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Flying on private jets used to be only for the uber-rich. In the early days of private aviation, this luxury was afforded to people who were wealthy enough to buy and maintain private planes themselves. Today, the gig and rideshare economies have increased private flight options. You can now fly in luxury without having to dole out millions of dollars for a jet.
While private flights aren’t exactly cheap, they are significantly more affordable than they used to be. Thanks to the advent of shared charter flights and the ability to book seats on repositioning private jets, the price of luxury has come down. Jet companies now offer a wide range of options for private travelers from membership programs to jet cards and one-off trips.
One of the companies offering these services is XOJET. With years of experience whisking the world’s elite to business meetings and luxury vacations, the company offers four different membership tiers and pay-as-you-go options to increase the accessibility of private jet travel for the general public. Find out more about XOJET including the cost of private travel and how to book flights right here.
XOJET’s Acquisition of JetSmarter
JetSmarter was headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was founded by CEO Sergey Petrossov. It was an early industry leader in the private charter flight industry. In its early days, the company offered free, unlimited flights for premium flyers. Members that joined early on enjoyed added perks like free helicopter rides or UberBLACK and premier Lyft trips from their homes to the private airport. The young charter company drew backing from Clearlake Capital and the Saudi royal family as well as entertainment elites, including Kim Kardashian and Jay-Z.
Jetsmarter members could use the JetSmarter app or online site to book on-demand charter flights or snag extra seats on empty leg flights. JetSmarter flights were centered around hubs that included Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, and New York.
With this network, they sold the idea of everyday people and business people being able to rub elbows with the elite, including movie stars and actors. The company grew its network, eventually establishing offices outside of the United States, including in Moscow, London, Zurich, Dubai, and Riyadh.
What started as a dream come true for avid flyers would become unsustainable. Stories abounded likening the airline to a Ponzi scheme as expenditures far exceeded income.
The company removed perks and benefits without compensating members, resulting in lawsuits and angry customers. Some customers even compared the business to the doomed Fyre Festival that drew thousands of influencers who then had to eat cheese sandwiches from styrofoam containers instead of enjoying the five-star experience they were promised.
High costs led JetSmarter to cut benefits, including free rides and other perks. Eventually, the company switched its business model to that of a charter operator service where customers paid a membership fee for discounts on hourly rates rather than offering free unlimited flights.
In 2019, JetSmarter was bought by Vista Global Holdings, the conglomerate that owns other private charter services including XOJET and VistaJet, founded by Thomas Flohr. After the acquisition, Vista Global Holdings rebranded the business as XO, powered by JetSmarter technology.
Today, XO offers unrivaled luxury flight options, ranging from entire charter planes to seats on existing charter flights. With a wide range of private aviation solutions, XO provides flexibility to business and leisure travelers looking to fly with first-class amenities. Read on to discover the benefits of flying with XO.
Benefits of XOJET
There are many benefits of private travel if you can afford the higher costs compared to commercial airliners. Like other private charter companies, including NetJets and JetLinx, XOJET Aviation LLC delivers luxury and flexibility. This enables you to save time so you can focus on more important things.
Charter flights are significantly cheaper than buying a private jet, and they offer more flexibility and value compared to private jet cards and fractional jet ownership. Here are some of the perks of purchasing private jet flights from XOJET.
Private planes are far more luxurious than commercial airliners. Private jets range from light jets that can travel shorter distances to midsize planes to ultra-long-range planes that can head international, covering thousands of nautical miles. On-board these private jets, you’ll relax in luxury in comfortable seats that recline, lay-flat, and offer massage options.
Jet charter flights are exemplary when it comes to friendlier skies. No more flight attendants waking you up as they deliver your tasteless food on a tray. Instead, private flyers enjoy world-class meals and unlimited beverages, served up by friendly and helpful flight attendants. You can even pre-order food from your favorite restaurants to have on-board. You can also create your own tailored menu featuring your favorite snacks and meals to enjoy in-flight.
Best of all, you don’t have to deal with the hassle of major airports, skipping the long TSA lines and the grumpy gate agents. Most private jets depart from private airports known as FBOs. You can show up 15 minutes before your flight departs and drive right up to the plane or take a short walk through the private terminal, without passing through invasive security checkpoints. The flight crew will load your bags so you can just hop on board and start relaxing.
One of the main benefits of private air travel is the flexibility that comes with flying. With commercial flights, you have to book seats ahead of time and are stuck with the route and time options the major airlines dictate. With private flights, you choose when and where you want the plane to depart and arrive.
Since you decide the itinerary, you can save time, something that is particularly important for busy business people. You can book a charter flight as a roundtrip itinerary or one-way tip depending on your plans. Best of all, you just need to give the private charter jet service a few hours notice, and you can be on your way in no time.
Flying private can also offer peace of mind in a chaotic world. They are a popular option during natural disasters or global health crises like the one caused by COVID-19.
