Jet Cards & Chartering Aircraft are Like a Box of Chocolates
You never know what you’re going to get
You never know what you’re going to get
One of the most common complaints from Jet Card & Jet Charter customers is the inconsistency between what was promised and what was delivered in their aircraft.
Everything from the condition of the aircrafts’ interiors to the cleanliness of the cabin are all determined by the last customer and the operator or owner of the aircraft.
Very seldom does the charter operator have any knowledge of a service problem until a customer complains! And by then, it is too late.
On a recent survey of Charter Customers in the US in 2019-2020, the most frequent complaints involved the following situations:
Over half of the Charter passengers surveyed complained that the interiors of their aircraft were substandard in cleanliness, conditions of the seats and interiors, and the lavatories.
At SkyShareUSA we have a dedicated team that ensures the thorough detailed cleaning between each flight, and regular inspections of the interior condition of the aircraft. We handle all aircraft interior renovations to keep each aircraft’s interior in pristine like-new condition.
Over one-third of passengers surveyed were notified shortly before departure that the airplane originally scheduled was not available and replacement aircraft would be used in its place. Oftentimes a smaller aircraft would replace the original aircraft scheduled.
At SkyShareUSA: We have a fleet of light jets and midsize jets available should the original aircraft scheduled becomes unavailable.
When a mechanical problem takes the airplane contracted for your flight out of service, standard charter contracts relieve your provider of any responsibility beyond returning your money.
If you booked a critical mission in advance and locked in a discounted rate, you’ll now have to pay a premium for whatever lift is available at the last minute.
If your jet breaks down midway through a round trip, you’ll get half your money back, but you’ll be stuck needing a one-way home that could cost far more than the back half of a round-trip rate.
If the AOG occurs during a peak travel day or weekend, or in a remote location, it could be days before a recovery aircraft is available.
At SkyShareUSA: Once again, we have a fleet of light jets and midsize jets in our Fractional Aircraft Fleet, as well as jets in our Sales Inventory available, should the original aircraft scheduled becomes unavailable.
Let’s start with the good news. When you fly privately, you don’t have to worry about fisticuffs or surly flight attendants. You avoid snaking TSA lines, and increasingly crowded terminals. You use more convenient airports, saving time.
On the other hand, Private Jet Card Comparisons reports that 20% of Charter Customers have experienced service lapses in recent months. The letdowns come as private flying has soared to record levels.
Data from Argus shows June was the busiest month since October 2007 – nearly 15 years. WingX data shows over the July 4th weekend, private flights in the U.S. soared 44% ahead of 2019 pre-Covid levels.
According to subscribers, typical complaints were of delays of two to three hours. However, there were also reports of:
• Billing errors
• Catering misses
• Service bars not replenished
• Unclean Aircraft
More severe was being downgraded to smaller aircraft. In at least one case, it necessitated a fuel stop.
In a couple of cases, recovery after a mechanical from the Caribbean took more than 24 hours.
Jet card customers can take heart that users of on-demand charters reported difficulty booking acceptable aircraft on short notice, higher pricing, and more quotes that were non-refundable and non-changeable.
In other words, once they booked and paid, they were stuck.
“Prices are close to double what I was paying six months ago” said one subscriber who flies in the Midwest. Several said they are now looking at buying into jet card programs to secure fixed-rate pricing.
Reports of problems were evenly split between new private aviation users and subscribers who had been flying privately before Covid-19.
Of subscribers who had experienced a service letdown, satisfaction (rating their suppliers very good/excellent) was significantly lower than those who didn’t by a 61%-to-89% margin. Those who had a recent issue were also more likely to rate their provider below average or poor by an 8-to-1 margin.
Several respondents said they were also surprised and perhaps disappointed that they didn’t receive any attention from senior executives.
“In my company, anyone who doesn’t rate us an eight (or higher on a scale of 10) gets a call from our chief operating officer or me,” one subscriber told me. Another added, “I like my sales rep, but frankly, I was a bit surprised I wouldn’t have had somebody more senior reach out.”
In an interesting twist, respondents who haven’t had issues were more likely to have changed programs in the past 18 months by a 25% to 16% margin.
One thing that doesn’t appear likely – even with private flyers who have experienced problems – is a move back to the airlines. Nearly three-quarters (73%) say they will be flying privately more post-pandemic than before, with 24% flying a similar amount and just 3% flying less.
A subscriber who said he had multiple delays in recent months added, “Still, much better than the airlines.”
The survey was conducted via Survey Monkey from July 4 through 9, 2021, with over 225 respondents. It has a margin of error +/- 4%. A donation of $10 to the respondent’s choice of Feeding America or Homes For Our Troops was made for each completed survey.
“As the World Leader in acquisitions and sales of Beechjets and Lear 60’s (the aircraft that comprise our fleet) we have additional jets in our “inventory” available to utilize for SkyShareUSA owners should the originally scheduled aircraft become unavailable due to unforeseen complications, such as high demand on Peak Travel Days, scheduling conflicts, weather, or mechanical issues.”
Private Air Travel is expensive. Find out how SkyShareUSA provides Fractional Jet Ownership at a fraction of the cost of other programs, giving you more travel for less money without compromising luxury, convenience, safety, or world-class Concierge Services.