Friday, 14 October 2016

Define "Jaunt"

According to several dictionaries and Google's definition of the word, "jaunt" is defined as "a short excursion or journey for pleasure". I'm sure that many people have been on jaunts in their lives without knowing that they were as the word seems to be used less around me and in my circles. Regardless of the word's usage, I have been invited to experience Jaunt, the newest business idea out of the Winnipeg business- and executive-class airline Fast Air. Jaunt's entire goal is to provide distinctive travel experiences to its clients for a number of different occasions such as celebrations, client rewards, sports and music events, and much more. In other words, this will be a memorable trip to anywhere one wants to go for a short jaunt!

For the next three days, I will introduce you to Jaunt, attend and participate in one of their experiences, and give you my overall thoughts and comments on the experience. In full disclosure, they reached out to me as they were looking to get the word out about the new business venture with an offer, and I feel this experience is something that everyday folk like you and I may never have the chance of doing. My feedback and comments over the next three days are entirely my own thoughts and feelings about this experience, and I accepted nothing more than the experience offered to me by Jaunt in an effort to help market these unique experiences.

In other words, if something sucks about the experience, don't expect lipstick on a pig from me as I won't mince words. This is about the experience, and the company is not paying me nor are they soliciting any sort of favorable marketing quips. As you may have read before on this blog, if it's something that I don't like and I wouldn't use, why would I encourage others to like and/or use it? With that being written, let's take a look at Jaunt and its business.

Jaunt is an all-in-one service for those looking to attend distinctive events. Normally, Jaunt will take of everything: flight, accommodations, and the event. The airplane provided to your group will be one of Fast Air's business-class private planes, so you'll travel in style without any of the hassles of middle seats and cramped leg space as you'll find on commercial flights. The accommodation arrangements are usually close to the event site if necessary, but a number of events are same-day returns where you leave in the afternoon and return late in the evening.

So you're probably waiting with some anticipation for the news about what kind of events are offered. Jaunt already has some plans, so let's take a look at them.
As you can see, there are some pretty incredible events that Jaunt is planning. It should be noted that the price points per person listed above are based on the cost of a group of six people traveling to the events. This cost may come down if a group of eight travels to these events. The Boston Hockey Jaunt, for example, costs $1600 per person, and those costs include the return flight to and from Minneapolis/St. Paul on the same day, a limo to and from the airport to the XCel Energy Center in Minneapolis/St. Paul, tickets to see the Boston Bruins play the Minnesota Wild somewhere near center ice, and some eats prior to leaving at the terminal. Not bad, right?

The total costs may go up if two additional people attend the event due to needing additional tickets to the Bruins-Wild game, but the costs overall would be lower than the $1600-per-person pricing as the only additional costs incurred would be the extra tickets. So if eight people go to Boston instead of six, you may only pay $1400 per person as the costs get broken down over equal portions. Volume pricing works in your favor, so having a slightly larger group of people going to an event will result in some nice savings for each of your party.

Before you tell me I'm crazy and close this window, let's look at what you're getting on a piecemeal basis. We'll start with tickets to the game between the Bruins and Wild in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Jaunt offers unique experiences, so don't think you're sitting in the nosebleeds or in a corner at the rink. Tickets behind the players' benches at the XCel Energy Center will run you about $250 USD per ticket. Using today's exchange rate, that's a $328.50 ticket in Canadian funds. Per person.

Delta Airlines offers a flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul at 12:15pm on November 17 and a return flight to Winnipeg at 10:04pm. Leaving out the requirements to be at the airport an hour prior to check-in with the airline and all the security checks, your same-day return flight aboard Delta's commercial airline flight will set you back $830.10. Tack on another $200 USD for the ride to and from the arena to the airport, and that translates to another $262.80 CDN.

If you're doing the math and six people are booking their same-day trips to catch the Bruins and Wild battle on November 17, that's a total of $1421.40. Remember that the cost for the private plane, the rides to and from the arena, and the tickets through Jaunt is $1600 based on a six-person trip, and they take out all that extra airport time of check-ins and waiting for boarding calls. Would you be willing to spend $180 more for personalized, gate-to-gate service?

It becomes pretty clear to me that Jaunt is trying to make these excursions to amazing events as affordable as they can while providing some pretty nice perquisites. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? Well, tomorrow, I'll put this theory to the test as I travel to Minneapolis/St. Paul with Jaunt to take in the Minnesota Wild's home opener against the Winnipeg Jets. I will be taking a ton of photos and documenting the entire trip from start to finish when I arrive at the terminal at 1pm CT. I will write the article on the way home from the game via the chartered plane, and I'll post it sometime around 11:30pm CT upon landing.

So far, Jaunt's business plan and trip planning appear to be the real deal as they are very competitive with their pricing when compared to booking each piece individually. Tomorrow, we'll see if the theory works in a real-world practice!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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