Re: Do you fly Private?
There are many ways you can go with flying private:
- own your own plane
- own a fractional deal (like a Net Jets)
- buy a card deal (like Marquis or Sentient)
- charter a plane (per trip)
- buy an empty leg
- sucker your rich friends to let you fly on their plane
The last option is the least expensive but the hardest to pull off.
Owning your own plane if you are a flying enthusiasts can be a good option but the entry cost paired with the maintenance can be prohibitive
Fractional deals tend to be best when you buy a part of a fleet. Net Jets (Berkshire Hathaway - Warren Buffet's company) is a popular choice but once again the cost of entry is for those with eight and nine figure net worth.
Card deals are some of the more attractive deals with the up front costs ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 and higher. Be sure to look for a card deal that allows you flexibility in the equipment you take. If you live here in LA and think you might want to take you and your wife to Napa for the weekend - you don't want to be paying $8,000 an hour for a G4 which seats 13 people. You might be better with a smaller Lear. But if you and your golf buddies all want to chip in on a trip to Bandon Dunes that lear won't likely sit 8 people with 8 sets of clubs. Its nice to have flexibility. ALSO note the "wheels" up time. Are you paying to fly the plane back in your card deal? This can REALLY add up.
For the casual user - a jet charter can be the best deal in that you don't need to put $50,000 or more in harm's way. Anyone can call up their travel agent or say Amex Plantinum Travel and book a plane from here to there. Its more per hour without question but you are using only what you need.
The cheapest way to get a taste of the jet world is to buy an empty leg and try it out but I warn you - this is a dangerous habit. Flying back on Southwest when you flew to your destination on a Hawker 800XP is a HARD transition. With that said - many jet companies will DEEPLY discount their flights from locations of a charter to help add profit to their trips. Why fly empty right?
Flying private for the mere millionaire is a true indulgence but once you get your taste - its hard to keep a smile on your face when being asked to "take off your shoes" at the check in line at JFK, LAX or O'Hare
Jerry Del Colliano