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JetSmarter is a membership program that allows members to fly on empty legs of private jets (JetDeals) and seats on scheduled private jet shuttles (JetShuttle).
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JetSmarter - discussion and experiences

Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:13 pm
  #1546  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold Club, Chase, JetSmarter, NCL
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by millions
As usual, you don't know what you're talking about from a legal standpoint. You seem to think "T&C" control in every instance, but for hundreds of years of common law, as well as certain statutory law such as that cited above, penalties like JetSmarter charges have been held to be invalid. Imagine if American Airlines added to their T&C that if you no-show, you have to pay a $5,000 penalty. So you buy a deeply-discounted $59 ticket from SF to LA, and don't show up. You owe $5 grand, right? Wrong, donkey.
You're comparing apples to oranges when you think AA would charge $5000 for missed flight. The supply/demand of commercial flights is unparalleled to private flying and their margins are greater considering they're flying hundreds of passengers on one trip whereas on a private jet theres usually no more than 10 passengers. Hence, the reason you pay A LOT more to fly private.

Also, commercial airlines do have penalties and never offer refunds for cancelling unless you purchase the refundable ticket (extra $$$). If you purchase flexible seating and decide to change the route, you'll end up paying a fee and the cost difference between flights. They don't just happily reimburse you for missing a flight.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:14 pm
  #1547  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold Club, Chase, JetSmarter, NCL
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by millions
Simple (or anyone) can access for free through jet deals, rather than paying? That doesn't make any sense. So I could initiate a shared charter, have a couple of my Simple membership friends join me and book up several more seats for free and get reimbursed? For some reason, I'm skeptical.
If you read my post, you'd see that a SIMPLE member can access the flight that was initiated as a shared charter. he/she still has to pay for the seat.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:24 pm
  #1548  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by travelnat95

Also, commercial airlines do have penalties and never offer refunds for cancelling unless you purchase the refundable ticket (extra $$$). If you purchase flexible seating and decide to change the route, you'll end up paying a fee and the cost difference between flights. They don't just happily reimburse you for missing a flight.
Wrong from a legal standpoint in this country, and, I'm pretty sure in yours, too. "Penalty" in this context is a legal term of art, and is void, and illegal. Airlines can charge change fees and forfeiture al long as it is a reasonable approximation of their loss, or damages. When the charge is unreasonable, or not connected to the harm suffered, it is void as against public policy.

Do you do this for a living? Because I do; so maybe a little less authority, a little more listening, if you don't.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:26 pm
  #1549  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by travelnat95
If you read my post, you'd see that a SIMPLE member can access the flight that was initiated as a shared charter. he/she still has to pay for the seat.
You didn't say anything about "paid." Also, how is it a jetdeal if you have to pay to access? Jetdeals are free, aren't they? I'll hang up and listen.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:28 pm
  #1550  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Oakland CA
Programs: DL Gold, AS MVPG, Globalist
Posts: 1,009
Yeah, I'm a reasonably big fan of the company, and think it provides amazing value and really does have the potential to reshape private aviation (esp. with this new shared charter thing )... but charging a member a cancellation fee for a shuttle because a deal cancelled is just wrong.

First off, as Sykes pointed out, it's technically illegal to cancel your outbound flight if you've confirmed the invoice. I've not wanted to push this, because truth is the law is probably behind here. We wouldn't have an empty leg program at all if operators had to fly all the empties they posted, regardless of schedule changes. I think the accommodation JS has now ( replacement flight if close in, no accommodation farther out ) is a reasonable compromise. But technically, they are on the hook once troyb confirmed the invoice.

Second, as WhyPrivate pointed out, THEY (or their affiliated operator) cancelled the outbound. I get charging a hefty cancellation fee on a free flight if somebody just decides not to show, because you need to heavily disincentivize that behavior. Otherwise people would just book every flight they can, and then miss most of them. But in this case it was a service fault of their own... and on top of that the shuttle couldn't have been booked for more than a few hours, so troyb wasn't holding a seat for long.

