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Private Jet Travel

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    Private Jet Travel

    I recall years ago reading one of Christopher Reeve’s books where he commented that traveling via private jet was so much easier than on commercial airlines. Of course it struck me that few of us have the opportunity to make that choice. A this point, years later, it turns out that I do. I’ll be flying between Austin and Palm Springs, CA. Neither airport is huge, but hopefully both are large enough to have the necessary wheelchair boarding equipment. With just two of us traveling, it looks like we might have to use an otherwise overly large craft to have even aisle chair access.
    I’m interested in picking the brain of anyone with experience with this. For mobility, I'm dependent on the wheelchair—NO ability to stand or walk, C-7 complete.

    The only private plane I was on was a medevac across country after my accident. I think the bill was in the $25,000 range about 15 years ago, but in that little jet I don’t see how one could have boarded from a wheelchair or aisle chair, probably would have had to be boarded on a gurney like I was, definitely no room for an aisle chair.

    Looks like round trip would be in the neighborhood of $30,000 on a tiny 7 seater for your trip from my quick search. To me, unless time was absolutely critical and you just could not waste the extra hours, it would make more sense and be more comfortable to rent a wheelchair accessible van or RV and hire a driver to get you there overnight while you sleep much of the way if you absolutely can’t stand first class air travel.

    Me personally, I’d go pretty far out of my way to save $30,000 in after tax money, but obviously you’re in a different financial situation than I find myself. Maybe one of the larger private jets would be easier to get in and out of. At that cost hiring a few sturdy young men to carry you on and off the plane on either end is just a rounding error when it comes to cost.

    When it comes to accessibility I’m sure your easiest bet would be chartering an air ambulance. They’re necessarily well versed in getting you onboard and off despite your lack of mobility and it probably wouldn’t be much more expensive.

    Let us know how it goes! I for over am curious how accessible the smaller non-medical private jets are.


      As nice as it sounds just not reality yet because private jets dont have the cargo room to carry power chairs sitting up right...

      Companies like JSX also use smaller jets so cant use aisle chairs to help load you...not using a jetway means old school stairs

      I would stick with American or Delta cost about $300+ rt

      I travel a lot and if was me I would shuttle or drive to LA and fly Jet Blue $133 rt

      Click image for larger version  Name:	JSX-6.jpg Views:	0 Size:	430.5 KB ID:	2911732Click image for larger version  Name:	1x1_JSX-interior-2-scaled.jpg Views:	0 Size:	295.4 KB ID:	2911733


        i flew in to grand junction no way to get me down i said if you want to carry me of 2 man or 2 man chair down i game they got me down but what was really fun was flyig in as prop 5 seater they picked up put me broker chair down we flew from the lake back to moab ut.. u just got to go with the flow and pray


          Originally posted by vjls View Post
          i flew in to grand junction no way to get me down i said if you want to carry me of 2 man or 2 man chair down i game they got me down but what was really fun was flyig in as prop 5 seater they picked up put me broker chair down we flew from the lake back to moab ut.. u just got to go with the flow and pray
          This sounds like the experience I would expect. I think I could certainly stand to make one transfer on each leg and spend a few more hours traveling if it meant I got to use an aisle chair and didn't have to risk getting dropped down the steps.

          The more I think about it, if one wants to do this I think renting an air ambulance is the way to go. At least from the prices I remember it wasn't that much more expensive than the prices I was able to find on private jet websites and you have staff who are EMTs and comfortable and used to carrying incapacitated people in and out of their specific plane.

          Still seems like a colossal waste of money when compared for first or business class tickets that will save you $30,000, but I suppose one could have their reasons for not wanting to mix with the public, especially during a pandemic.


          • endo_aftermath
            endo_aftermath commented
            Editing a comment
            If this were a one-off trip, the air ambulance could be an option, though I can't imagine that it wouldn't be more expensive, like everything else medically related. My ambulance ride across town cost over $1k. I'm really checking out the private jet option on this trip with just the two of us to decide about a couple of other longer trips that will include a few friends.

          • funklab
            funklab commented
            Editing a comment
            I assume an air ambulance would be more expensive though, but I doubt the difference would be similar to taxi vs ambulance, particularly since you are planning it ahead. I was just thinking they might have a smaller jet of a size that might otherwise be inaccessible, but perhaps with a larger loading door designed for stretchers and certainly with a staff well versed in helping transfer people. If you'd have to have a jet that burns twice as much fuel to be big enough to allow accessibility vs a smaller jet that is designed to take people on stretchers I wouldn't be surprised if it's cheaper. I'm sure the fuel cost dwarfs the personnel cost. Totally understand not wanting to go that route with a group you're bringing along though.

          I'm not making a case that this is widely practical or fiscally responsible. I only have estimates so far, but it's unlikely to be less than $20k unless someone has a lightweight jet with the means to get me in and out.
          Of course commercial airlines are much cheaper. If it ends up just the two of us, the per-person cost will be about 10x commercial first class. (About $1k.) This is just something I've wanted to do and when Alaska Airlines cancelled the only non-stop flight from Austin to Palm Springs, this became an interesting option.
          I'm not surprised that Grand Junction didn't have the people lift. I think these two airports are large enough to be equipped. Certainly Austin is and Palm Springs has a lot of traffic in rich old people.


