Wheels Up vs. TapJets - Cost Per Flight Hour and Programs Comparison

   When it comes to private jet flight costs, there are a few things that you have to consider. The important ones are flight safety, reliability, access to and availability of the right aircraft for your mission.  Both Wheels Up and TapJets and the partner aircraft operators who perform their flights meet or exceed the requirements. We are taking a deep dive to compare the two Companies.

   With Wheels Up membership-based program and TapJets on-demand instant private jet charter booking platform both rapidly growing, and both are competing to offer you access to the best-in-class air charter operator fleets by using their respective programs.  We wanted to take a moment to point out what sets TapJets apart in this in-depth comparison of the two.

   Both companies offer similar perks but with varying pricing structures, which is why we're going to show you exactly what each company has included in their offerings and what may be of interest to you based on your flight missions.

Comparison Summary


Feature / Offering

Wheels Up


Aircraft Operator Safety Ratings

Argus Gold, Platinum & Wyvern Wingman 

Argus Gold, Platinum & Wyvern Wingman

Safety Audit Report

On Request

Required for each flight

Light Aircraft / Price Per Hour


$4,730 (15% less)

Mid Category Aircraft / Price Per Hour


$5,530 (15% less)

Heavy Category Aircraft / Price Per Hour


$9,340 (15% less)

Mobile App

Instant Booking and Confirmation





Rewards Program

Delta Medallion Status and SkyMiles  

Hours Credits for Each Hour Flown

Blackout dates



Minimum Time from booking to Departure - Domestic

8 hours

2 hours

Minimum time from booking to Departure - International

24 hours

6 hours

Payment Options


Conventional and Cryptocurrency

Allowing others to share in the cost of your flight (crowdsourcing)

Not Available

JetShare Platform

Guaranteed Major Event Landing Times / Slots

On Request

Guaranteed Availability


Wheels Up Business Model

   Wheels Up, the leading brand in private aviation, is the only company in the industry to offer a total private aviation solution that includes world-class safety, service, and flexibility through on-demand private flights across all cabin categories, membership programs, corporate solutions, aircraft management, and whole aircraft sale.

   Wheels Up Connect, Core, and Business memberships provide enhancements such as flight sharing, empty-leg Hot Flights, Shuttle Flights, Shared Flights, signature Wheels Down events, and exclusive member benefits from preeminent lifestyle brands. 

   Wheels Up mobile application allows for some of their shuttle and shared flights to be booked online, however for most on demand and off-fleet trips the followup is required.

https://investors.wheelsup.com/overview/ https://s27.q4cdn.com/682800059/files/doc_financials/2021/q1/WUPH_3-31-21_FINAL.pdf

TapJets Business Model

   TapJets is the largest private jet platform with the capability to instantly price, book, and confirm your private jet flight in seconds. Operating in the United States and Europe, TapJets is connected to a fleet of over 6920 private jets flown by over 920 FAA or EASA certificated air carriers. 

   These highly qualified, safety audited, and technologically connected operators create the largest virtual fleet of light, mid, and long-range jets that are available to you at a moment's notice.

   The simplicity of booking is only surpassed by the ease of paying for your flight. Since 2016, TapJets has accepted all forms of payments, including Bitcoin, Etherium, and other digital currencies.

   Using the latest in logistics and route optimization technologies, TapJets helps operators realize tremendous savings on fuel, overnight stays, repositioning, and other fees caused by inefficient aircraft utilization. In return, the operators offer TapJets deeply discounted rates.

   The JetShare platform that finally delivers on the failed competitor's promises of democratizing aviation is a transparent and most efficient way to realize the flight-sharing business model in the modern social sharing era.

   With JetShare, eligible members can share or offer their extra seats to the JetShare community and have full control in accepting seat prices and approving guest passengers with whom they'll share their flight. JetShare is a groundbreaking jet alternative that provides a comprehensive flight experience to people who travel independently or with a group. This smart-functioning platform aids members when looking for the best deals on suitable routes and offers them to the JetShare community.

