An Arizona-based aviation company has started offering seats on private jet flights for prices similar to US domestic first-class seats.
Set Jet has initiated 11 year-round routes across the United States and Mexico, including New York to Los Angeles.
They are aiming to bridge the price gap between flying first class and flying private. Usually in private aviation, a customer charters the entire jet. The price per seat can be equivalent to flying first class on a commercial flight, but only if all the seats are taken.
When a customer charters an entire jet they don’t pay per seat, they pay per plane. Set Jet is changing this model.
Set Jet members pay a monthly $100 membership fee and can book a seat on any of the 11 routes, up to just 30 minutes before departure time.
Currently not all routes operate daily but the company’s founders believe they have found a sustainable business model that will make flying private more affordable. This is despite Set Jet’s commitment to delivering the flight, even if only a single seat has been booked.
But is this actually flying private? Well, not quite. Customers get many of the benefits, both in and out of the cabin. Such as flying from smaller airports with private terminals, only arriving 15 – 30 minutes before a flight, and a much smoother in-flight experience. But as it’s not a private charter, there is no flexibility over flight times.
Set Jet is providing a high-end product with a low-cost airline mentality, something further illustrated by their choice of aircraft.
For example, their flagship aircraft is a Bombardier Challenger 850, an aircraft that is very cheap to maintain, as parts for a Challenger 850 are the same as for a CRJ200. That’s compared to using a Challenger 604 which looks similar but technically is quite different and a lot more expensive to maintain.
Set Jet is also introducing a tiered membership, so those looking to book New York to Los Angeles will be paying around $1000 a month, with the one-way fare costing $3500 on an Embraer Lineage 1000.