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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

High Roller? 5 Ways To Get A Private Jet To Vegas For Less

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Over the past decades, Las Vegas has become one of the hottest destinations globally, famed for being both the casino capital and entertainment capital of the world. The city has once again hosted a Formula 1 Grand Prix for the first time since 1982 and is scheduled to become the go-to place for football fans with Allegiant Stadium, whose name is sponsored by Allegiant Air, hosting Super Bowl LVIII in February 2024.



While it might be too late to plan a journey to the culmination of the National Football League (NFL) season, there are ways to travel to see the Las Vegas Strip via business jet and do so on a cheaper budget.


1 Scheduled private jet flight

A straightforward choice featuring a not-so-standard aircraft

One option is to pick out a scheduled private jet flight to either Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS) or Las Vegas Henderson Executive Airport (HSH) on a selected date. Some private jet operators based in the United States offer frequent flights to select destinations, and considering the popularity of Sin City, you can be more than certain that you can grab a seat to fly there in fashion.

The Las Vegas Sands Private Boeing 747SP just after landing on a runway.

Photo: christopheronglv | Shutterstock

However, the price might fluctuate depending on many factors, including whether there are any events in the city or seasonality. For example, when Las Vegas hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend between November 16 and November 18, 2023, there was a visible uptick in traffic from and to HSH, according to Flightradar24 data.

A graph of the number of scheduled flights to Las Vegas over time.

Photo: Flightradar24

Read more: The Busiest Routes From Las Vegas Airport This Month

2 Flying on an empty leg

A repositioning flight doesn’t have to go without passengers

Much like commercial aircraft, sometimes private jets have to be repositioned between airports with no passengers to begin their next journey. As a result, this can bring opportunities for those looking to save money traveling on a business aircraft to actively seek repositioning flights to fly to Las Vegas. This almost certainly means that you have to be flexible with your travel plans, as these flights might pop up on short notice and may travel from any number of origins.

Several Gulfstream jets at the Singapore Airshow.

Photo: Thor Jorgen Udvang | Shutterstock

For example, Catch-a-Jet, a company that has made an app to connect travelers with private jet operators that offer empty-leg flights, noted that they are “offered for prices that are up to 75% lower than regular charter prices.” Meanwhile, VistaJet has described these flights as ideal “for short notice leisure trips, they are the best value option to fly VistaJet.” The latter also highlighted that these can be 75% cheaper than regular private jet charters. However, it has also warned that you need to be “flexible with your arrangements or manage to find a one-way flight that meets all your travel needs.”

Most popular Catch-a-Jet destinations

Most popular Catch-a-Jet aircraft

Geneva

Cessna Citation

Ibiza

Cessna Citation Mustang

Mallorca

Bombardier Global Express

Paris

Dassault Falcon

Read more: 5 Top Tips For Booking Empty Leg Flights On Private Jets

3 Paying a membership fee

Near on-demand business jet access without the cost of ownership

While not exactly a subscription to Netflix, private jet operators also offer yearly membership options for their clients. For example, XO has three membership tiers: Shared Membership, Membership, and Reserve. The latter two offer plenty of benefits, like Reserve’s price cap of $950 per hour, available on non-peak days. Furthermore, Membership and Reserve members can waive non-member fees for up to four people per flight, resulting in a cheaper fare for your travel group.

A closeup photo of the rear half of a Wheels Up aircraft.

Photo: Wheels Up

Wheels Up, which was bailed out by Delta Air Lines with a $500 million investment recently, offers two membership tiers: Connect and Core. The latter has access to private jets with as little notice as 48 hours, with flights being dynamically priced yet with capped hourly rates. Meanwhile, the former’s members can initiate or join shared flights to “split the cost and fly private for significantly less.” Some pricing examples of XO and Wheels Up memberships:

XO Membership Fees

Wheels Up membership fees

XO Membership: $995 per year

Wheels Up Connect: $2,995 one-time fee, $2,495 annual dues from year 2

XO Reserve: $995 per year

Wheels Up Core: $17,500 one-time fee

4 Avoid peak periods

Flying on some dates will naturally be more or less expensive

Akin to commercial aviation, private jet pricing is also affected by peak seasons or major events happening at the destination, such as the aforementioned Super Bowl. Searching for flights on JSX between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and LAS, the prices for a roundtrip journey for a single passenger costs $449 on February 8, 9, and 10. During the same days a week prior, the prices go down to $219, $239, and $219, respectively.

JSX flight prices on February 10

JSX flight prices on February 17

$449

$219

A JSX Embraer E145 flying in the sky.

Photo: Angel DiBilio | Shutterstock

JSX prices for travel during the upcoming Thanksgiving period also differ significantly between the same locations. For example, flying between LAX and LAS on November 23, 2023, will set you back $529, while on the next day, the flights cost $619. On November 30, flights from LAX to LAS plummet to $289.

The same trend is visible in XO’s bookings, where charter flights during the Super Bowl weekend are priced at $50,599 between LAX and LAS on February 9, February 10, February 11, and February 12. The following weekend, prices are no more than $44,419 per charter flight.

5 Choose smaller aircraft

The type of aircraft undoubtedly affects charter price

Smaller aircraft, naturally due to their size, have lower operating costs, which, in turn, allow potential passengers to save on charter fees. Private jets include an extensive range of types, such as turboprops, very light jets, light jets, mid-sized jets, heavy jets, ultra-long-range jets, and executive aircraft, such as those in the Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) or Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) families.

XO price for Cessna Citation XLS

XO price for Gulfstream G450

$18,895

$24,095

A NetJets Gulfstream G450 on an airport apron.

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

For example, if you want to book a charter on XO from LAX to HSH on December 31, 2023, the nine-seat Cessna Citation XLS would cost you $18,895. In comparison, the Gulfstream V, which is configured to seat 15 individuals, would be as much as $36,895. Another Gulfstream aircraft, the G450, would set you back $24,095.

Read more: A Look At The Top 5 Most Sold Private Jets In 2022



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