Finally, it's the right thing to do from a member service perspective. Instead of a 'hey this bad thing happened to me but JS is great' story, you've got a disgruntled member. Is the $1000 in revenue today worth losing potentially tens of thousands over the long haul? Only they can determine that, but I know I wouldn't have come to the same conclusion if I'd been running the show.

[MENTION=72811]troyb[/MENTION] I'd push them a bit on this; I hope they make it right for you.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:32 pm
  #1551  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Columbus OH
Programs: DL Diamond, CO Gold, US Silver, Natl Exec, Hertz #1, Avis Preferred, Elite w/ All US Hotel Programs
Posts: 401
Originally Posted by millions
You didn't say anything about "paid." Also, how is it a jetdeal if you have to pay to access? Jetdeals are free, aren't they? I'll hang up and listen.
I'm not an attorney, and I don't know the in's and out's of Public Charter law -
but for reference, in the app there is a per-seat JetDeals price which is mitigated by a "Member Free Seats Promotion" in the flight quote calculation. Technically I suppose the JetDeal seats aren't free, they're discounted to a zero balance.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:34 pm
  #1552  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold Club, Chase, JetSmarter, NCL
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by millions
You didn't say anything about "paid." Also, how is it a jetdeal if you have to pay to access? Jetdeals are free, aren't they? I'll hang up and listen.

Quoted from my post: "(my friend recently got the 3 month trial so she is able to pay for a seat on a shared charter but not create one)"

Where else would a shared charter show up in the app? If someone creates a charter that isn't in a shuttle city how would anyone find it to fill the seats? It is not necessarily a Jetdeal because its not a repositioning flight (empty leg), but its still a discounted seat for what would normally be a pricy charter.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:35 pm
  #1553  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by dordal
Finally, it's the right thing to do from a member service perspective. Instead of a 'hey this bad thing happened to me but JS is great' story, you've got a disgruntled member. Is the $1000 in revenue today worth losing potentially tens of thousands over the long haul? Only they can determine that, but I know I wouldn't have come to the same conclusion if I'd been running the show.

[MENTION=72811]troyb[/MENTION] I'd push them a bit on this; I hope they make it right for you.
If it's his first cancellation fee, they'll usually drop it. Just ask.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:38 pm
  #1554  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by TVCMH
I'm not an attorney, and I don't know the in's and out's of Public Charter law -
but for reference, in the app there is a per-seat JetDeals price which is mitigated by a "Member Free Seats Promotion" in the flight quote calculation. Technically I suppose the JetDeal seats aren't free, they're discounted to a zero balance.
"Technically" according to their accounting, maybe. But in their marketing, advertising, T&C, etc. they tell consumers they're "free." Under the Lanham Act, California Business & Professions Code, and the equivalent laws of several states with which I'm aware, they'd better be free.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:40 pm
  #1555  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by travelnat95
Quoted from my post: "(my friend recently got the 3 month trial so she is able to pay for a seat on a shared charter but not create one)"

Where else would a shared charter show up in the app? If someone creates a charter that isn't in a shuttle city how would anyone find it to fill the seats? It is not necessarily a Jetdeal because its not a repositioning flight (empty leg), but its still a discounted seat for what would normally be a pricy charter.
I look forward to finding out. Are there any available now? How many seats do Smart and Sophisticated members get to book on them, and are they paid, or free, and are the initiators reimbursed if they're free?

This all goes back to what I was saying about the laughably unclear video rollout by Sergey Jobs.
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:48 pm
  #1556  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: AMEX Centurion, Inspirato, jetmembership.com, Mandarin Oriental, Hertz Gold Plus
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by GiselePJ
If it's his first cancellation fee, they'll usually drop it. Just ask.
worth a try.

Who was the operator of this empty leg? XO?
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 3:58 pm
  #1557  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold Club, Chase, JetSmarter, NCL
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by millions
I look forward to finding out. Are there any available now? How many seats do Smart and Sophisticated members get to book on them, and are they paid, or free, and are the initiators reimbursed if they're free?

