Costco Wholesale is now offering annual memberships to private flight membership program Wheels Up on Costco.com. Offered at $17,500.00 for an annual individual membership, the purchaser is awarded a bonus $3,500 Costco Cash Card E-Voucher.
Membership regular price for individuals is $17,500 annually and corporations $29,500 annually according to Corporate Jet Investor. Annual dues (starting second year) are then $8,500 for individuals and $14,500 for corporations, plus a fixed hourly price for each hour flown – the cost per hour of getting on the King Air is $3,950 per hour and the Citation Excel/XLS is $6,950 per hour according to a report from the private aviation industry resource.
By comparison charter rates for the King Air 350 average around $2,000 per hour in the US including fees and surcharges, and charter rates for the Citation Excel/XLS average $3,850 per hour, according to Rick Colson, president of New Flight Charters, a nationwide leader with a best price guarantee on each flight. The Wheels Up program can be advantageous for those who (1) are frequent users – more than 100 hours per year to bring the total costs per hour down, and who (2) typically fly one-way flights or round trips over several or more days, according to Colson. “Look at your historical or expected usage and compare costs,” he says.
The Wheels Up fleet includes King Air 350i turboprops and Citation Excel/XLS midsize jets. Costco offers the Wheels Up memberships in their section for Holiday, Gifts & Tickets > Hotels & Tourist Attractions.
– Updated 12/15/16 to reflect Wheels Up price adjustments –
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