Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about FlightLink? We’ve got answers.

FAQ

Click on a category for specific questions.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

FlightLink is the first invitation-only network of like-minded travelers enjoying proprietary technology and hands-on service designed to alleviate the inefficiency of private aviation. 

Members use FlightLink technology – with the support of our Community Managers – to share flights with like-minded travelers to reduce costs, foster camaraderie and mitigate environmental impact. They receive curated notifications about discounted empty leg flights matching their travel needs. Membership perks from our travel & lifestyle brand partners enhance their experience as private air travelers.

No. We are an “add-on” to whatever private aviation solution you have in place. Our technology and service is designed to help you get more out of your solution by optimizing your flights through flight sharing, identifying relevant empty legs, and more.

FlightLink was created in collaboration with a group of Denver-based private air travelers who envisioned a centralized “private flight board” where invited members could post their flight plans. This group had three primary goals – i) to enjoy flights together, ii) to mitigate environmental impact and iii) to save some money by reducing redundant flights. 

This group recognized the potential power of such a platform to reduce the inherent inefficiency in private aviation, while allowing them to enjoy private air travel in the company of friends, old and new. 

It is estimated that the average passenger count on an occupied private flight in the US is 1.7 (Source: NetJets), yet the average passenger capacity of a private aircraft is 8.2 (Source: ARGUS). 

We estimate that over 20 million seats go unused on occupied flights annually in the US, while 40 percent of total flights (~1.5 million) are “deadheads” operated without any passengers whatsoever.

FlightLink is aimed at reducing these inefficiencies.

Private aviation is fragmented, with a variety of disparate ways for consumers to fly private. FlightLink was created to connect private flyers across these different solutions to reduce costs and foster friendships.

Our members are clients of major jet card & membership programs, fractional & whole aircraft owners, occasional charterers and even those that are new to private aviation.

Whether you fly private frequently and want to lower your costs or are looking for a cost-effective private alternative to commercial, you can benefit from FlightLink and are eligible to apply. 

Not necessarily, though most of our members do fly private in some capacity prior to joining. If you’re new to private aviation, FlightLink is a great way to familiarize yourself with the industry at the lowest possible cost. It will expose you to a variety of options for flying private, so that you can make a determination about your long term needs.

FlightLink is released on a city-by-city basis in markets where there is sufficient private flight activity to support an active marketplace. Before opening new markets, we perform an exhaustive study of historical flight volume and routing.

We are currently launching our service in Texas, with particular focus on key routes to, from and within the state.

Visit the Locations page to see if FlightLink is live in your area. Not there yet? Please get in touch to request FlightLink for your city. 

Our members are protective of their privacy and of their private flight experiences. To ensure membership fit, all prospective members must complete an application process.  Most new members are referred by a current member and we rely heavily on their input when evaluating new candidates. 

We reserve the right to deny any applicant for any reason other than reasons based on race, gender, or religion.

Some aviation programs have developed flight sharing apps for their membership. This can be a great way to share flights among members of these individual programs.  However, this limits available flight options to the few members of that specific program in your area who happen to share similar flight patterns. 

To maximize the volume of flights relevant to you, FlightLink was built for the broader private aviation industry. You are eligible to apply regardless of your aviation solution(s).

We focus on specific markets to ensure flight frequency and relevance in the regions we serve.

Yes. Many FlightLink members own aircraft and have them on Part 135 certificate. Instead of (or in addition to) chartering their aircraft to the public, they offset costs on their occupied flights by allowing fellow members to join them using FlightLink. 

Additionally, many members will list their deadheads on the platform. When they take a Part 91 flight requiring a deadhead, they will list the empty leg for purchase by a fellow member. 

Yes. Many FlightLink members are fractional aircraft owners with programs such as NetJets and FlexJet.

In order to offset your costs with these programs, you must request that your flight is flown as a “Part 135” flight, rather than “91k.”

This minor distinction allows you to recoup some of the cost of your flights.

FINANCIAL QUESTIONS

With traditional private aviation, you pay for the entire aircraft, regardless of how many passengers you have. With FlightLink, you can divide this cost by sharing your flights with like-minded members. 

How much you can save depends on the details of your trip. As an example, if your group size is 2 people and the cost of the flight is $20,000, your cost with traditional private aviation equates to $10,000 per person.  If you share the flight on FlightLink and 6 members join you, the effective cost per person drops $2,500. This represents a 75% savings, or the potential of four flights for the price of one, depending on how you look at it.

As an additional cost savings benefit, our members receive notifications about discounted, off-market empty legs relevant to their flight needs. These discounts typically range from 40 to 60% off the standard charter rates.

To help operate the FlightLink platform, we charge an annual fee for membership. For the modest fee, members receive:

  1. Access to flight sharing and discounted empty legs using the technology features of the FlightLink web-based platform and iPhone/Android apps (currently in development).
  2. Hands-on support from your local Community Managers who handle flight coordination and logistics.
  3. Access to an expanding array of benefits from our travel & lifestyle partners.

Our introductory membership fee is $1,495 per year ($2,995 if you join after the introductory period).  The fee will always be priced such that a single FlightLink activity (a shared flight, discounted empty leg, etc.) creates a significant ROI on an annual basis.

