Private Jet Travel for Less (Way Less)

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Private jet travel is an ultra-luxury experience, and is, accordingly, usually accompanied by an ultra-luxury price tag. Short of owning a private aircraft, private jet travel has been a limited option for most commercial flyers. However, Delta Airlines recently announced a new initiative that aims to bring private jet travel to a wider audience.

With the new program from Delta airlines, you don’t have to own or even charter a private jet to travel in one and experience all of the attendant perks. Recently, Delta announced that it will start issuing exclusive jet travel invitations to select customers. Delta, which runs its own private jet fleet, began the program to fills seats on empty-leg flights that would travel sans passengers for at least one leg of their journey. Now, Delta will no longer have to waste space on flights that need to happen anyway, and their most frequent flyers will get a luxury reward for their loyalty, at a fraction of the cost of typical private jet travel: tickets on these flights range from $300 to $800, whereas the starting cost for booking private jets is usually somewhere around $3,000.

If you’re a Delta SkyMiles member at the Medallion level (flying 25,000 miles or spending $3,000 per year), you can officially start getting excited. The advantages of private jet travel are many: leather seats, lots of leg room, pet transportation, complimentary catering, less time spent traveling and zero TSA headaches. Plus, Delta has been rated the Best Private Jet Service by Executive Travel magazine, and travels to nearly every airport worldwide.

The caveat, however is that private jet travel at commercial prices is currently only available to elite level flyers. Furthermore, no other commercial airlines are offering a similar program at the moment, as most don’t even have their own fleet of private jets to begin with. Depending on how Delta’s private jet program pans out, however, we speculate that there might be more commercial private jet opportunities available in the future.

In the meantime, there are other options to explore that have the advantages of private jet travel but don’t require you to purchase one. One of our luxury brand partners, NetJets, offers the advantages of owning a jet as an asset, but without the expense. NetJets members can purchase a share in or lease on a private aircraft, and the company also offers prepaid jet cards that members can exchange for travel when they need it. Other private jet companies offer the opportunity to fly on empty-leg flights for a heavily discounted price, but these reservations usually open up last-minute.

In the meantime—Delta Medallion members, we can’t say we aren’t a little jealous.

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Photo Credit: Mr.TinDC via flickr

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