Earlier this year, Melbourne-based startup, Airly, announced the launch of JetShare, an uber-for-planes-style mobile app offering travellers access to seats on flights that would otherwise be empty. The new ride-sharing concept is based on private jets with “empty-legs” status, meaning aircraft that needs to be taken to a particular location for the start of a charter booking.
While heavily discounted empty-leg flights make for excellent marketing material, there are some significant drawbacks to these types of flights. Here are some of the risks to be aware of when choosing your private jet through a mobile app.
1. No control over your flight time or route
With empty-leg flights, you have less flexibility because you’re subject to the whims of the client who originally booked the jet. This means if that client is late, they decide to change their flight time or they decide not to fly, your flight can be cancelled at the last minute. This is a major problem if you’re expected to be at an important business meeting in a few hours.
Empty-leg flights are also scheduled flights, which means that unlike an Adagold private jet charter, you need to fit into the aircraft’s route and not the other way around. This means if you fancy a spontaneous stop-over in Sydney or you want to add an extra day or two to your tropical holiday, you’ll need to cancel your flight and book a new one stat. You can’t tailor the trip to your wishes or make changes to your itinerary when something comes up.
2. You can’t plan your trip in advance
You have to be willing to book last minute when you choose an empty-leg flight, which can make restaurant reservations, hotel bookings and transport arrangements very stressful. Planning for things like concerts, theatre shows and ballet performances are near impossible. You’re basically guaranteed to miss out on your tickets or have to settle for expensive seats in the back row where you can’t see a thing.
The worst part? If you do actually manage to get tickets or make dinner arrangements and your flight is cancelled last-minute, you’ll have to inform your friends and family that they can’t get a refund on their tickets. You might even find yourself queuing at a commercial airline check-in the following day with your shades on and a cap pulled low over your red face.
3. Different return flights
Empty-leg flights are one-way only, which means if you’re going to be away for weeks or months at a time you can’t book your return trip until an available flight pops up on the app. Again, this can cause all sorts of planning headaches and unnecessary stress. Some countries won’t even allow you to enter the country unless you have a return date and a temporary address organised.
4. Lower safety standards
At Adagold, every charter flight we manage follows strict safety and compliance guidelines. We run checks on the flight crew, maintenance history and insurance. Many empty-leg flights, planes and pilots do not live up to these same standards. Passengers don’t understand the implications of booking a flight with relaxed safety standards; they just see the price difference. When you contact us, you will be dealing with a professional Charter Specialist whose experience and industry knowledge will provide you with expert advice.
Want to book your own private jet for a holiday or business trip? Give us a call today on 1800 767 747 or send us an online enquiry today!