Last month, Creflo Dollar, the Atlanta-based pastor of World Changers Church tried to raise $60 million to buy a Gulfstream G650 jet. He said it would help him continue his missionary work around the world. But mostly, he just raised a big stink before removing the appeal from his Creflo Dollar Ministries website
Dollar’s plea to fund his aircraft may have fallen flat with average joes, but with JetSuite’s Suite Deals, almost anyone can afford to fly private.
The company has a growing following in the Atlanta area. And while they don’t hire out Gulfstream G650s, you can get a four seater, Phemom 100 or a six seater Cessna CJ3 for about $500 per leg.
These aren’t flights around the world. They are more typically short-haul trips such as from Atlanta to Charlotte — made affordable by being offered at the last-minute for empty flights.
Company president and CFO Keith Rabin says about one-third of private jet flights are empty.
For example, if a plane is in Augusta and a person wants to fly from Atlanta to Charlotte, JetSuite has to get the plane to Atlanta. So instead of flying an empty plane, they offer the flight at a low-cost (prices start at $499.) Available flights are posted the day before, so taking advantage of the deal means you must have flexible travel plans.
Destinations are naturally dictated by whatever is available, but there are a few routes that pop up fairly often, Rabin says. You are likely to find flights out of Teterboro (New Jersey) quite often. And during the Masters, Augusta flights were plentiful.
What are some other benefits of flying private?
“The greatest thing about flying private is you avoid the hassles people have at the airport today,” Rabin says.
Let’s take that Atlanta to Charlotte example again. Flying a traditional Delta flight could take a total of five hours travel time depending on where you live and how long it takes you to get to the airport. That’s probably close to the same amount of time it would take you to drive from Atlanta to Charlotte — which many travelers opt to do rather than deal with airport issues.
But when you take a private jet, you show up at the airport 10 minutes before your flight. You walk through the terminal while your car is valet parked and you jump on your flight.
While JetSuite caters mostly to high net worth individuals and celebrities who can afford to pay the full fare rates of $4000 – $5000 per hour, the goal of Suite Deals is to give everyone else entry into the exclusive world of private air travel.