Available at Costco: your own private jet subscription

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The wholesale retailer offers its members a 12-month subscription to the Wheels Up private jet service. It’s priced high at $ 17,499.99 (it’s a private jet subscription, after all), but it includes $ 3,500 Costco (COST) Shop Card, a $ 4000 flight credit and access to exclusive events.

Subscribers will also receive a one-year subscription to Inspirato, which offers luxury vacation rentals, as well as “guaranteed aircraft availability nationwide for up to 365 days a year.” This means that you can book a flight with 24 hours notice.

But there is a catch. The $ 17,500 includes only the right to book the flights, but does not include the costs of the flights themselves. Members can either “pay as they fly” or purchase an additional “fund program” – not sold through Wheels Up – which offers lower fares and lower billable flight times.

Wheels Up, a private aviation company that aims to make private flying “more accessible,” operates a fleet of more than 300 aircraft and has access to more than 1,250 partner aircraft, according to the product description on the website. Costco.

There is also a cheaper option. Customers can purchase a one-year membership for $ 1994.99, almost 80% less than the cost of the full membership, but that doesn’t include the frills and thrills of a Costco shopping card. , flight credit and luxury vacation subscription.

While Costco is known for its low-cost bulk items and attracts the middle class, it also attracts a more affluent customer base. For example, multimillionaire Senator Mitt Romney is a fan. In an interview with Fox News during his presidential campaign in 2012, Romney boasted that he enjoyed buying three packs of Costco’s Kirkland shirts.

The shopping club also offers expensive engagement rings, caskets, and even a chicken coop duplex.

Private jet memberships come as many people were afraid to fly during the Covid-19 pandemic. But it also paved the way for other alternatives that minimize contact, like flying and booking a private jet – a luxury mostly reserved for the ultra-rich.

Wheels Up promises “uncompromising safety” for its passengers, including twice daily temperature checks for crew members, routine disinfection between flights and fresh air ventilation.

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