New Hampshire-based PJS Private Jet Services Group brokers private jets -- hooking planes up with passengers for a one-time, up-front price.
"Private aviation is becoming more commonplace because there are more programs now," says PJS CEO Greg Raiff, a 23-year top broker whose business includes several college and professional sports teams. "Thanks to the Internet, there are now 500 companies that can arrange something for you."
Typically, an aircraft that can fly about 10 passengers round trip from New York City to Los Angeles could cost about $54,000. A smaller jet that seats about seven might cost $26,000 round trip from Philadelphia to Austin, Texas.
Split the cost among the passengers, and it's comparable to the price of some luxury cruises -- and a possible option to celebrate an important life-event such as a golden anniversary or a retirement party.
Fractional share programs such as NetJet have been around for a while, offering travelers the less expensive option of buying shares of a jet instead of buying the whole thing.
Share programs often come with "jet cards." Prepay tens of thousands of dollars onto your card in exchange for the convenience of dialing an 800 number and ordering a jet. "That was a real industry game-changer," says Raiff. "It made booking a jet as easy as ordering a pizza."
One downside, says Raiff: You have to pay well in advance.
Many jet cards start at a minimum of $100,000, but Delta Private Jets offers a more affordable $25,000 card. Give them at least 48 hours notice, and they'll get you a plane, says DPJ President Cyril Turner.
One upside, says Turner: You're protected against rising prices.
"People can lock in today's rate even if there are future increases," Turner says. "With the cost of Jet A fuel approaching $6 a gallon and a burn rate approaching -- depending on the plane type -- 200 gallons an hour, that gets pretty costly."
Delta Private Jets charges about $5,000 per hour for jets seating up to eight people. Rates start at $9,800 per hour for jets seating up to 14 people.
BlackJet offers an even more creative idea: "semi-private" flying, CNNMoney reports. BlackJet books business class planes from carriers such as JetSelect and sells the seats individually. A BlackJet seat on a Challenger 300 from New York to L.A. might cost around $3,500.
Development of the G650 survived a crisis 2011, when one of the jets crashed during a takeoff performance test in New Mexico, killing two Gulfstream pilots and two flight test engineers. Federal investigators blamed Gulfstream's testing process. During the investigation, Gulfstream temporarily shut down its G650 test planes. But 17 months later, the G650 received FAA certification.
Now, Gulfstream has more than 200 customers waiting to get their hands on a G650. So far, only about a half dozen have been delivered to customers. As they roll out, plane spotters are on site, snapping photos and posting them online.
"If you call Gulfstream and ask, 'When can I get a G650?' It's four or five years off," says Henn.
Unfortunately for Henn, enjoying his G650 won't be an option for the time being. Ultimately, he says, he's a businessman, and the plane is an investment. He leased the jet back to Gulfstream so the company can use it as a demonstration model. "It's on its way to China," Henn says. "It's supposedly going to set a round-the-world record."
There's a hint of disappointment in Henn's voice, above the sounds of revving engines at the Daytona track. "Sorry, it's time to get back to it," he explains. His Enzo Ferrari is beckoning.
"I'm going to take my Enzo back out on the track, and then I'm finished for today," he says. "Then I'm going back to work."