When a shared flight is completed, we charge a 15% service fee on the guest passenger payments. There is no commission or mark-up of the actual flight cost.

Yes. All members are offered a 60-day, no-risk free trial.

We want to ensure your membership is of value to you and that the shared flights and empty legs you find on FlightLink are relevant. 

BOOKING & CANCELLATIONS

No. You take no risk by posting a flight for a potential flight share. Because aircraft are sourced AFTER a group has been formed, there is no harm in posting a flight to see what happens. 

Most shared flights are sourced from  a participating members’ aviation program with contractual availability guarantees or an aircraft owned by a member. Therefore, availability is not an issue. If the group is sourcing an aircraft from a 3rd party, your Community Manager will advise if there is potential concern about availability and will take measures to ensure an aircraft is available to fulfill the trip. 

You are confirmed and committed once a full match occurs, the flight details and the actual costs are finalized by FlightLink, and all parties agree to the details and submit payment for their portion of the flight.

If you have to cancel after a trip has been finalized you will forfeit the entire cost of your portion of the flight. However, we WILL repost your flight to allow other members to take your place and reimburse you.

All passengers adhere to a strict cancellation policy, so if someone else cancels, this won’t affect you. Your flight is confirmed and will depart according to schedule. Your portion of the cost will not increase.

The member that initially proposes the flight (“lead passenger”) determines the cost sharing arrangement for the flight. 

FlightLink provides guidance on cost allocation and the payment platform to ensure funds are sent securely and promptly. By serving as the payment intermediary, we relieve the potentially uncomfortable process of collecting funds from friends or acquaintances. 

In most cases, costs are divided pro-rata based on a percentage of occupied seats. For example, if a flight costs $15,000 and there are 3 groups of 2 people, each group would be responsible for $5,000 (or $2,500/person). 

The lead passenger can charge guests less than their pro-rata portion of the flight cost, but not more. This can occur when a lead passenger is taking the trip regardless and wants to offset only a portion of their cost. 

THE FLIGHTS

After a “match” has been made between members wishing to share flights, an appropriate aircraft is selected by the participating members to fulfill the trip. Aircraft are either provided by a member (their aviation program or Part 135 aircraft) or sourced through a vetted broker or operator.

The lead passenger pays the aircraft supplier directly and costs are subsequently divided amongst the passengers using our secure payment process and platform. 

FlightLink is a matching platform and does not operate or broker flights.

Our members share flights using their preferred private aviation solution. They fly with the leading jet cards, fractional programs and charter operators with rigorous safety standards. 

For liability reasons, we do not independently evaluate or represent the safety of operators used for FlightLink flights. However, upon request we can provide information from independent safety auditing firms (Wyvern and Argus) to provide peace of mind. 

No. As it relates to flight sharing, we are a “matching” platform that allows members to coordinate flight schedules and self-aggregate demand for private flights. We do not sell seats, nor do we advertise flight availability to the public or any segment thereof. 

Once a group has formed, the appropriate aircraft is secured through a participating members’ aviation solution or a 3rd party.

No. FlightLink does not operate, sell or broker flights. We are simply a community platform for individuals and businesses looking for ways to make more optimal use of private aviation. Our technology and service team help members of our community “connect the dots” to make their flights more efficient, cost-effective and fun. 

On February 14, 2019, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published new regulations related to air charter brokers, establishing a new 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 295. The new regulations are aimed at protecting consumers from deceptive practices of air charter brokers and paved the way for FlightLink to operate in a clear regulatory environment. 

Specifically related to “flight sharing,” the new regulations stipulate that private charter flights cannot be sold “by the seat” but must be procured by a single entity. DOT PART 295.5(h) states “Single entity charter means a charter for the entire capacity of the aircraft, the cost of which is borne by the charterer and not directly or indirectly by individual passengers, except when individual passengers self aggregate to form a single entity for flights to be operated using small aircraft (60 seats or fewer).”

What this means is that a broker can only arrange a flight for a single purchaser, the costs of which can be divided amongst a group of people who independently coordinate the shared flight.

Taking this a step further, a broker cannot proactively act in helping to arrange a shared group, which is why FlightLink IS NOT a charter broker, but an independent “matching platform” that allows groups of people to self aggregate. 

Once a group is formed, an aircraft is sourced by the lead passenger – either from their or another participating members’ aviation solution (jet card, membership, fractional, etc.) or from an independent broker or operator.

TEXAS-SPECIFIC QUESTIONS

Texas is one of the busiest states for private air travel. In addition to a high level of activity, there is great route uniformity and substantial flight underutilization.  In other words, there are common routes with lots of empty seats and deadheads.

We’re piloting FlightLink on core routes to, from and within Texas specifically to help travelers make better use of those flights. 

We are taking applications for Texas members now. The platform will go live once a sufficient number of applicants have been approved to ensure an active flight marketplace. 

Please apply now and spread the word among like-minded private air travelers.

Yes. Once you’re a member, you can share flights anywhere. We’ve specified our initial focus on certain routes to help guide you toward flights that are likely to offer flight sharing and empty leg opportunities. 

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