With the amount of private jet booking applications seeming to increase on an weekly basis, it helps if you have something that makes you stand out. But with the process in the background being almost the same between apps, finding something that differentiates yourself is become increasingly tricky.
Greg Richman, president of Skyjet thinks his company has found it.
Skyjet, which started in 1997, is consolidated of the charter brokerage activities of Flexjet, Flight Options and Sentient Jet Charter (Sentient Jet Card still remains as a leading provider of Jet cards). The name then lay dormant for a few years, but Richman says that there were always plans to revive the name.
Based New York and headed by Greg Richman, Skyjet recently introduced a new private jet charter flight booking application that takes a three pronged approach. The first two parts are where the user can request a flight, the third stores details of booked trips.
Richman explains that one of the problems with current apps is that users aren’t able to play around without booking an actual flight. He see’s this as a crucial part of the booking process, and is a problem that the team addressed first.
“You need to let people play with the app without committing”
On opening the app a user can plug in the route they are interested in to see an average price that they might expect to pay should they decide to go ahead and book. This part is critical to the user experience as it gives the client a clear view of how much the requested flight might cost. Of course, Richman explains that this should be used as a guide only, although the prices mentioned have been built from previous flights, with the company having a high degree of certainty that any quotes received will be close to the guide price.
The second part is where users can request a firm quote from Skyjet’s aviation experts through the app, and can ultimately go ahead and book a flight. The first part of the process is fairly straight forward, with the user requesting and receiving a quote from Skyjet via the app’s interface, but when it comes to paying for the flight, there’s a twist.
Paying for a flight that could run into tens of thousands of dollars would, understandably, make many of us feel uncomfortable. One way that Skyjet gets around this is to offer customers the option of paying using Apple Pay, the integrated Apple payment solution. By doing this, Skyjet hopes that they will give their clients more confidence when booking a flight, and perhaps give them an advantage over their competitors.
The third part of the application is where the user stores their flight information. Again Richman believes Skyjet has an advantage here. Rather than users keeping PDF files with information and confirmations, this part of the application stores real time information about the flight.
But there’s another, less visible part that the company Richman believes gives it an advantage, and that is being a member of the Directional Aviation Capital family of companies.
The most visible of these is Flexjet, who Directional purchased back in 2013. Richman argues that having an operator as part of the same group, as well the Sentient Jet Charter legacy, gives Skyjet a distinct advantage over other companies who have sprung up offering similar services.
Although the app has now been released, it’s currently only available to download in the US. Skyjet says that they are looking towards releasing the app in other locations as well, with the UK being added before the end of 2015.