Wheels up Offerings within their fleet and on-demand private charter






One-Time Initiation Fee




Annual Dues (starting year 2)




Authorized Lead Passengers





All of the other benefits mostly overlap with the Core membership.

Customers can either “pay as you fly” or purchase a Fund Program to lock in lower rates and lower billable flight time.

Depending on how much a customer commits through the Fund Program, the customer may be able to get additional perks, such as confirmed one-category jet upgrades.

Wheels Up King Air 350i



Wheels Up Citation Excel



Wheels Up Citation X



Light Jet



Midsize Jet



Super-Mid Jet



Large-Cabin Jet




24/7 Membership Services Team


Dedicated Account Manager


Shared Flights

Shuttle Flights

Hot Flights

Wheels Down Events

Signature Events Only

Wheels Down Benefits

Select Benefits

Wheels Down Concierge


Inspirato Membership

Inspirato Hot Nights

*300 days of King Air 350i guaranteed availability for a Core Membership.





TapJets Offerings for on-demand charter and JetShare

   On-Demand Charter What originally started as an Uber of Private jets model,  TapJets has mastered the simplicity of online pricing, booking, and charter confirmation with the ability to have you flying away on 2-hour notice or less for regular clients. TapJets platform has no black-out dates, and customers enjoy guaranteed aircraft availability.

   There are no commitments, no membership fees, and no advanced booking required. The TapJets instant booking platform can locate the nearest available aircraft within seconds and secure the reservation instantly. With instant access to thousands of Argus Platinum or Gold safety audited aircraft operators and crews, the savings that come with route efficiencies are passed to our customers.

   The system is efficient to the point that if you are traveling for a four-day trip, TapJets can secure both outbound and return flights on the same type of aircraft.  Instead of you paying for overnight stays, airport parking fees, and crew hotels, you realize thousands of dollars in savings compared to a single private jet plane performing the same mission. 

   The table below reflects TapJets platform efficiency and substantial savings in each aircraft category compared to current market rates.


Aircraft Market



Light Jets Per Hour



Mid-Size Jet Per Hour



Heavy Jet Per Hour




   You can see more detailed private jet price comparisons in our recent blog article titled Private Jet Charter Cost - Most accurate pricing for Chartering Private Jet in 2021.

   JetShare Membership Options. JetShare was created for private flyers who want to share the aircraft with other program members as an intelligent alternative service. JetShare is a crowdsourcing service that allows members who have purchased a verified private jet charter flight and operators of the flight to offer them on a per-seat basis to the JetShare Community. 

   These flights are categorized as (1) Hosted flights are offered to members by another member (Host) who does not mind sharing his existing (booked and verified) trip with community members. (2) Curated flights are offered by community administrators based on other community members' route popularity or request. Displayed below are current JetShare Membership Programs:



   JetCard Options. Currently, TapJets does not offer JetCard options with the exception of special offers to existing clients where they can pre-purchase bulk of hours on a specific aircraft category. 

   New clients can pre-purchase hours to qualify into TapJets Rewards tier that offers additional benefits and immediately credits back substantial hours credits that make up for the JetCard savings. At TapJets, we believe that our ability to always find the best option for your next private jet charter trip outweighs the need for us to hold on to your money.

   TapJets Rewards.This scheme has been designed for private jet fliers that were previously investing in jet card memberships, and has no membership fees or upfront purchases. Users can receive upwards of 12 reward hours that can be redeemed toward future flight time. TapJets Rewards also provides higher tier members with additional VIP benefits, including free ground transportation and catering, and guaranteed aircraft availability, even during peak times. Current TapJets Rewards are as follows:



25 hours of flight time (in any type)


75 hours of flight time (in any type)


200 hours of flight time (in any type)

1 Reward Hour*

• As always, guaranteed in-app pricing and availability.

• Ability to select a specific model (if more than one is available for your trip).

• 24x7 Access to our Global Concierge Hotline to assist you with any travel-related matters.

Ability to trade your FREE hours to any other category at a fixed exchange rate.

4 Reward Hours*

• All Enthusiast benefits, plus.

• $100 in ground transportation credits for every flight.

