Posted on: August 1st, 2017
The allure of boarding a cushy private jet for your next business trip is undeniable. Imagine avoiding long TSA lines and the seemingly inevitable delays and cancellations (as well as the occasional forced removal of passengers) that come with commercial air travel, and instead stepping into your own plane booked to fly you right to your favorite office branch, client, prospect or business deal—all in better-than-first-class comfort.
It’s an option that may be more realistic than you think. Private aviation isn’t simply an option for the wealthiest 0.1 percent anymore. Successful business owners whose names aren’t Ellison, Gates or Bezos are increasingly finding private jets to be a great option for getting the job done. There are two big reasons why:
GET THE EDGE: Commercial airlines are constantly cutting and eliminating routes as they use big data to analyze traffic—a trend that is causing business owners to forgo trips they normally would have made to keep tabs on employees, clients and prospects.
The upshot: Private jets can give you the edge of getting “face time” with the key people who help drive your success.
There are myriad ways to dip your toes into the private aviation waters (er, jet stream?), but there are two main methods for making the friendly skies even friendlier with jets:
Warning: Booking private jet flights on your own can be surprisingly difficult. Ross notes that you (or your assistant) might spend an entire day or more trying to get booked on an available flight.
Why do a program?
WATCH THOSE ASSUMPTIONS: Don’t assume being part of a private jet club is like joining Costco. You won’t necessarily pay less for your flights than you would by going the ad hoc route. Again, the consistency and ease of access are the main selling points of private jet programs.
Likewise, private aviation (as great as it can be) isn’t perfect, and you shouldn’t expect a flawless experience. The reason: The same forces that impact commercial air travel—bad weather, unscheduled maintenance, sick pilots and crew—can impact private jets. If the vice president of the country happens to be flying into your airport and that shuts down the airspace around it, you’ll be stuck no matter what type of aircraft you’ve chosen. “Don’t think that perfection is guaranteed with private aviation—you’re not 100 percent bulletproof just because you’re spending a lot of money,” says Ross.
The sheer number of private jet choices makes the evaluation process a daunting one. But if you’re thinking of spending thousands of dollars (or even tens of thousands of dollars) to fly in style, it’s vital to do your homework.
Ross says business owners should focus on three main areas when sizing up their options:
WARNING: Don’t negotiate your flight entirely on cost. If you “beat up” a vendor on price, you probably won’t get the service, flexibility and fast response needed if your plans change or you need additional help or “hand holding” of any kind.
Navigating the private jet landscape successfully takes time, knowledge and persistence. To avoid turbulence, we don’t recommend taking a do-it-yourself approach. Instead, we recommend working with independent, fee-only aviation consultants—true professionals who don’t get commissions or kickbacks for recommending certain companies over others.
This report was prepared by, and is reprinted with permission from, VFO Inner Circle. AES Nation, LLC is the creator and publisher of VFO Inner Circle reports.
Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect those held by Kestra IS or Kestra AS. The material is for informational purposes only. It represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. It is not guaranteed by Kestra IS or Kestra AS for accuracy, does not purport to be complete and is not intended to be used as a primary basis for investment decisions. It should also not be construed as advice meeting the particular investment needs of any investor. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Securities offered through Kestra Investment Services, LLC (Kestra IS), member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Kestra Advisory Services, LLC (Kestra AS), an affiliate of Kestra IS.
Fusion Wealth Management is not affiliated with Kestra IS or Kestra AS. https://www.kestrafinancial.com/disclosures
VFO Inner Circle Special Report
By Russ Alan Prince and John J. Bowen Jr.
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