BUSINESS IS ALL ABOUT TIME AND MONEY. THIS IS especially true for business travelers who can't afford to waste valuable time when dealing with the hassles that arise in commercial airports: security checkpoints, long lines, and delayed flights. Such inconveniences hurt your bottom line and can test your patience.
However, there is an alternative to commercial flight aggravation--private air travel. Thanks to a remarkable growth in private aviation services during the past decade, business travelers are discovering the tremendous advantages in time, efficiency, and productivity offered by using private jets.
Today, a variety of affordable options are prompting small business owners to take a look at private air travel. According to a National Business Travel Association (NBTA) survey, 56.1% of the respondent companies use alternatives to commercial air travel, such as corporate jets, charter flights, fractional jet ownership, or very light jets (VLJs). That compares to 33% who reported using corporate jets or charters in 2004, and 27% in 2002.
Private air travel offers unparalleled convenience, reasonably-priced rates, and the confidence that your business plans will run efficiently. If you or your company can afford to use private aircraft for your business transportation needs, deciding how you can benefit from private aviation is the first step. The purpose of this special section is to help you assess the advantages of private jet travel and offer a resource guide to a range of private air travel options.
THE BENEFITS OF PRIVATE AIR TRAVEL
Flying commercial, you have to arrive at the airport at least two hours early to account for long lines and lengthy security checks. "The biggest reason for growth in private air travel is the 'hassle-free' factor," explains NBTA Executive Director and COO Bill Connors. "Time is valuable to the business traveler, who can't afford to waste two hours flying each way."
In 2007, the average cost of a first class one-way fare in North America was $772 in January and $773 in February, according to the American Express Business Travel Advisory Services Business Travel Monitor report. If a business traveler who plans to take five first-class commercial airline round trips in one month measures those travel costs to the monthly rate of $7,161 when using a Hawker 400XP provided by NetJets, then private air travel offers a strong value.
COMMERCIAL AIRLINE ALTERNATIVE Private aviation gives users total flexibility to access multiple jets and other benefits each program provides. Users are freed from worries over cancelled flights and missed connections. The departure and return time for a private jet are entirely up to you.
ACCESS TO AIRPORTS Private aviation has access to more than 5,000 airports throughout the United States. You can fly in and out of smaller airports closer to your home and your destination, and you can avoid all the hassles of major airports. Private aircraft are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can schedule your flight for any time and your plane will be sitting on the tarmac waiting for you.
As a value-added service, some fractional and jet card providers also offer high-end concierge services, which handle special requests, from gourmet catering for on-board meals to travel arrangements once you land.
PRODUCTIVITY Flying in a private aircraft gives you the luxury of working in comfort and privacy, without interruptions. Past surveys have shown that business travelers are more productive on private aircraft versus traveling commercially. You can arrive at your destination refreshed, ready to accomplish a multi-leg trip in one day that might otherwise take three …