It pays to be rich. While many of us find the price of niceties is not very kind to our wallets, private jet companies, yacht builders and luxury hotel groups are offering freebies and deals worth thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars to UHNW clients.

“Luxury brands seek to create a seamless experience for their top-tier guests by collaborating with complementary brands that not only make the experience extraordinary, but also generate compelling economic value,” says Milton Pedraza, CEO of The Luxury Institute.

A spokesperson for travel agency group Virtuoso recently told CNBC that 5-star hotel rates this July are 85% higher than 2019.

Pedraza adds, “The collaborations can inspire demand and help to mitigate some of the major price increases that consumers have absorbed over the past few years.”

The partnerships are also a cost-effective way to reach similarly deep-pocketed customers, plus they generate plentiful lifestyle media coverage like this.

The latest example comes from Marriott International’s New York City luxury group properties. Guests staying in select top suites for two nights or longer through Sept. 2, 2024 have the possibility of free roundtrip helicopter transfers between John F. Kennedy or Newark Liberty International Airport, plus transportation to and from Manhattan’s East 34th Street or West 30th Street heliports and their hotel. Blade’s website values a one-way flight for a helicopter accommodating up to six passengers at around $1,800 each way.

The St. Regis New York, JW Marriott Essex House New York, W New York—Union Square, The New York Edition, The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad, and The Luxury Collection Hotel Manhattan Midtown are included.

Of course, getting something free doesn’t come cheap. A two-bedroom Executive Penthouse at The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad is $17,235 for two nights in August if you prepay and book a non-refundable, non-changeable rate, per the hotel’s website.

A Sky Suite at The Luxury Collection Hotel Manhattan Midtown (which recently switched from Hilton’s Conrad brand) qualifies for the promotion. It was just under $3,000 for two nights.

Nicholas Air, which sells jet cards, introduced a new program around its latest addition, the Gulfstream G600. Steel Jet Card clients get complimentary stays at a 14,000-square home on a 150-acre ranch along the Blue Ribbon River near Missoula, Montana. A private island in the Bahamas is under development.

In a promotion that ended last month, Boston-based Magellan Jets gave jet card buyers a complimentary one-year trial membership to luxury travel club Inspirato. The membership was valued at $7,800, although you would have had to lay out six figures to get it. Hourly jet card prices have stabilized, but are 29% higher than 2020, according to an analysis by Private Jet Card Comparisons.

Wheels Up revamped its memberships in June. The Delta Air Lines-backed private jet flight provider is now offering a complimentary Diamond Medallion membership on the airline for every $100,000 a customer deposits towards future flights. Upgraded Points values the status at $5,000 to $10,000, and it typically takes $28,000 of spending to earn that tier level. The Wheels Up promotion caps you at four Diamond cards, and beginning Aug. 20, 2024, buyers need to spend 12,000 Medallion Qualifying Dollars, known as MQDs to get the full benefits, including access to Sky Club lounges.

Sentient Jet may be the grand master of luxury swag. Every year, the jet card seller issues a catalog of discounts and deals from a host of partners. It estimates that this year’s Exclusive Benefits Guide provides over $225,000 in value from hotels to restaurants and even sunglasses. There is a free fly fishing adventure in Aspen on the Roaring Fork River and a three-hour off-road tour with guides from The Little Nell exploring Richmond Ridge, and viewing some of the tallest mountains in Colorado.

Inside the velvet ropes access is another key component of the marketing.

A Ferretti Group and Flexjet partnership gives the yacht builder’s customers access to the fractional private jet operator’s aircraft and private terminals. Buying a share in a private jet is typically a multi-million investment. Flexjet customers get invites to boat shows, factory tours and “preferential terms on Riva Brand Experience line products and accessories.”

NetJets’ partnership with The R&A as its official private jet provider gives customers VIP entrance to The Open Championship, which will be played this month at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland.

Denver-based jet card broker OneFlight International known for its television ads with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway and Shark Tank’s Robert Herjavec used its sponsorship of The American Express pro-am in January so clients could tee-off alongside PGA golfers.

VistaJet’s upcoming Private World events, where its customers pay extra to attend, include the Singapore and Abu Dhabi F1 races, a Giorgio Armani Fashion Show, the Glastonbury Festival and the Princess Grace Foundation Awards Gala. A recent weekend itinerary at the 24 Hours of Le Mans included intimate dinners as well as a birds eye venue to view the race. It was priced at just under $20,000 without flights. Those range from $15,000 to $30,000 per hour, and its membership requires buying at least 75 hours over a three-year contract.

At the same time, companies need to be careful in how these programs are promoted and executed. The UHNWs they are seeking to coddle could get upset if there are too many restrictions or if there are seemingly never enough spots to accommodate demand.

Then again, not all of the offers are about consuming more luxury goods and services. AeroAngel has partnerships with NetJets, Nicholas Air and flyExclusive, enabling their jet card customers to donate unused flight hours to transport seriously ill children for necessary medical treatments. The program has generated $4.5 million of in-kind donations over 13 years.

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