Why Private Jet Travel Might Be In your near future

We often associate private planes with celebrities, CEO’s, or the legendary (infamous?) Insta-famous Dan Bilzerian. But believe it or not, these days the opportunities to fly private are opening up to us regular folks, thanks to some fuel-efficient aircraft and innovative booking policies. Similar to how say a hotel might offer a last-minute deal to fill a room on Expedia or Hotwire, private jet companies have begun offering Groupon-like deals with a similar concept. Anytime a jet might be flying empty (repositioning to pick someone up for example), there’s an opportunity for other people to hop on board at a discounted rate. The same disruptive technology and entrepreneurial thinking that has realigned car travel services (Thanks Uber!) are filtering into private jet travel. Think Uber’s rideshare option, but without the annoying drunk girls singing along to Beyonce. (Editor’s Note: There are two types of people in this world, people who like Beyonce and liars. Just sayin'.)

One such company is JetSuite, which offers “next day” deals and flies to over 3,000 airports, while offering a jet-set experience for commercial airline prices. Their exclusive fleet of Embraer Phenom 100 private planes max out at six seats with trips starting at $536, which means you could be sitting pretty high in the skies with five of your best friends for as little as $90 a piece. JetSuite is active on social media, where it posts updates on daily deals. Of course, the individual prices go up if you can’t fill up the plane, but this once-in-awhile splurge is still more economical and realistic than trying to ball on your own with a G5.

Embarking on an unplanned trip, while fun and exciting, can be stressful and impractical. If you like to plan things out and would rather shell out a few more bucks in exchange for a more concrete itinerary, there are lots of other options where you can pay a monthly fee to get in on the discounted flight list. SurfAir is California-based airline that’s been called the “Netflix of airlines” because you can hop on an unlimited amount of flights between different California locations for $1,750 a month (plus a $1 K sign-up fee). For people who travel for work, like say to and fro Silicon Valley, or are in a long distance relationship, it can save some cash, time and headaches in the long run. Not to be left out in the cold (literally), two former founders behind SurfAir left to launch another subscription-based airline called Beacon, which traverses the New York to Boston route for $1,750 a month using roughly the same subscription-based model.

If these high-flying deals sound too good to be true, the reasoning is quite simple. As many as 40 percent of private planes have empty seats on them at any given time, so the business model makes a lot of sense from both ends. The private jet-set world is just taking off so there is some expected turbulence (one-way trips with no guaranteed flight back, often no flight attendants and older jet planes), but the mere thought of booking a private jet on your phone, being able to skip security at the airport and choosing your seatmates is money in the bank. Plus, just think about all the insane Snapchat opportunities in your near future. #Jetlife.