If you like to travel to business meetings in style but can’t justify the budget to buy or charter a private jet, check out one of the services that offers spare seats on private jets around the globe, writes Yvonne Gordon.
JetSmarter connects members to idle jets and unused seats, so private jets are more easily accessible for both business and leisure travellers. Members can book a shared or private charter on more than 50 routes across three continents, including from Dublin Airport.
There are three categories of service – private charters, shared charters and JetShuttle, where seats on shuttle route can be booked up to two months in advance. A custom app allows customers to search, find and book flights. As well as seats on flights from multiple airports, JetSmarter’s regular shuttles operate from London City Airport to Paris, Geneva, Milan and Nice. See jetsmarter.com
Another company offering jet space is Surf Air, which started in the US and has an all-you-can-fly service to all the airline’s European and US routes in return for a monthly membership fee of around £2,550 (around €2,900) and you can also purchase guest passes for colleagues or family. Flights are on small seven and eight-seater aircraft and current routes in Europe include London to Zurich, Ibiza and Cannes. Flights to Dublin, as well as Luxembourg, Munich, Frankfurt, Geneva, Barcelona, Berlin and Milan, are among the destinations to be added over the coming year.
Members can book flights on their smartphone and flights operate from private airport terminals. Corporate members get 10 per cent off the standard monthly subscription fee and a discount on additional flight passes. See surfair.com
You can also book an empty leg flight with a private jet charter company such as FlyVictor or VistaJet. When a private jet is booked for a one-way flight, there is an empty leg for the return journey when the aircraft is returning to base. These flights can be booked in advance or at short notice, and daily schedules are released online, see flyvictor.com and vistajet.com.
As well as flexibility, short-notice bookings and bookings by app, one of the biggest advantages of using shared private jet services is that as the flights depart from private terminals, so you can avoid lengthy check-in and security queues and in some cases, you can arrive at the airport just 15 minutes before take-off.