The appeal of private air travel is hard to ignore: easy-to-reach airports, quiet terminals, no lines or long waits, reliable departure times, a peaceful flight. Traditionally, such privilege came at a steep price. You either had to charter your own aircraft with a broker or invest in a fractional ownership plan.
With the advent of by-the-hour programs like the Marquis Jet Card from NetJets, prices have come down a bit in recent years, though paying $5,000 an hour (or more) for a private plane is still relatively common. But several upstart companies are now allowing travelers to book single seats rather than entire planes—finally making this form of travel relatively affordable for people who don’t count themselves among the mogul and movie-star set.
The most innovative of these companies are those offering all-you-can-fly club memberships within a specific region. The model is relatively simple: a flat-rate monthly fee provides access…
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