If you travel much, you know that trying to purchase last minute tickets tends to be somewhat pricey. If you are using miles, it can be the best time to redeem but not necessarily so if you have to buy the ticket.
As it turns out, it is the reverse for certain itineraries on private planes. If you have flexibility and find a deal that services your area, this can be a great deal and an interesting experience.
Getting Last Minute Flights Cheap – On a Private Plane
JetSuite is a private charter company. They offer something called SuiteDeals which are last-minute offerings on their planes at very reasonable prices. What happens is that they may have brought a client to a particular location and they are just trying to get some extra funds on the return (or the next leg of the flight to pick up another client). The normal cost is $536 or $1,073, depending on the distance. The planes seat 4 or 7 people.
Deals can be found here.
There are some great deals available with these last-minute offerings. I have seen (and almost jumped on) deals from Syracuse airport (about an hour from where I was) to Teterboro, New Jersey. Cost? $536 for 7 passengers. That is $76 a person to fly from where I was to NYC – that is less than buying a ticket on JetBlue! That little to fly private? Great deal!
Another pro is that most of these deals are out of small, regional or private airports. This means that the time spent at the airport is a lot less than if you were flying commercial. In fact, you only need to be at the plane 15 minutes before scheduled take-off. That is a nice reprieve from the commercial scene!
Another pro? This is a private jet! They look very comfortable and, even though they are not long flights, it should definitely be a fun experience!
If you want to find out the deals, check out their Facebook page here.
These deals are only available as one-ways. If you are flexible or were planning on taking a trip anyway, it can work out quite well. But, you will still need to get back to where you left from originally.
The deals are really last minute deals. They are available for next-day travel and within a specific timeframe. They post the deals between 4PM and 6PM PST. Obviously, you need to be ready to move on these!
Another con has to do with the routes. You do not get to pick your airports. This means that some of the deals are of a decent distance while others are extremely short (like a recent offering that is only 30 miles). To pay $76 per person for a 30 mile flight is not a good deal, but if you wanted to experience private air travel, this could be the most convenient way to do it (no return flight necessary).
This is definitely not going to be for everyone, but if you check their deal page everyday, you may just find a deal that will work really well for you. I was so close to being able to lock in the Syracuse flight and hope another deal opens up some day that will work out for my schedule.
Have you ever flown on one of the SuiteDeals? How was it?