This all goes back to what I was saying about the laughably unclear video rollout by Sergey Jobs.
It has been live since late last night (in the UK), so I have not seen any available in the app. Theres no way that seats are free, so I assume you pay for each seat in order for the initiator to be reimbursed (meaning members don't get extra seats to book like regular jetdeals).
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 4:50 pm
  #1558  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Programs: DL, UA
Posts: 622
Originally Posted by Sykes
It's possible that what JetSmarter is doing is unethical, and illegal. The JetDeals are Public Charters operated under 14 CFR Part 380. Under Part 380, it is illegal to cancel a public charter within 10 days of departure unless it is physically impossible to operate the flight:
Originally Posted by Sykes
Oh, and I forgot to mention that it's illegal for JetSmarter to charge cancellation fees (greater than $25) for JetShuttles if JetSmarter is able to find a replacement passenger:
except, I don't believe they're obliged to comply with CFR Part 380 unless they're legally able to. More on that responding to [MENTION=98088]millions[/MENTION] (Esq.?) beneath.

Originally Posted by millions
Wrong, donkey.
for someone who's called names, probably because of your career choice, I guess I understand the unprovoked attempt in retaliation, but I've not called you a name, don't know you and have little desire to get to know you. Might I humbly suggest a little more civility on a public forum?

Originally Posted by millions
As usual, you don't know what you're talking about from a legal standpoint. You seem to think "T&C" control in every instance, but for hundreds of years of common law, as well as certain statutory law such as that cited above, penalties like JetSmarter charges have been held to be invalid.
to both you [MENTION=98088]millions[/MENTION] and [MENTION=179754]Sykes[/MENTION] -
quite possible, I don't know the full legal ramifications as intimately as you. And, I've not professed to be a proficient practitioner of the law, as you seem to elude you are. My opinion: just sue them, then. Sounds like you've got them hook-line-and-sinker. And sounds like you might know someone who can do all the filing for you, too.

I note https://jetsmarter.com/legal/charter-terms which per section {1} implies Jetsmarter is acting as an agent, and not the operator nor a 14 C.F.R. Part 135 (“FAR Part 135”) provider. They're a manager of the Program and act as Member’s agent. I wonder what the FAA would say to this as it applies to the code of federal regulations that apply only to charter operators? I suspect when, for example, Tom Cruise's agent books him a flight, they're not actually on the hook for refunding Tom a pre-agreed cancelation fee he had consented to with his agent, if they, for example told him that the flight had been canceled. Equally a travel agent, might have a service fee that is outside the bounds of the CFR restrictions on what actual flight operators can charge.

It's my understanding these fees are billed by Jetsmarter - NOT the flight operator who cancels the flight. Your assertion Jetsmarter are required to comply with the 14 CFR 380 provisions assumes that they are even legally able to comply with them. I venture to suggest they are not.

Back to the legal terms from their agency relationship regarding charters: They go on to say except when it's expressly stated that the 14 CFR 380 rules and regulations (“Public Charter Program”) [are in place], all travel arrangements are made on-demand according to customer-directed itineraries and flight requirements under the Terms and Conditions, restrictions, and limitations reflected herein.

I'd say then that the fees they're claiming are not to do with the charter, per se, but rather then service that Jetsmarter is providing i.e. the booking aspect and agent relationship they're acting under.

Again, being a layman to the law, if you disagree - go sue em. Apparently there's lots you have on them, and therefore you should be able to form a class easily, and perhaps go after their war chest, no?

Originally Posted by millions
Imagine if American Airlines added to their T&C that if you no-show, you have to pay a $5,000 penalty. So you buy a deeply-discounted $59 ticket from SF to LA, and don't show up. You owe $5 grand, right?
As [MENTION=858073]travelnat95[/MENTION] correctly points out, it's apples and oranges here. You're slamming me for my lack of legal knowledge on 14 CFR 380 which applies to Public Charters, implying Jetsmarter are bound by them (which I'm suggesting, perhaps, they are not), and then you introduce a commercial carrier and use some arbitrary example of them imposing a $5,000 penalty. Again, I'm not the expert, and don't pretend to be. But is it perhaps a possibility that American Airlines are not generally selling seats as a Public Charter operator? And are therefore not bound by 14 CFR 380?

