Article Lead Image

Andy Rusch/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The Uber for private jets will only cost you $9,000

If it's good enough for Jay Z, it's good enough for you.


AJ Dellinger


Posted on Jul 23, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 7:25 am CDT

Have $9,000 laying around? You might consider a membership to a new app that provides on-demand booking for private jets. 

Occupying the highest end of “Uber for X” formulation, JetSmarter recently closed a $20 million round of funding which includes contributions from Jay-Z, executives from Goldman Sachs, and the Saudi Royal Family. 

“I started the company out of a frustration with the process,” company found Sergey Petrossov told Business Insider. “I kept thinking to myself, ‘Why hasn’t this service been brought into the digital world?'”

We all know the frustration of not being able to board a private jet on demand to fly us wherever we want to go, of course. Finally, that pain can be soothed by a $9,000 a year service. For that annual fee, you’ll be able to take unlimited flights to anywhere in the world.

JetSmarter pulls this off primarily by booking empty leg flights—trips from one destination to another where there are no passengers on board. For example, if a flight goes from Los Angeles to Miami, then has another trip scheduled to leave out of Chicago, it will make the jump from Miami to Chicago with an empty cabin. JetSmarter puts you on board that flight so you can soak in the spilled champagne of whoever was on board before you.

Those flights, known as JetDeals, are available without limits to JetSmarter members. They can also be purchased individually through the service’s app. 

Here’s the catch: you don’t have much control of what happens. For the normal tier of service—and not the JetCharter premium-premium service—itineraries are set. There’s also no promise of a return flight that will fit your schedule; you just have to wait for an empty flight back to where you came from. Available flights appear 36 to 48 hours before takeoff, and you better make sure you want to be on that plane because according to the JetSmarter FAQ, if you cancel an empty leg flight after it’s been confirmed, there’s a $1,000 fee. 

There is surely a world in which the JetSmarter program makes sense—frequent business travelers or those living in major hub cities who like to get away as often as possible. And hey, if you’re heading to that world, mind if we catch a ride?

H/T Business Insider | Photo via Andy Rusch/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 23, 2015, 3:14 pm CDT