Private jets may no longer be for the uber rich and famous (or accompanying strippers and escorts).
Enter JetSmarter, the high-flying startup that allows members to fly on empty jets, or passenger-free jets that are en route to pick passengers up. With it – much like Uber – you can simply order a jet at the tap of a button.
JetSmarter is the creation of 26-year-old Sergey Petrossov, who launched the app in March 2013 with a desire to eliminate the middleman when it comes to chartering a jet (because nobody’s got time for that, right?)
The app can be downloaded for free, but a membership option of $6,999 USD annually offers lower flight prices and a slew of other perks, like access to events, loyalty points, and a concierge service. Perhaps the best part of the app, though, is its “Empty Leg” feature (no membership needed), when a jet will fly between destinations without any travelers.
Selling the empty leg flights makes it more affordable for both jet operators and, more importantly, you to fly.
An empty leg flight is often available at a comparable price to a commercial airline (yet so much better), especially if you bring along a handful of friends and split the cost. The only problem with an empty leg flight is that you’ll have to find your own way home (but that can be half the fun…)
Not surprisingly, some of the most popular JetSmarter routes so far are in the “Golden Triangle” – New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.
Though the private jet industry took a bit of a hit during the recession, it’s returned to new heights. And JetSmarter isn’t the only startup to tap into the market, either. Companies like Magellan Jets, Surf Air, and BlackJet also provide access to seats on private jets.
Is it worth it? Well, if you’re a regular in first-class, a JetSmarter flight just may be the same price (or less) than a ticket on a commercial airliner.
So, yes, for many, it is… especially for your next destination bachelor or bachelorette party.