The cost of private air travel is rising, but flyers still want to stay

COVID-19. Chaos at the airport. Lack of available flights.

Many travelers say these are the reasons why they have left airlines for private jets during the past two years of the pandemic.

But a new study finds that most newly converted aircraft are not yet ready to return to commercial aviation.

According to a survey by private aviation website Private Jet Card Comparisons, about 94% of those new to the industry said they plan to continue flying privately in the future.

“Users have seen firsthand how private aviation can save time, both at the airport and by using more convenient alternate airports,” Doug Gollan, the website’s editor-in-chief, said in a press release announcing the results.

However, the respondents also indicated that they may no longer fly privately as often as before.

Demand for private jets remains strong, but fliers are not happy with rising costs

The percentage of respondents who said they would continue to use private aviation “regularly” fell from 57% last year to 40% this year.

And the number that said they would fly privately “occasionally” when the pandemic ends increased from 43% to 55%.

About 6% said they plan to shut down altogether after the pandemic, but that’s up from zero who said the same thing last year.

The outlook for longer-term customers was more stable, according to the survey published in October. Nearly 60% said they plan to fly privately as often as before the pandemic, while another 29% said they plan to fly privately often in the future.

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While demand for private jets remains high, more than half (50.7%) of respondents said they are considering switching private jet airlines.

According to the survey, about 62% cited rising costs as a reason for their dissatisfaction.

According to the survey, average deposits from flyers who purchased jet cards or memberships increased nearly 36% from $213,253 in 2021 to $289,398 in 2022.

The percentage of respondents who spent more than $400,000 more than doubled in that period – from 8.5% to 18.2%.

Nearly a third of respondents cited flight delays, changes and cancellations as the reason they plan to shop around. Those incidents more than doubled between 2021 and 2022, according to the study, resulting in “anger in private jets” as the industry struggled to keep up with crushing demand.

According to the research, there are also fewer benefits to be had. Respondents said they weren’t able to get as many free hours, rate locks, and upgrades this year as they would in 2021.

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