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Private Jet Cards

Jet cards have allowed a new class of traveler to experience the benefits of private aviation. These programs work in a similar way to that of a pre-paid phone card. The card contains flight hours, often in increments of 25, to be used over the span of a year. Although a private jet card appears to have the same benefits as fractional ownership, the end result for jet card holders is often both disappointing and deceptively expensive.

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How Jet Cards Work

The jet card program is an offshoot of the recent fractional programs. A fractional jet ownership program functions on the same fundamental principles as any other timeshare investment. Buyers of jet cards are investing, not in the ownership of the aircraft, but rather, in the flight time of one of the fractional owners. In the end, jet card membership has more in common with block charter sales than it does with either fractional or full jet ownership.

Problems With Jet Cards

Cool Jet CardOne of the problems with private jet cards is flight precedence. Among fractional flyers, users of charter jet cards have the lowest priority. This hierarchy can result in black-out dates for jet card holders during peak travel times. Flights for jet card users during these black-out periods have to be arranged at additional expense through charter services.

Flexibility is another jet card problem. Typically jet cards are available in increments of 25 hours. This means that jet card users have to try to accurate predict their amount of flight time over the coming year to the nearest 25 hours. Because the cards are prepaid, an unused time on a private jet card is money wasted.

Even the pricing of jet cards are not favorable for the typical private flyer. Many business and personal flights are followed by return trips within a day or two. With chartered private jets, these return flights would result in a major discount in price. Jet cards, however, have no such distinction. Each hour spent in the air is priced on the basis of a one way flight, even for single-day trips.

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