JetSuite.com, which flies to more than 2,000 airports, aggregates private jet flights with empty seats to offer daily “next-day” deals. You can rent the entire plane — a max of 6 seats — starting at just $536 each way, which shakes out to less than $90 per person. Past deals have included a flight for six people from Oxford, Conn., to Philadelphia for $536.43 (that’s about $90 per person, which includes the 7.5% federal excise tax), a flight for four people from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for $499 (that’s about $124 per person); for four people from Orange County, Calif., to Chicago for $536 (that’s about $135 per person); and for six people from Teterboro (in New Jersey, near New York City) to Nassau, Bahamas, for $1,074 (that’s about $179 per person). (In all of the above cases, to get the per person rate, you must book all seats on the plane.)
As Rachel Raymond from West Orange, N.J., tells it, the day last August when she flew on a private jet ranks as one of the most unreal experiences of her life. Ms. Raymond, and her husband, Daniel, along with their three children, took a flight in a seven-seat jet, a Cessna Citation III, complete with two pilots and a well-stocked bar, from Westchester County Airport, in White Plains, N.Y., to upstate Saratoga Springs. The Raymonds had decided to take an impromptu trip to Lake George because they had found a last-minute deal where they could fly on that route for only $500.
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How can these and other similar companies afford to offer such low rates? One reason is that sites like JetSuite.com are offering seats on flights that would have been empty or at least not full. “Over 40% of flights that are flying private have empty seats,” says Steve King, the co-founder of private jet charter company AeroIQ. Many times, these flights are simply repositioning so they can pick up passengers in another city and the companies would rather get some money from passengers than no money.
Diener recommends checking out FlyVictor.com, as it compares the cost of private jet travel across different airlines. He says that JetSuite.com is the best known for last-minute deals. You may also want to consider having a broker do the heavy lifting for you, says Trance; brokers typically work on commission, so ask them what their commission is before booking and how you pay it, and tell them your all-in price tolerance ahead of time.
The forward wing sweep, 20,280 pounds (9.20 t) MOTW Hamburger Flugzeugbau HFB 320 Hansa Jet first flew on 21 April 1964, powered by two General Electric CJ610, 47 were built between 1965 and 1973. The joint Piaggo-Douglas, 18,000 pounds (8.2 t) MOTW Piaggio PD.808 first flew on 29 August 1964, powered by two Armstrong Siddeley Vipers, 24 were built for the Italian Air Force.