Wheels Up Connect Membership

Old Feb 10, 21, 7:36 pm
  #1  
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Wheels Up Connect Membership

I’m surprised there isn’t a discussion on this yet. I joined Wheels Up Connect this weekend and wanted to share my experience and hopefully “connect” with other members.

Cost
I paid $1,995 to join via a special link. I can share if anyone wants it.

Each empty leg is $300 and you get the entire plane.

Empty Legs
I joined mainly for the empty legs. I waited until there was one I wanted to fly before joining. The inventory seems much better now than when I looked a few years ago. It includes the WU fleet (including Citation Xs) and some Delta Private Jet flights.

I booked a citation excel which ended up being DPJ. It was an “instant book” option in the app, which appeared to book as a legit guaranteed charter and not an empty leg.

Wheels Down
You get a free founders card membership, which I guess I’ll get.

The most interesting perk might be the Inspirato “hot nights” benefit. The interface is fairly horrible, but I’d love to hear from others if they are a good deal and any tips/tricks with this.




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Old Feb 10, 21, 7:46 pm
  #2  
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There's a thread on the Inspirato programs in the Luxury Hotels forum.
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Old Feb 10, 21, 8:06 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
There's a thread on the Inspirato programs in the Luxury Hotels forum.
Is it on Inspirato in general, or the “hot nights” specifically?

The app only confers the “hot nights” benefit and not a general membership.
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Old Feb 15, 21, 9:47 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
I’m surprised there isn’t a discussion on this yet. I joined Wheels Up Connect this weekend and wanted to share my experience and hopefully “connect” with other members.

Cost
I paid $1,995 to join via a special link. I can share if anyone wants it.

Each empty leg is $300 and you get the entire plane.

Empty Legs
I joined mainly for the empty legs. I waited until there was one I wanted to fly before joining. The inventory seems much better now than when I looked a few years ago. It includes the WU fleet (including Citation Xs) and some Delta Private Jet flights.

I booked a citation excel which ended up being DPJ. It was an “instant book” option in the app, which appeared to book as a legit guaranteed charter and not an empty leg.
So you paid only $300 for the segment on the Excel? That's definitely an empty leg. DOCs for that aircraft are approximately 8-10x that number. Per hour.

Empty leg availability is visible to the public before joining the program?
Herb687 is offline  
Old Apr 8, 21, 8:25 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Herb687 View Post
So you paid only $300 for the segment on the Excel? That's definitely an empty leg. DOCs for that aircraft are approximately 8-10x that number. Per hour.

Empty leg availability is visible to the public before joining the program?
Hi Herb,

Correct, I got the entire excel for $300 total. And that’s a flat rate. Distance or number of travelers don’t matter.

However, it’s an empty leg so they can cancel it, and they won’t wait for you if you are late. Also, no pets on empties.

You need to have a demo sign in to see the empty legs, I believe. You can DM me if you want the one I used. Thanks
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Old Jul 6, 21, 6:41 pm
  #6  
 
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I've been a member of various programs and taken advantage of empty legs. Joined Jetsmarter a little over 5 years ago in February 2016 and was a member through it's eventual collapse. I subsequently joined Wheels Up and DPJ in December 2019, WU as a Connect member. Last December I renewed and upgraded my membership to the Wheels Up Core level. As WU had acquired DPJ there was some credit and negotiated rate for the Core level.

The biggest difference for myself between the Connect and Core level are the Wheels Up Core level restricts you to two members on your account and I four empty leg flights. The Core level allows you up to four members on your account and unlimited empty legs.

Since August 2019 I've taken six empty legs and had a very pleasant experience on all of them. The crew and Wheels Up staff have been professional and helpful. I have not had any cancellations though one empty leg showed up then went away as the time changed and wasn't put back on as it was too close to taking off. The WU staff was able to get us on though and we went off. With Connect membership we get one year of Inspirato Club membership. We have used the Club membership only for the Hot Nights a few months ago for a stay which is available to WU Core members as it is. However, we did get a $500 credit toward our first stay which was nice. We do plan on utilizing two other benefits with Wheels Up which are the boat ride with Barton & Gray and the up to four night stay at the Abaco Club. Additionally, they just added a benefit of a year as a Landry Select President's Club Status; we will see what this really means but we have a $100 gift card to use at least. We may also join the Wine Access program and received a free Bose portable speaker.

