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Questions to Ask Before Buying Your First Private Jet Membership

The current situation means more people than ever are looking at private aviation solutions.

Jet Card programs can provide a near ownership experience, with guaranteed pricing, service recovery, and lead time for bookings of 24 hours or less.

They also require minimal commitments. For example, typically 25 hours, but more and more, only 10 hours. Some programs never expire funds and others will refund unused balances should you perhaps decide to again fly on the airlines, or for any other reason.  But, like most things, the devil is in the details.

To help you approach the market better prepared, this week is a quick read: 36 questions to ask before you buy a jet card.

With many of you looking to take advantage of the 7.5% Federal Excise Tax (FET) tax holiday on jet cards before it expires on Dec. 31, I wanted to give you a quick primer on what you should consider before you buy. After all, in most cases, you will be sending a company at least six figures.

Also, please take a look at this story about common mistakes I don’t want you to make.

1.  Who owns the company, what’s the ownership structure, where is it based and when was it founded?
2.  How many employees are there?
3.  What jet cards are offered?
4.  Which aircraft are applicable for each jet card program?
5.  What are the denominations of the program?  Hours, miles, distance or days?
6.  What’s the hourly rate? Is the Federal Excise Tax (FET) included?
7.  Where is the service area of the program for your contracted rate?
8.  What’s the minimum seating for aircraft in each program?
9.  How are aircraft sourced and what are the standards?
10. Does the program use safety-rating agencies, such as ARGUS, Wyvern and IS-BAO for sourcing?
11. What are the pilot experience minimums?
12. Is there guaranteed availability at a contracted rate?
13. Do your funds or hours expire? Can you get a refund? What’s the refill policy?
14. Is there an escrow account option?
15. How much liability and risk insurance is provided?
16. Are there any membership fees or monthly dues?
17. Is there a CPI escalator that will raise your rate?
18. Are there fuel surcharges?
19. Is de-icing included?
20. What’s the charge for taxi time?
21. What is the minimum flying time charged per segment and day?
22. Are there round trip discounts? What’s the definition of a roundtrip?
23. How many peak days are there? What is the peak day surcharge?
24. What’s the lead-time for reservations, including peak days?
25. Can you access multiple aircraft at the same time?
26. What’s the cancellation deadline, including for peak days?
27. Can you upgrade or downgrade the size of your aircraft and are there blackouts? Is there a fee?
28. Do you have your choice of FBO?
29. What catering is included?
30. Is WiFi guaranteed?
31. Is a fully enclosed lavatory guaranteed?
32. Are pets allowed? Are there fees?
33. What’s the minimum age for unaccompanied minors?
34. What’s the service recovery policy?
35. Is there 24/7/365 customer support?
36. What are the lifestyle and luxury perks and partnerships?

If you want help figuring out the best jet card options for your flying needs, or if a jet card makes sense, a 12-month subscription to Private Jet Card Comparisons, including personal support, is just $250. 

Doug Gollan
Doug Gollanhttp://douggollandotcom.wordpress.com
I am Editor-in-Chief of Private Jet Card Comparisons and DG Amazing Experiences, and a Contributor to Forbes.com.


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