JetSmarter is like the Uber for private jets. How in the world were we able to afford flying on a private jet?! AskSebby is based in the Bay Area and we were craving Korean BBQ in L.A. after watching Buzzfeed's video. Why not hop on a private jet?
What is JetSmarter?
JetSmarter is a mobile marketplace for privet jet charters that operate across the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. You can search for private flights, book a rental jet, and pay on-they-fly. It's like a member-only Uber for private jets.
There are several tiers of membership:
- Pay As You Go — Default trial membership when you download the app and register.; you'll pay for every flight.
- Simple — $5,000/year membership fee that lets you take some free jets.
- Smart — $15,000/year membership fee that offers enhanced booking and routing options.
Simple Membership: Maximize Your Million
In early June 2017, JetSmarter had a promotion to receive a free Simple membership if you have a million credit card points or elite status with any airline.
We thought the deal was too good to be true, so we applied ASAP. A few days later, the promotion was pulled due to the unexpectedly high demand. When we called JetSmarter to check the status of our applications, a representative told us they received 6,000 applications in less than 3 days!
The terms of the promotion were unclear— what qualified as airline "elite" status? Can you combine points across all credit cards to qualify for one million points?
Here are the official terms:
If you have 1,000,000 frequent flyer miles or credit card points, or if you hold elite status with a major airline, JetSmarter is giving you a three-month membership with:
Complimentary single-seat bookings on posted JETSHUTTLE routes worldwide
Complimentary single-seat bookings on empty-leg JETDEALS for spontaneous getaways
Access to on-demand whole aircraft PRIVATECHARTERS for you and your friends
Access to on-demand SHAREDCHARTERS customized to suit your schedule and shared with fellow members
Download the free JetSmarter app, and complete the in-app registration.
Send a photo or short video that provides verifiable proof that you meet the requirements for this offer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email must contain your first and last name, and phone number.
We’ll verify your submission, and notify you as soon as your free membership has been activated.
This offer is valid until July 1, 2017 and redeemable for Simple membership only. Membership and any and all services offered by JetSmarter are subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the applicable agreements. JetSmarter may offer a number of programs, including whole aircraft charters, for which JetSmarter will act solely as member’s agent in arranging the flight, and Public Charters, for which JetSmarter will act as principal in buying and reselling the air transportation. Seats obtained under the Public Charter Program are subject to the Public Charter rules contained in 14 CFR 380. JetSmarter does not own or operate any aircraft. All flights are performed by FAA licensed and DOT registered air carriers.
Enrollment and ID Verification
After your account is approved, you'll need to send in pictures of a government-issued ID and credit card through their app.
The JetSmarter terminal is located outside of OAK International Airport at KOAK (Kaiser Air), hangar 4. Be sure to allocate extra time to find Kaiser Air if it's your first time because it can be a confusing if you're taking an Uber.
Flights shorter than 3 hours are completely free with the trial Simple membership. We hopped on a flight to KHHR (Los Angeles).
Flying private has a handful of benefits like not waiting in a check-in line, no TSA security, and you only have to arrive 30 minutes before departure time. Although there's not TSA security, there is a K-9 unit dog to search for narcotics.
We flew on a King Air 350 jet:
The jet itself is pretty small and seats 8 people, plus 2 pilots. Another perk of flying private is the people you meet on the jet. To our pleasant surprise, we met another credit card enthusiast who's the founder of the blog U.S. Credit Card Guide! We're fans of U.S. Credit Card Guide's posts on Reddit, so it was awesome to put a face to the name. Check out his post about the JetSmarter experience here.
There are several drawers located in between the seats filled with free snacks and drinks. Nice selection of snack bars, gum, and cookies.
Sebby's favorite: BBQ potato chips.
Each seat has a shared table that can be folded and stowed away.
Since the jet is so small, you can see the pilots and their screens!
The jet ride was surprisingly smooth and it was nice to see the landscapes from above. Here's a view of downtown LA:
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we're thankful to have the 3-month trial of the Simple Membership. Flying private has its advantages like bypassing security, avoiding crowded airports, and meeting new people. Can't wait for our next trip!
For those wondering, yes, we really did eat kbbq at Oo-Kook after hopping off the jet. :)