Some of the other benefits are meaningless for myself; Hertz Presidents Circle which I already have and prefer National anyway, Founders Card which didn't seem to offer any benefit when I had it a while back, HeliFlite benefit which isn't bad but I fly Blade anyway, and a few others. I haven't found their Concierge to be of anything significant, I've only ever found a benefit with Amex Platinum/Centurion concierge getting a table at a restaurant that was booked etc. I'd be curious to hear stories about the Concierge (subbed to Four Hundred) that were able to pull off feats not attained by what I can do with a Google search or otherwise though. Granted it was a pandemic but I've found their Events to be a weak spot to date. Thus far we had an experience with Porsche to try out the new Taycan and I attended their Art Basel party but there wasn't anything else in the over 1.5 years I've been a member. I mention this to compare against Inspirato which has excelled at events. We've done at least a dozen of them, during the pandemic they've had several really fun virtual cooking classes and just started offering in person events again.

Overall, the experience thus far has been well worth it and I recommend the membership especially to those who do not live in a highly member saturated area (LA especially it seems and perhaps NYC, where you may struggle to get an empty leg).

Like dval44, I'm happy to answer any questions for those interested in a membership or curious.
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Old Sep 25, 21, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by dval44 View Post

You need to have a demo sign in to see the empty legs, I believe. You can DM me if you want the one I used. Thanks
Originally Posted by Townshend View Post
Overall, the experience thus far has been well worth it and I recommend the membership especially to those who do not live in a highly member saturated area (LA especially it seems and perhaps NYC, where you may struggle to get an empty leg).

Like dval44, I'm happy to answer any questions for those interested in a membership or curious.
So how difficult is it to find empty legs in NYC?
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Old Sep 26, 21, 6:49 am
  #8  
 
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Check the frequency of usable empty legs in YOUR area of the country. I transferred from the DPJ empty legs program to the WU Core membership last year at a discounted rate. I'm interested mostly in the Mountain West CO & WY and there have been literally only a few empty legs available this past year, surprising and disappointing, and despite what the salespeople touted. For their charter or hourly rates you can usually do better with a good broker, so I will not be renewing this year, it has been a loss now for 2 years.
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Old Sep 26, 21, 10:59 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by WasKnown View Post
So how difficult is it to find empty legs in NYC?
I'd say NYC area is the best place to be - probably 3-4 per week maybe? Especially if you are willing to travel to the surrounding airports (HPN, Farmindale, etc.)
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Old Sep 26, 21, 11:27 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by dval44 View Post
I'd say NYC area is the best place to be - probably 3-4 per week maybe? Especially if you are willing to travel to the surrounding airports (HPN, Farmindale, etc.)
But to ehoe other other posts, you should definitely spend some weeks monitoring the empties to see if they work for you. Knowing they vary by season quite a bit as well.

As someone who has done this for a while, I would say that psychologically it seems like more empties would work for you, and in reality they just don't. Because so much has to be just right (departure airport, arrival airport, and timing).
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Old Jan 27, 22, 11:47 am
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My experience has been the polar opposite. These guys sold me a membership offering empty leg access to "a fleet of over 300 jets" but it quickly became clear that this was a lie - presumably to inflate membership ranks before their SPAC last year. Soon after I joined they removed the TMC Hawkers from the empty program, and later stopped posting any empty legs on the DPJ fleet. As far as I can tell they have never included the Mountain Aviation Citation Xs. Basically, you get occasional access to empty legs on the King Airs, with the odd Citation from the Gamma fleet sprinkled in.

To make things worse, despite specifically telling me that everyone had the same access to the program, they later admitted that Connect members get push alerts and booking access 15 minutes after the more expensive memberships. That means I'll get a push alert for an attractive flight only to open the app and find that it was booked by someone else before they even made it available to me.