My travel agent who books me a flight - whether on Jetsmarter, or Netjets, or American - is quite within their rights as my agent to charge me whatever the heck they want in a cancelation, booking, or "agency" fee that I've agreed and submitted to, and at no time does said fee become related to the 14 CFR 380 regulations. But, just going out on a limb here - I think your introduction of American Airlines as a 'comparison' and your request we "imagine" is asking more for us to fantasize. And, with respect, we'd rather not.

Originally Posted by travelnat95
my friend recently got the 3 month trial so she is able to pay for a seat
Originally Posted by millions
Simple (or anyone) can access for free through jet deals, rather than paying?
Originally Posted by millions
You didn't say anything about "paid."
as [MENTION=858073]travelnat95[/MENTION] later confirms, they did mention "paid", you just missed it.
Take some of your millions and buy some spectacles, [MENTION=98088]millions[/MENTION], cause your attention to detail is sorely lacking today.

Last edited by T-15.01; Jul 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm Reason: typo
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 5:06 pm
  #1559  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist, Virtuoso Travel Agent, Commercial Pilot
Posts: 2,121
Originally Posted by cakiwi
I note https://jetsmarter.com/legal/charter-terms which per section {1} implies Jetsmarter is acting as an agent, and not the operator nor a 14 C.F.R. Part 135 (“FAR Part 135”) provider. ...
Your entire post quotes the wrong terms. You've quoted the terms that they reference when booking whole-aircraft charters. Those aren't referenced at all for JetShuttle or JetDeal bookings. Instead, what are referenced are the Public Charter Participant Agreements for that specific Part 135 operator that is operating the flight. They're all listed here:

https://jetsmarter.com/legal/public-charter-agreements

Drawing from the XO Jet one (https://jetsmarter.com/legal/public-...nts/PC-16-151/), which is used for both some JetShuttles and JetDeals, the following sections are relevant and acknowledge the Part 380 regulations (almost verbatim):

VI. CANCELLATIONS, CHANGES OF DATES AND REFUNDS
<snipped for brevity>
The Cancellation Fee will not apply if Member’s seat on a cancelled flight is occupied by a substitute participant found by JetSmarter or in the event a Member provides a qualified substitute participant who is a JetSmarter member and who is eligible to reserve the flight under the terms and conditions of that Member’s membership agreement and all other applicable laws, and terms and conditions.
Also, ...

XII. MAJOR CHANGES
<snipped for brevity>
JetSmarter has no right to cancel a Charter Flight less than ten (10) days before the scheduled departure date, except for circumstances that make it physically impossible to perform the Charter Flight or causes beyond its control.
Note that they added "or causes beyond its control" despite the presence of no such exception in the DOT regulations.

Last edited by Sykes; Jul 12, 2017 at 5:14 pm
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Old Jul 12, 2017, 5:14 pm
  #1560  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by cakiwi
except, I don't believe they're obliged to comply with CFR Part 380 unless they're legally able to. More on that responding to [MENTION=98088]millions[/MENTION] (Esq.?) beneath.


for someone who's called names, probably because of your career choice, I guess I understand the unprovoked attempt in retaliation, but I've not called you a name, don't know you and have little desire to get to know you. Might I humbly suggest a little more civility on a public forum?


to both you [MENTION=98088]millions[/MENTION] and [MENTION=179754]Sykes[/MENTION] -
quite possible, I don't know the full legal ramifications as intimately as you. And, I've not professed to be a proficient practitioner of the law, as you seem to elude you are. My opinion: just sue them, then. Sounds like you've got them hook-line-and-sinker. And sounds like you might know someone who can do all the filing for you, too.

