Archive for April, 2011

“Did you know…Business travelers face a changing landscape?”

Business travelers face a changing landscape

As a frequent flier, Bryndon Bay knows how the little things can improve a business trip. Take premium seating on regional jets. “It makes a huge difference,” said the president of Mel Bay Publications, a Pacific, Mo.-based music publishing company. Premium seating offers

Web tools for the flexible flier
(“You’re the Boss,” NY Times Blog)

I’m one of those people who can get a little carried away when trying to find a slightly better or cheaper flight or hotel for a business trip. Kayak is my obsessive tool of choice

“Did you know…the new Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is the tallest hotel in the world?”

Sneak Peek: The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
(Robb Report)

On May 3, The Ritz-Carlton will open a hotel atop the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed International Commerce Center (ICC) in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Occupying the tower’s top 12 floors (106 to 117), The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong will be the tallest hotel in the world, reaching 1,600 feet above Victoria Harbor. Read more

Couture Comforts

There seems to be a new trend ripening among hotel fruit bowls. The smarter the establishment, the more obscure the collection of exotic fruits waiting in the suite on arrival. Read more

One-on-One with Brad Jashinsky, CEO, Privato Private Jet Travel

Each month, ExpertFlyer sits down with an executive in the travel industry to provide insight to changes in the landscape and how it affects the way you do business.  It’s another way ExpertFlyer is providing additional information to empower the business traveler.

BradJashinskyHeadshot This month, ExpertFlyer sat down with Brad Jashinsky, CEO, Privato Private Jet Travel.  Privato represents the most refined qualities of private travel around the world within the localized network of Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Napa Valley.  The Privato brand is synonymous with elegance and comfort. The company’s private jet services, and the cultural values they embody, blend tradition and innovation.

“The experience between flying first class and private are night and day. With a private jet you can fly out of a private airport, allowing you to skip the traffic, security lines, and long waits that larger airports are known for.”

– Brad Jashinsky, CEO, Privato Private Jet Travel

Is private jet travel ever a viable – and affordable – option for the business or leisure travelers of more modest means?

The cost of 4 first class tickets around the holidays and during high profile events can be equal to and even more expensive than chartering a light-jet for four people for short trips. When you add in the enormous time savings of 4-8 hours per roundtrip, private jets are always very competitive for regional short-trips that range in length from 1 to 3 hours.

How should travelers go about weighing the pros and cons between first class on a commercial flight vs. chartering a private jet?

The experience between flying first class and private are night and day. With a private jet you can fly out of a private airport, allowing you to skip the traffic, security lines, and long waits that larger airports are known for. You can even have your chauffeured car drive you right onto the tarmac to board your plane. If you’re running late, you don’t have to worry about missing your flight as your jet waits for you.

When people think of private jet travel they think of companies like NetJets. What’s the difference between Privato and a Netjets in cost, experience, etc.?

Netjets is for the private jet traveler who travels at least 50 hours per year. NetJets are for those who don’t require their own private jet, but frequently travel by private jet all year around. The up-front costs for the NetJets prepaid jet card start at $100,000. You’re limited to the NetJets inventory of planes and availability while Privato works with the worldwide fleets of dozens of charter companies to find the best jet at the best price each time you book. Companies like NetJets do a great job of getting clients from point A to point B, but Privato goes beyond the flight to handling every aspect of the travel experience.
What is Privato doing to differentiate itself in the private jet charter industry?

Many private jet charter companies employ call centers filled with untrained sales people, but at Privato, each client is handled by a personal care specialist who has equity in Privato and experience in the concierge industry.

We have the ability to fly anywhere in the world, but in addition to offering worldwide flexibility we are focusing on destinations and creating one-of-a-kind packages for many destinations. Our highlight package includes a wine lover’s tour of Napa that features a step-by-step exploration of the wine making process.  Visitors can come home with their own unique blend of wine.

Why do you think no other company has implemented the Privato model before?

The charter part of the industry has primarily consisted of cold calling companies that we’re created by investment brokers. Those brokers have created successful charter companies, but ones that are run just like their previous broker businesses. The customer service of the traditional charter services suffer from measuring metrics like time spent on the phone per client and hiring sales people instead of customer service focused concierges. We come from backgrounds in the concierge industry and the enterprise information technology industry where 24/7 personalized support is mandatory. The only metric that we’re concerned about is that the client is completely satisfied throughout the entire booking and travel experience.