Connect is a complete waste of money.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 7:47 am
  #12  
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Anyone else hate the new app? I know there are always growing pains with new apps/websites, but this thing seems objectively horrible.

It feels like you are browsing a website, and have to scroll to the bottom of certain pages to find things like shared flights or empty legs.

Most worrying, I have not received a push alert for an empty since the new app launched. I haven't 100% confirmed if it's availability or the app.

Renewing for a second year has so far been a mistake.
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Old Jun 12, 22, 8:10 am
  #13  
 
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Agree With dval44

100% YES to all these points. The updated app is a joke - it's just a front door that leads to a bunch of slow-loading, poorly laid out web pages. The desktop site is remissent of a late 1990s Adobe Flash splash page with, for some reason, an animation of an airplane flying across the screen slowing the login process. Many links on the desktop site do not work... try clicking on "FAQ" "Legal" or "Support" at the bottom of the members home page - those are just text, not links. The empty leg inventory was slashed, then gone altogether, but now appears to be back but still missing the "instant book" off-fleet opportunities my rep promised and OptionsCLE referenced in his post. For what it's worth, I have been receiving Hot Flight notifications for a couple days now, but those too were broken for a month. I'm not getting the product that I was promised upon renewal and I, too, regret re-upping for another year.
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Old Jun 17, 22, 8:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Townshend View Post
I've been a member of various programs and taken advantage of empty legs. Joined Jetsmarter a little over 5 years ago in February 2016 and was a member through it's eventual collapse. I subsequently joined Wheels Up and DPJ in December 2019, WU as a Connect member. Last December I renewed and upgraded my membership to the Wheels Up Core level. As WU had acquired DPJ there was some credit and negotiated rate for the Core level.

The biggest difference for myself between the Connect and Core level are the Wheels Up Core level restricts you to two members on your account and I four empty leg flights. The Core level allows you up to four members on your account and unlimited empty legs.

Since August 2019 I've taken six empty legs and had a very pleasant experience on all of them. The crew and Wheels Up staff have been professional and helpful. I have not had any cancellations though one empty leg showed up then went away as the time changed and wasn't put back on as it was too close to taking off. The WU staff was able to get us on though and we went off. With Connect membership we get one year of Inspirato Club membership. We have used the Club membership only for the Hot Nights a few months ago for a stay which is available to WU Core members as it is. However, we did get a $500 credit toward our first stay which was nice. We do plan on utilizing two other benefits with Wheels Up which are the boat ride with Barton & Gray and the up to four night stay at the Abaco Club. Additionally, they just added a benefit of a year as a Landry Select President's Club Status; we will see what this really means but we have a $100 gift card to use at least. We may also join the Wine Access program and received a free Bose portable speaker.

Some of the other benefits are meaningless for myself; Hertz Presidents Circle which I already have and prefer National anyway, Founders Card which didn't seem to offer any benefit when I had it a while back, HeliFlite benefit which isn't bad but I fly Blade anyway, and a few others. I haven't found their Concierge to be of anything significant, I've only ever found a benefit with Amex Platinum/Centurion concierge getting a table at a restaurant that was booked etc. I'd be curious to hear stories about the Concierge (subbed to Four Hundred) that were able to pull off feats not attained by what I can do with a Google search or otherwise though. Granted it was a pandemic but I've found their Events to be a weak spot to date. Thus far we had an experience with Porsche to try out the new Taycan and I attended their Art Basel party but there wasn't anything else in the over 1.5 years I've been a member. I mention this to compare against Inspirato which has excelled at events. We've done at least a dozen of them, during the pandemic they've had several really fun virtual cooking classes and just started offering in person events again.

Overall, the experience thus far has been well worth it and I recommend the membership especially to those who do not live in a highly member saturated area (LA especially it seems and perhaps NYC, where you may struggle to get an empty leg).

Like dval44, I'm happy to answer any questions for those interested in a membership or curious.

Would you be willing to split CORE membership with 1 other person 50/50? I am not a frequent flier due to my location in Memphis (very limited flights), but am moving to Atlanta for work, so will have much more access. Let me know if you would like to discuss!
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