Access to a Private Jet Fleet
Becoming a member with XOJET gives you access to flights on different types of private jets. XO’s private jet fleet includes 116 dedicated private planes and more than 1,500 partner planes from Boeing, Cessna, and Gulfstream across the world. The dedicated fleet, which is owned by XO directly, includes popular planes, such as the Cessna Citation X, Bombardier Challenger 300, Global 5000, and 70 large-cabin planes owned by VistaJet.
How To Fly With XOJET
XOJET aviation company offers three ways to fly: private charters, shared charters, and pay-by-the-seat arrangements. Costs of flying with XOJET vary depending on which type of flight you choose, but private charters are almost always the most expensive option. Here’s a quick breakdown of the three different options.
A private charter is when you rent a private jet. In this method, you purchase time on an entire plane. This enables you to choose the departure and arrival times and points as well as who you’d like to bring on board. You don’t have to share the jet with anyone else.
While generally the priciest option, this option also offers the greatest flexibility and customization. It’s an ideal choice for business travelers and vacationers who want the ultimate luxury, regardless of the cost.
A shared charter is similar to a private charter except that you share the cost of the entire plane with other parties. On XOJET’s site, flyxo.com (formerly xojet.com), you purchase the entire charter flight and can then offer individual seats on your flight for the general public or friends to purchase. As single seats are sold, you’ll receive a flight credit that you can use to book future flights or buy seats on other shared charter flights.
These charter flights are cheaper than private charters since you can split the cost with other travelers. Keep in mind that a single entity — you — will need to make the charter flight purchase, so you’ll still need to dole out a significant amount of dough initially. This option is great for companies looking to fly employees or groups of individuals to conferences or retreats where individuals are expected to pay for seats. It’s also an ideal option for people heading to sporting events like the Super Bowl or Wimbledon.
This option is the most affordable compared to other private travel options but also has less flexibility. Here, you purchase a seat on an existing charter flight — one that is repositioning or is someone else’s shared charter. Repositioning flights, also known as empty leg flights or shuttle flights, offer the best value as they are usually heavily discounted seat fares. With this flight option, you don’t get to choose the destination or flight times. Instead, you’ll purchase a seat on an existing charter flight.
How To Join XOJET
XOJET offers two ways to buy private flights: memberships and pay-as-you-go. The two options are designed to meet the needs of different types of travelers. Frequent flyers may want to look into the membership program, which offers discounts and additional perks. One-time flyers may be better off using the pay-as-you-go method to get the most bang for their buck. Here are the details of each option.
The Pay-As-You-Go™ plan gives you access to private flights at non-member rates. You don’t have to pay an initiation fee or membership fees. Simply head to their website or use the app to browse flights that fit your needs. Make a one-time purchase and head to your flight when it’s ready to depart. This option is ideal for people who are just trying out private flying or simply need one private jet flight. If you tend to fly more frequently, look into one of the membership options that can save you money over time.
XOJET offers three different membership tiers. All of the membership programs offer flight discounts, added perks, flight rewards, and priority access.
The lowest tier is called the RISE membership. This membership is designed for travelers who fly around 15 hours per year and costs $595 yearly. The membership offers dynamic private charter and seat pricing and enables you to book seats on empty leg flights. The main differences between signing up for a RISE membership and buying Pay-As-You-Go™ fares is that members don’t pay service fees on private charters, get partial access to global partner benefits, and have a dedicated personal aviation advisor on charter bookings.
The next tier in the membership program is called Select Access™. The membership fee is $250 per month and you’ll have to put down a one-time deposit of $50,000 to sign up. This membership includes five authorized users and all the perks of the RISE membership. In addition, Select Access™ gives members priority XO fleet access, Luxe-rated aircraft options, and 2% credit back for on-demand flights.
The next level of membership is known as Signature Access™. Membership fees are $500 per month, and you need to put down $100,000 initially. This membership offers benefits to 10 authorized users, guaranteed plane availability with 24-hours notice, free seats on empty leg flights, a $250 catering credit per leg, and a 4% credit back for on-demand flights. Best of all, dynamic prices are capped at $600 per hour per seat.
The highest tier, Elite Access™, offers all the benefits of the lower memberships with a few major perks. Membership fees and monthly dues are the same as Signature Access™, but the biggest benefit is fixed pricing instead of dynamic pricing for private charters. You’ll know exactly what you’ll pay before you take off. You also won’t pay any de-icing fees, which can range from $1,500 for light jets to more than $10,000 for large jets.
Fall in Love With Private Travel and XOJET
Private jet travel offers flexibility and luxury. Whether you’re looking for a business jet to take you from San Francisco to New York or a large private jet to hop from the west coast of California to Brisbane, XOJET can help you get where you’re going. With four different membership options and a pay-as-you-go plan, XOJET offers variety and flexibility for every private traveler’s budget.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.