I note https://jetsmarter.com/legal/charter-terms which per section {1} implies Jetsmarter is acting as an agent, and not the operator nor a 14 C.F.R. Part 135 (“FAR Part 135”) provider. They're a manager of the Program and act as Member’s agent. I wonder what the FAA would say to this as it applies to the code of federal regulations that apply only to charter operators? I suspect when, for example, Tom Cruise's agent books him a flight, they're not actually on the hook for refunding Tom a pre-agreed cancelation fee he had consented to with his agent, if they, for example told him that the flight had been canceled. Equally a travel agent, might have a service fee that is outside the bounds of the CFR restrictions on what actual flight operators can charge.

It's my understanding these fees are billed by Jetsmarter - NOT the flight operator who cancels the flight. Your assertion Jetsmarter are required to comply with the 14 CFR 380 provisions assumes that they are even legally able to comply with them. I venture to suggest they are not.

Back to the legal terms from their agency relationship regarding charters: They go on to say except when it's expressly stated that the 14 CFR 380 rules and regulations (“Public Charter Program”) [are in place], all travel arrangements are made on-demand according to customer-directed itineraries and flight requirements under the Terms and Conditions, restrictions, and limitations reflected herein.

I'd say then that the fees they're claiming are not to do with the charter, per se, but rather then service that Jetsmarter is providing i.e. the booking aspect and agent relationship they're acting under.

Again, being a layman to the law, if you disagree - go sue em. Apparently there's lots you have on them, and therefore you should be able to form a class easily, and perhaps go after their war chest, no?


As [MENTION=858073]travelnat95[/MENTION] correctly points out, it's apples and oranges here. You're slamming me for my lack of legal knowledge on 14 CFR 380 which applies to Public Charters, implying Jetsmarter are bound by them (which I'm suggesting, perhaps, they are not), and then you introduce a commercial carrier and use some arbitrary example of them imposing a $5,000 penalty. Again, I'm not the expert, and don't pretend to be. But is it perhaps a possibility that American Airlines are not generally selling seats as a Public Charter operator? And are therefore not bound by 14 CFR 380?

My travel agent who books me a flight - whether on Jetsmarter, or Netjets, or American - is quite within their rights as my agent to charge me whatever the heck they want in a cancelation, booking, or "agency" fee that I've agreed and submitted to, and at no time does said fee become related to the 14 CFR 380 regulations. But, just going out on a limb here - I think your introduction of American Airlines as a 'comparison' and your request we "imagine" is asking more for us to fantasize. And, with respect, we'd rather not.







as [MENTION=858073]travelnat95[/MENTION] later confirms, they did mention "paid", you just missed it.
Take some of your millions and buy some spectacles, [MENTION=98088]millions[/MENTION], cause your attention to detail is sorely lacking today.
The Public Charter regulations are entirely beside the point I was making. And ESPECIALLY if, as you were suggesting the CFR does not apply (though it does). Whether it's AA or JetSmarter, under the common law, liquidated damages clauses that act as penalties rather than reasonable approximations of actual damages would be void. The charter regs (which essentially codify the common law with respect to liquidated damages/duty to mitigate) likewise seem to establish that charging $1,000 fee on a $599 maximum ticket, especially when they later fill that seat, is illegal. Which is probably why -- just as they did with their illegal non-disparagement clause -- they have recently changed their T&C to say they won't charge the fee if they find a substitute. Which should also show you why you should stop putting so much faith in those ever-shifting T&C, and their enforceability. It's a company run by novices, and they push and push and push until they realize they've pushed too far.

And at risk of beating a dead horse, no, your travel agent isn't allowed to charge you whatever he wants for a cancellation, even if you "agreed" to it. You just don't know what you're talking about. Do some googling about the limits of liquidated damages, or sit in on a 1L law school contracts course, or call your lawyer. But just stop acting like you know what you're talking about. Because you don't.

As to whether I should file a request for arbitration...to be honest, it's very unlikely that I won't, if at the time of my membership termination JS is still solvent. But there may also be a hook for a bigger suit in federal court based on the Lanham Act or UCL. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Also, the word you're looking for is "allude," not "elude." It's the second time you've made the mistake in a few days, and I wouldn't want this vocabulary word to elude you for much longer.

Last edited by millions; Jul 12, 2017 at 5:50 pm
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