We’ve all dreamt of living the Jay Z life: flying on your private jet, partying at your nightclub, drinking your own alcohol brand. The full suite of Jay-ness is long way off for most of us, but thanks to a recent move from Delta Air Lines, one piece of the puzzle is slightly more attainable.
Starting this week, Delta SkyMiles members may redeem their miles for flights on private planes via Delta Private Jets, the company’s private jet subsidiary.
“With this new option, SkyMiles becomes the only major airline loyalty program to provide its members the opportunity to redeem miles for a private jet experience,” said Karen Zachary, Managing Director of the SkyMiles Program. “We are committed to finding ways to make the SkyMiles program even more rewarding for our Members, from buying a drink in a Delta Sky Club to redeeming miles for private jet service.”
As you’ve probably guessed, cashing in miles for a private flight won’t be cheap. A Delta frequent flier would have to redeem a minimum of 2.5 million miles for a US$25,000 Delta Private Jet card, the lowest level available. Jet cards are essentially pre-loaded accounts (either miles or money) that are deducted from each time you fly. Being a cardholder guarantees you jet availability, as well as choice of jet size and category on every flight.
Let’s do the math. Delta Private Jets charges based on how long your flight is, and the hourly rate for a light jet is approximately US$5,500. That means those 2.5 million miles translate to a little less than five hours of private flying on a jet with six to eight seats.
That stings. It’s not an attainable number for the average flyer, though Zachary claims thousands of Delta SkyMiles members currently have that amount or more saved up. If you’re one of the lucky ones, this may be your best chance of flying private short of winning the lottery or weaseling your way into Jay Z’s will.