Last month, many national mandates that had restricted air travel worldwide were lifted, allowing the number of passengers on commercial flights leaving from the U.S. to finally start to rise after a multiple months hiatus. Travelers began emerging from their COVID-19-inspired quarantines and were taking to the skies again. But despite this uptick, commercial air travel still remains over 70% down when compared to a year ago. And it doesn’t appear that it will get much better anytime soon. Concerns for safety have many still wondering if it’s really worth the risk of navigating a crowded airport and a cramped flight during a pandemic. If you have work to do or just want to travel domestically for fun, then, what can you do? Consider this: you don’t have to fly commercial. You could go private. It’s more affordable than you think and could be a lot safer! Here’s why:
Private Air Travel Is Competitive Now
The private aviation industry is booming at the moment, and the interest is helping to lower costs. At the end of March the U.S. government passed the CARES Act, a part of which suspended a 7.5% federal excise tax on air transportation. This lowered tax obligation, along with a heightened interest from passengers who want fewer seatmates and safer boarding procedures, has allowed many private jet companies the flexibility to offer reduced pricing for their flights. According to CNBC, “prices for certain flights are now 30% to 50% cheaper than they were a year ago.” A company like Access Jet Group, for example, offers competitively priced worldwide flights, enabling you to skip some of the world’s busiest airports, as well as their associated germs.
Rideshares Offer Flexibility and Opportunity
Much like Uber or Lyft do with car transportation, there are several private jet companies that offer travelers the opportunity to buy single seats rather than charter the entire plane. Gone are the old days when only wealthy businessmen could afford to rent entire aircrafts for a single flight. Nowadays, you can buy a seat on a private jet just like you do on a commercial flight. An added bonus: you often get to avoid the long, congested check-in process that commercial flights demand.
Travelers Can Join a Membership Program
Many private air transportation companies offer yearly and monthly memberships to passengers which grant them varying levels of access to flights. Some tiers convey a type of “all you can fly” deal with which you can join any flight with an available seat; others just grant members the ability to purchase single seats on certain flights around the country. Different companies offer different programs with diverse pricing, so it’s important to shop around and look for a program that matches your budget and traveling needs.
Some Companies Offer “Hop On” and Last Minute Deals
When some private jet companies charter a one-way flight, they offer passengers the opportunity to “hop on” the return leg for a reduced price. This allows them to capitalize on flight time that would otherwise be wasted and gives you the opportunity to snag a deal as long as you’re not restricted by certain times or destinations. Similarly, if they find themselves in other situations where they have open seats, many private jet businesses offer last-minute deals where single seats and even whole planes become available for prices rivaling commercial ones.
The bottom line is this: if you’re think about flying anywhere, a little research might uncover that private flying is safer and affordable!