How are you disrupting the traditional private jet/fractional jet markets?

Privato is changing the traditional idea of a private jet charter business by focusing on customer service and creating incredible custom travel packages for the world’s top destinations.

Are there places Privato can go that commercial airlines can’t? 

Commercial airlines are limited to high-traffic airports due to their high over-head costs, so they don’t fly to many regional airports at major destinations throughout the world. Our top destination is Napa Valley, which has an airport that can only be accessed by private jets. If flying commercial you would have to fly into the Bay Area and then drive an hour or two through traffic to get to Napa. Privato can fly from and to any airport in the world. Many of our business clients have flown to remote mines, oil wells, and other worksites that can only be accessed by private jet. Even for less remote destinations, our private jets can fly into less crowded and closer airports than commercial airlines saving our clients valuable travel hours.

Do you think there will ever be a GDS like Sabre or Travelport for the private jet industry?

CharterX and Avinode have a robust system that comes close to being a Sabre for the private jet industry, but unfortunately, many of the operators are lagging behind in the way they update their internal systems. Too many operators conduct business over the phone and through emails instead of in one central system, so CharterX can still be hours behind real-time availability. Technology has revolutionized every industry throughout the world so I expect in the next few years that the private jet industry will fully move to a central system.

Tell ExpertFlyer about your Privato PrivateMiles Private Jet Rewards program.  How is it unique?

The Privato PrivateMiles Private Jet Program rewards its members with great benefits — it’s a world-class loyalty program that’s specific to where you are going. We offer the only rewards program that doesn’t require buying a block of miles in advance. We provide elite benefits and privileges as a client flies with us. Privato PrivateMiles members receive unparalleled service and have access to greater benefits — on the ground and in the air. This adds up to benefits you won’t find anywhere else. Each Mile flown on Privato Private Chartered Jet equates to a Privato PrivateMile.

Rewards that can be earned include complimentary:
•    In-Flight Luxury Shopping
•    In-Flight Wine Tasting
•    Luggage Specialty Forwarding
•    In-Flight Spa Treatment & Massage
•    Fine Dining for Two
•    Five Star Hotel Upgrade for Two
•    Luxury Automobile Upgrade
•    Five Star Hotel Upgrade for Two
•    Private Jet Trips

New Mobile Site and Other Enhancements

Today we’re releasing the much awaited improvement to the Mobile Edition of ExpertFlyer. We have reworked the mobile site to be much more touch device friendly with an enhanced user experience. Now when you browse to the ExpertFlyer mobile site ( on any iPhone, iPod, Andriod, PalmOS, Windows Phone 7, or recent BlackBerry device, the newer version of the mobile site will automatically appear. (Click on the image for a larger version)

We have leveraged the full power of these modern devices to create an enhanced experience, now the most powerful tool for frequent flyers is even easier to use on the go. For older and non-touch capable devices, the original mobile site will still be used.

(Click on the image for a larger version)


We have also made other recent additions to ExpertFlyer:

Flight Availability Point of Sale:

  • Users now have the option of a UK Point of Sale for the Flight Availability search. If you click the Show Advanced Options button at the top of the search page, then a Point of Sale option box will become visible at the bottom of the search form where you can select from either a USA or UK point of sale.
  • Any Flight Alert that is subsequently created from a Flight Availability search that used the UK Point of Sale will itself be checked using the UK Point of Sale.

Fare Information:

  • The Fare Information search now has a Passenger Type option which allows you to see, in addition to regular Adult fares, these additional types of fares:
    • Senior
    • Military
    • Government
    • Student
    • Youth
  • For Fare Information searches that include Surcharges (fuel or otherwise) in the price of the fare, there is now a View Fares Without Surcharges option that will allow you to see the base fare without any Surcharges applied. This simplifies fare comparisons across airlines.

“Did you know…Futuristic airline seat from Contour Aerospace is not for wimps?”

Futuristic airline seat is ‘not for wimps’
(Sydney Morning Herald)

A prototype of the “NFW (Not for Wimps)” concept seat is currently on display at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. Read more…

Expedia plans spinoff of TripAdvisor
(Associated Press)

Expedia Inc.’s stock surged more than 12 percent in pre-market trading on Friday as the online travel company said it planned to spin off its TripAdvisor unit into a separate, publicly traded company. Read