantial value, even to a jet card investment.”