If you enjoy Uber’s black-car service and want the experience the same level of luxury when traveling by air, BlackJet may be just the thing for you. Led by Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, BlackJet lets travelers book flights on other people’s private planes in order to avoid crowded airport terminals and slow-moving security checkpoints.
Blackjet is more than just a seat on a private jet, but saves hours as booking is done by a push of a button on your phone, and security is much quicker for private jets. Reservations for BlackJet start today, with the first flights between Los Angeles and New York, and New York and Florida taking place on November 15th. Initial memberships are invite-only, so don’t be surprised if Camp and company don’t reach out to you.
The company was spun out of an earlier private jet service called Greenjets and will be run by that company’s same CEO, Dean Rotchin. Greenjets launched in 2009 with the mission of cutting down on fuel costs and emissions by helping travelers book seats on private jets making return flights that would ordinarily be empty. Pishevar says he met with Rotchin and told him that he liked the idea but wanted the service to make booking a flight as easy as hiring an Uber car. Rotchin, with Camp’s help, rose to the challenge, and BlackJet was born.
The idea is the same as Uber: You might not be able to afford a private car and driver, or private jet, but you can theoretically afford to hire one on-demand. Once you become a member of the site for a few thousand dollars, you are guaranteed a seat on any flight in the markets BlackJet serves, which right now are New York, Los Angeles, and South Florida. The company has plans to expand into San Francisco and Las Vegas next, and will open up in 15 new markets next year.
BlackJet doesn’t own any of the jets but instead helps travelers connect with charter services that fly between the aforementioned cities. Passengers give BlackJet two business days’ notice of when they want to fly. Then the company rounds up other passengers that are interested in the same trip and charters a plane for the group. Rotchin says flights require some flexibility from travelers on when they want to leave, but the reward of a non-stop, hassle-free flight is worth it.
Those with invite codes can make reservations through BlackJet’s website for flights on Nov. 15 and after. Short flights, say from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, cost $950, and cross-country flights will set you back $3,500. All fares are one-way and don’t include government fees and taxes. In contrast, if you were to book a flight from LAX to JFK with charter service Celebrity Jet Charter, you’d pay around $25,000 round trip. A first-class ticket for the same trip comes to $3,600.
Rotchin describes BlackJet’s typical customer as a professional or executive for whom time is money. These are the people who don’t want to, or can’t, waste their time getting stuck at an airport due to a delayed flight.
Though some have said that those with deep enough wallets have their own jet, Rotchin disagrees. “It’s a bit of misnomer that super wealthy people wouldn’t use our service,” he says. “We have many clients who are very wealthy and own their own jets, but also fly commercial and are willing to use BlackJet.” There’s also a growing demand of people who want to fly privately that will keep BlackJet’s business busy, says Rotchin.
Article Written By: BlackJet