            FYI You know there are 3 other airlines flying that route correct?


            Update to my post...JSX said they know can fly our community which is a major change since a year ago when I reached out to them.

            Still waiting for details on loading myself and the chair but we are all in to Burbank and Las Vegas once we get the details...

            The point is if they are flying us so are others like NetJet etc.

            Look for ride sharing companies and reach out to them that fly the route...

            JSX Customer Support
            Fri, Jul 30, 3:54 PM (16 hours ago)
            to me

            Good Afternoon,

            Thank you for contacting JSX. Yes we are able to accommodate but there are some specifics to the design of the chair itself. Here is the information for our Contract of Carriage to see if yours would qualify for transport.

            Carrier will accept wheelchairs, whether manually operated or battery operated, as checked baggage on the same flight as the Passenger who uses the device. . If a manual wheelchair, mobility device or other Assistive Device cannot be stowed in-cabin, Carrier will transport them in the baggage compartment. Carrier will accept additional wheelchair batteries and battery-powered wheelchairs with the battery attached if the battery is labeled by the manufacturer as non-spillable. Batteries lacking non-spillable manufacturer labeling and spillable batteries that cannot remain in an upright position must be placed in special shipping boxes. Due to the advance notice requirement that may apply to obtaining these boxes, Passengers should advise Carrier at least forty-eight (48) hours before scheduled departure of the need for an appropriate battery box. For stowage in the baggage compartment, only lithium batteries whose terminals are completely enclosed in a case are permitted, all others must be removed from the device and stowed in the cabin. Damaged or leaking batteries will not be transported.

            We truly hope to see you on a future JSX flight,

            Customer Support

            o (800) 435-9579


              [QUOTE=RollinPositive;n2911752]FYI You know there are 3 other airlines flying that route correct?

              None of those are non-stop.

              And JSX has neither Austin nor Palm Springs on their route map.
              Last edited by endo_aftermath; 31 Jul 2021, 12:13 PM.


                Did you call the Palm Springs Airport to ask about what they can accommodate? I expect there is someone designated to answer questions about Accessibility. I live in the next town over but have only flown into LAX.


                  1st there was never a mention of none stop and when one flies to smaller towns like Palm Springs or Austin from other smaller towns it wont be non stop its just not cost effective. even worse in this environment with Covid and air travel.

                  I also mentioned I had worked with JSX in the past and they have now changed there policy so when things are posted its not just for you! Its for others in our community that might be interested in take a private plan to by pass things like TSA

                  Last I mentioned that JSX didn't fly to the places you are looking to fly.
                  But take that information and do your own research for other companies that do ride share like NetJet etc.

                  I would say your not going to find people that rent a private jet and get feedback...good luck with that trip


                    [QUOTE=RollinPositive;n2911803]1st there was never a mention of none stop ....

                    Reread my 30 July posting.


                      In case anyone’s interested, we were eventually able to make this trip via private jet. I worked with three brokers searching for a charter who could get me on and off the plane. The final solution was simply a few strong guys manhandling the transfers. Two transfers used an aisle chair, though that was more trouble than it was worth, with so little maneuvering space in the aircraft. On the Austin end it was staff of the FBO. In Palm Springs the airport fire department provides this service. When Austin was a smaller airport, they did there, too.

                      This industry seemed oblivious to the ADA. I started digging for an explanation from the ADA officer with the Austin airport. He bears no responsibility for the activity of private aviation at the airport, but was very interested in helping me if he could. The explanation turned out to be that the ADA does not apply to aircraft with fewer than 19 passengers.

                      The following is part of a response from the FAA Civil Rights division:

                      “You are correct that obligations to comply with ADA and Sec. 504 requirements are passed down from the airport sponsor, to the FBO tenant, and finally to the charter aircraft operator. They are passed down by law and by contract, including the required FAA contract provisions that are supposed to be in any contract entered into by the airport sponsor or its contractors or sub-contractors for contracts concerning airport business. Those clauses include explicit commitments to comply with ADA and Sec. 504. See Clauses A6.4.1 and A6.4.5 at

                      However, the obligations for boarding assistance for small aircraft, as clarified in DOT’s Sec. 504 regulations, are fairly deferential to the aircraft operator. Boarding assistance for people with disabilities is only required for aircraft with 19 or more passenger seats. See 49 CFR 27.72. General nondiscrimination requirements still apply, so apart from the boarding assistance itself, a person cannot be denied service under ADA or Sec. 504. However, there is no obligation to provide boarding assistance for smaller aircraft and never any obligation to pick up and carry a passenger.

                      There are additional obligations under the Air Carrier Access Act, a separate law from ADA and Sec. 504 that applies directly to air carriers. Those requirements are enforced by another office at U.S. DOT, the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, which is separate from FAA. More information for those air carrier obligations is available on their website at “