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Best semi-private flights in the US

If you can cope with traveling at short notice, it's possible to score a semi-private flight for less than the price of a commercial trip.

Written by
Andrew Hirschfeld
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If you’re headed to an airport this summer or planning to get away in the fall, it’s frankly a gamble if you’d make it to your destination on time – if at all. (These are the airlines with the worst delays.) Amid staffing shortages, flights have been canceled left and right. So, if you are looking to get away (maybe you're finally headed to a bucket-list destination) you may want to consider on demand semi-private flights instead. 

We know what you're thinking, but it’s actually more affordable than you might think. Some flights might even be cheaper than treating yourself to that upgraded seat on a commercial airline (or Virgin's sexy new seating for two). Intrigued? Here are our favorite options. 

Best semi-private flights

Ready to live the luxe life? This short-haul alternative to major airlines even has its own private terminals. The best part? You can arrive as soon as 20 minutes before your flight and prices are often cheaper than you’d get on major carriers. We found flights from Dallas to Denver hundreds of dollars cheaper than the same route on American Airlines. Unfortunately flights are fairly limited and at harder to reach airports. From New York, for example, JSX only offers flights to Miami and it departs from Westchester County Airport.

This Arizona-based airline operates small jets with less than 20 passengers. To hop on a plane you'll need a membership which $99.95 monthly, so it’s better for those who get away rather frequently, but from there you can get some pretty reasonably priced flights across the country. (A sem-private six-hour flight for $700, sure, why not?) Though, the carrier mostly services the Southwest and West Coast, including Cabo San Lucas. Looks like your next international adventure just got a little fancier. 

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Aero is a first-class alternative airline service for West Coasters serving destinations like Los Angeles and San Francisco with connections to top notch resort towns like Aspen, Sun Valley and Los Cabos. Aero planes offer first class-style seating and its private terminals have stellar lounges. A flight from L.A. to Aspen in August will set you back $1,200, but that's about the sae price as a first-class ticket on United Airlines and you'll deal with significantly less people. Traveling abroad? The carrier offers a similar service in Europe.

This private jet company offers more flights and more destinations than its competitors and allows travelers to book a seat or even charter a whole flight. That said, it's not the cheapest option on this list. Some flight prices are on par with a first class ticket on a major airline while others can range upwards of $10,000. [gulp] The company does have an app accessible to its members which lets you find other people who may want to hop on and help you 'crowdfund' the cost of a flight. 

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Surfair's options include on-demand charter flights around the world (although those are far from cheap) and semi-private scheduled flights. Right now flights between L.A. and San Francisco start at $469 – much lower than a first class ticket on United Airlines, for example, but much higher than the $60 cost on a budget airline. So what makes it worth your while? 1) You can pull up to the plane 15 minutes before take off without worry 2) You know they're not going to delay, cancel, or lose your luggage. 

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