• Guaranteed availability for special events.

• Early access to our most competitive Flight Auctions.

12 Reward Hours*

• All Enthusiast and Aficionado benefits, plus.

• Free ground transportation to and from airport locations.

• Free catering for every flight over two hours.

• Ability to combine flight reward hours from several travelers in your family or company.

*Same type or trade up to larger type from Propeller, Light Jet, Midsize Jet, or Long-Range Jet.


Price comparison for Light Jet, Mid-Size, and Long Range Aircrafts

   In a nutshell, users have the option of choosing between Long Range Jets, Midsize Jets, Light Jets, and Turboprop. When using the app, customers can ask for “door to door” service where all of their transportation needs on the ground and in the air will be taken care of, or “airport to airport,” which only includes the flights.

   TapJets also has an option to bid on private charter flights for deeper discounts. For those with flexible travel schedules, this could provide the perfect start to a luxury vacation. Below is the price comparison table between TapJets and its competitor.



TapJets® Rewards

Wheels Up

Membership Fee



Light Jet Per Hour



Mid-Size Jet Per Hour



Heavy Jet Per Hour



Additional information

10-hours minimum and no blackout dates

No block time purchase required


Safety Requirements 

   For both companies, all of the charter flights are operated by the fleet of FAA Part 135 certificated air carriers that maintain Argus and/or Wyvern Gold or Platinum ratings and are subject to industry audits. In addition to obtaining and verifying audits from Wyvern and Argus, TapJets operates the industry’s most comprehensive audit program and provides you with an audit report before each flight. 

   There are 1096 FAA certificated air carriers in the United States and both companies use the same charter flight operators when it comes to on-demand charter operations.. It should be noted that Wheels Up has special relationship with Gamma Aviation (operator) which handles the bulk of their flights and operator Wheels UP leased aircraft for their on-fleet members (Kingair and Citations) 

   Outside of this arrangement the price competition simply becomes a technology play. The company with the best technology and logistics will always deliver more optimized price and savings to its customers. 

   This is where we at TapJets excel, and our prices speak for themselves. Therefore, Tapjets ensures safety is  in our DNA by holding active Argus Gold, Platinum, and Wyvern Wingman ratings.


   Argus Rating. ARGUS International Inc. (ARGUS) is a specialized global aviation service company whose mission is to provide the aviation marketplace with the information needed to make informed decisions and manage risk associated with charter planes.

When it comes to Argus or ARG/US (Aviation Research Group/US) ratings, there are three different rating levels::


  • Gold Rating. The Gold Rating is given to operators who have an operating certificate for a minimum of one year, at least one turbine aircraft on certificate, in-depth historical safety analysis, passed the pilot background check, and aircraft operational control validation.
  • Gold Plus Rating. This badge is granted to operators who have attained the Gold Rating and have also completed ARGUS on-site audit with uncorrected findings.
  • Platinum Rating.  This is the topmost level among Argus ratings. To be given the Platinum Rating, the operator must be experienced and meet the criteria for Gold Rating along with ARGUS on-site audit with no or corrected findings, emergency response plan, and functioning safety management system.

   Wyvern Rating. Wyvern has partnered with the manned and unmanned aviation industries for over 30 years. Wyvern assists flight departments, operators and service providers, and brokers in their everyday safety, quality, and risk management through its robust safety intelligence database, experienced auditors, subject matter experts, and air safety education to help them make informed, risk-based decisions. 

Wyvern offers various certification and audit programs:

  • The Wingman Certification Program is a proprietary audit standard for those air charter operators who operate to a higher standard than minimum governmental regulations. Successfully passing the onsite audit results in Wingman Certification with a continuously monitored data program for 24 months when the audit term expires. 
  • The Registered with Wyvern Data Program for charter operators is not a safety standard, nor is it an audit program. Registered Wyvern operators maintain their aircraft, insurance, and pilot information on the Wyvern platform/


Sources of Information:



About Wheels Up Sources: 




Wheels Up is a registered trademark of Wheels Up Partners Holdings LLC,

August 10, 2021