Clients often explore options for private aviation as an alternative to traditional airline travel. Private aviation provides more privacy and an unmatched level of convenience to travelers. There are various private aviation programs to consider, from card programs that provide hours of service, fractional interest in airplane ownership and outright ownership of an airplane.
All of these programs require significant investment and in some cases lock individuals into this mode of travel for a considerable amount of time. So before making any decisions on what private aviation program may best suit your needs, consider the following:
How often do you want to fly?
If you are going to fly just a few times a year, do you really need your own plane or a card program? Simply chartering a plane as needed may be best. However, if you know you are going to fly regularly or at least five times a year (often this is pertaining to those who do considerable business travel), considering a more robust and frequent program makes sense.
Where you are going to fly?
You should evaluate your regular destinations. Are they cross country or local? There are programs that offer a range of airplane types with different capabilities. Therefore, destinations should be taken into consideration when choosing an aviation program. You don’t necessarily need a jet if your travel is regional. In addition, you will want to consider runway lengths in your preferred destinations because that can impact the size of airplane that meets your needs.
Who will be flying?
The number of passengers, as well as other factors such as age of passengers, is helpful to know when considering a private aviation program. These factors can inform decisions on plane size and type of plane. For example, it is easier to upsize as needed with a jet rather than locking in seats and paying for seats that are empty for most of your flights.
How much flexibility do you have?
Are you a business traveler who may need to be able to go on a moment’s notice? Or do you book vacation travel months in advance? Flexibility in travel times will inform decisions on what type of program would be best for you. In many cases, jet programs have blackout days and peak times and your status in programs depends on how many of those times apply to you.
What is your budget?
The sky is the limit. Often once people have experienced private aviation, they find it hard to go back to traditional airline travel. Therefore, it is important to set a budget and decide how much money you truly want to spend.
You must ask yourself all these questions to help you determine what private aviation program will best suit your needs. Consider all of your options and you are more likely to find a program that truly aligns with your needs.