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Private Jet? There’s An App For That

Author: Matthew Williams

Uber and its growing list of competitors have revolutionized the world of taxis and car services. If you've learned to love the world of private jets, but don't own – or have access to – one, you'll be happy to know that the private jet industry has uberized itself. There now are a number of apps that will help you charter a ride and stay off commercial flights.

5 Apps for Private Jets

Whether you're turning to the private market to make business travel smoother, fly a client in the most comfortable and private way, or take your family on vacation, here are some services to investigate.

First, JetSmarter is an app that looks for empty-leg routes on private jets that are offered at a deep discount to normal rates. What's an empty-leg route, you ask? When a jet is booked for a one-way trip, it has to return home empty. For the company or whoever else owns the jet, that's a whole lot of money going out without anything coming in. Putting people on board at any price is better than nothing, so this service offers empty-leg flights at a deep discount. Of course, you have to be in the right place at the right time to find an empty leg, but the JetSmarter app helps in the process with a choice of more than 3,000 planes and 2,500+ jet deals, according to its website.

There's also Blue Star Jets, which claims access to more than 4,000 private jet aircraft worldwide. Kind of like the Uber of private aviation, tell the app where you are, when you want to fly and where you're going. The app gives you the available options. Then, keep your eye to the sky. The plane is on its way.

In what seems like a trademark lawsuit waiting to happen, ubair does the same thing: All you have to do is download the app to book your first flight. The site offers a choice of six different types and sizes of aircraft. And, in a high end version of the sharing economy, ubair also reaches out to aircraft owners who want to rent out their planes when they're not using them.The ubairOwner part of its website reads, Fly privately on a frequent basis? Interested in reducing your costs to almost nothing? Easy – just buy your own airplane and put it into the ubair system!

Victor, a U.K.-based company that received $8 million in funding earlier this year, has access to 7,000 aircraft from around the world. Simply use the Victor app to enter your travel plans and you'll instantly see the options available to you. One of Victor's selling points is its transparency. Some brokers don't provide a lot of information about the type of aircraft, but Victor does. Travelers can make a better choice by having all of the information in front of them.

There's also JetMe; it does the same thing but allows potential customers to name their price – kind of like the Priceline of the private aviation industry.

The Bottom Line

Many private jet charter companies are making it easier to book planes by using an app as well, but these uber-style companies are looking to change the nature of the private jet market. Because chartered aircraft are priced by the hour regardless of the number of people on board, it pays to take as many people with you as the plane holds. But be careful: Too many people might move you to a larger aircraft and that means a higher cost.

For more, read The Economic Fundamentals Of The Sharing Economy.

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