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By JOE SHARKEY
The New York Times
HOW much? For corporations and individuals headed to New Orleans for the Super Bowl this weekend, the answer is: a lot.
Chris Gash Super Bowl weekend and related pregame activities represent the biggest single-event corporate travel and entertainment spending spree of any year.
This year, the Super Bowl will probably generate about $185 million in local spending by visitors on hotels, meals and entertainment, according to a report released on Monday by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
That’s an increase of almost 25 percent from the $150 million that the firm estimated was spent in Indianapolis during Super Bowl week last year. But it’s down from the $200 million spent in Dallas for the 2011 Super Bowl, where a new stadium and two teams with big followings, the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, helped increase spending despite a slack economy.
Adam W. Jones, the director of the sports and tourism sector at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said the increase over last year was an affirmation of perceptions about a successful recovery in New Orleans.
So what are your prospects for finding a last-minute hotel room in New Orleans for the weekend? You’re pretty much out of luck — unless you have a prime contact at the National Football League or its corporate affiliates, which long ago booked more than 25,000 of the estimated 37,000 hotel rooms in the area.
On Monday, the only hotel accommodations I could find in New Orleans were at LaPlace Motel near the airport (a motel about which a review last year on Hotels.com says succinctly, “It’s cheap and we needed a dog friendly so we pick this one.”) LaPlace could still accommodate you (and your dog) on Saturday and Sunday night for $839.48. But come back a week later and the Saturday and Sunday night price is $169 — a difference that would cover a lot of dog biscuits.
Some Super Bowl packages offered by brokers include game tickets costing more than $7,000 each (one offers a luxury suite that holds about 30 people for $300,000). Another offered a room for two at a modest three-star hotel and two end-zone tickets for $14,000.
Airlines have also raised prices for the Super Bowl — at least in the markets for the two teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.
On Monday, San Francisco-to-New Orleans round-trip coach fares were listed in the $1,300 to $2,000 range on booking sites like Orbitz and Travelocity. But it always pays to check the airlines’ Web sites. On Monday morning, American Airlines still had an available flight departing San Francisco on Saturday and returning on Monday at $560 for the cheapest coach seat and $1,013 for first class. But a few hours later, American’s Web site listed no available flights.
Of course, you could always fly private. Super Bowl destinations always experience a big influx of corporate jets. And assuming you don’t already have your own corporate or private jet, or at least a fractional share in one, it also pays to shop around. This year, demand for private flights to the Super Bowl is “just not as high as we’ve seen in the past,” said Chet Dudzik Jr., the president of JetWay Private Air, a broker for charter flights on private jets of all models. Last year, with the Super Bowl played by teams from New York and Boston, a record of about 1,100 private jets descended on Indianapolis. This year, with teams from smaller markets playing, flights and parking slots for planes at area airports were still available.
How much? Well, there’s a vast range of prices for chartering a private jet, often with numerous extra fees to cover things like fuel and repositioning a plane or crew. JetWay Private Air, which Mr. Dudzik says has “no surprises” in hidden fees, was offering charter flights at these prices last week: For a light-jet round-trip flight seating six to eight passengers between San Francisco and New Orleans, $34,998. For big heavy-jet models, with cabins seating 10 to 16 people, $71,998.
Private jets also offer the convenience of using general aviation airports to avoid the hassles of commercial airports. For one thing, there are no Transportation Security Administration checkpoints. Instead, after being cleared against security watch lists, passengers simply stroll on board.
On the other hand, commercial airlines will be taking off as usual from New Orleans right after the game. But for security reasons, the Federal Aviation Administration imposes special restrictions on noncommercial flights in airspace over New Orleans in the hours before, during and immediately after the Super Bowl. Traffic jams for private planes trying to take off on Sunday night are notorious.
For clients who insist on leaving right after the game rather than staying the night, “you just have to warn people” about takeoff delays, Mr. Dudzik said. “We’ll order additional complimentary catering, a few extra bottles of wine or more food,” he said. Crews are trained to deal with impatient passengers, often wealthy individuals who “are able to control a lot of things in their lives, and who think they can control when they depart right after the game — but they just can’t.”
Oh well, as Gilda Radner usually said woefully in character as Roseanne Roseannadanna years ago on “Saturday Night Live”: “It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.”
Pay-As-You-Go Model for Private Jetting Offers Best Rates, Service and Flexibility
GREENWICH, CT–(Marketwire – Oct 17, 2012) – JetWay Private Air, the buy-as-you-fly, on demand private jet service, announces expansion of its operations to include the opening of a new Florida office at 1800 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Unlike jet companies that offer fractional and card models, JetWay Private Air’s pay-as-you-go model with no upfront costs or deposits or commitments, has led to impressive and consistent growth of more than 25% in each of the past 3 years. Since 2006, JetWay Private Air has been saving discerning private flyers millions of dollars, delivering the highest safety and standards along with a wide choice of aircraft and cost savings on every trip. With the new Florida office, in addition to corporate headquarters in Greenwich, CT, JetWay Private Air will have senior management and staff on the ground to service a large and growing number of its domestic and Latin American clients as well as the growing number of corporate clients in the Florida region that access Southern Florida at its multiple airports including Miami International (MIA), Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL), Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF), Tamiami Airport (TMB) and Ocean Reef Airport (07FA).
JetWay Private Air offers private flight services with access to thousands of airports around the globe. JetWay Private Air is also working with and seeking additional partners, such as high end hotels and small to mid-sized businesses who serve the affluent and provide luxury market items and services.
Founded by a team of veteran private aviation, operations and legal experts, the new JetWay Miami based office is being initially managed by company Founder and CEO, Chet Dudzik Jr. Dudzik has spent the past 27 years in the private aviation industry having been Head of Sales at Marquis Jet before founding JetWay Private Air.
“I created JetWay Private Air to expose the inefficiencies of the current private jet business models, with a mission to offer customers the safety, service, and flexibility they require at the industry’s lowest cost,” said Dudzik.
JetWay Private Air’s model delivers a higher level of service and safety with lower cost, thanks to an on demand charter solution that is customized and cost-negotiated for each specific trip, granting the flexibility to accommodate unpredictable scheduling, changes, and special requests, including a broad choice of aircraft. JetWay Private Air serves a variety of clientele from Fortune 500 companies, to athletes, celebrities, Venture Capitalists and bankers, each receiving the utmost in service, safety protection and privacy.
About JetWay Private Air
JetWay Private Air offers a different model for private jet flying with the lowest cost per hour in the industry. The JetWay model is simple: pay as you fly, no deposits required and no upfront costs. Hourly flight cost is determined trip by trip, saving private jet customers up to 60% compared to fractional and card options thanks to the DNA formula: the D stands for destination; the N stands for the number of days in your itinerary (from the time you leave until the time you return); and the A stands for the average number of occupied flight hours per day of your itinerary.
President Chet Dudzik, Jr. Quoted for JetWay as a Premier Charter Broker
USE A BROKER TO FIND YOU THE BEST DEAL
If you don’t have the time or inclination to hunt online for empty legs or to organize your own charter flight, you can hire a broker to do it for you. For a commission, independent private jet brokers can act as your agent to solicit bids for the flight you want from jet companies they have vetted and negotiate the best rate.
They can also help walk you through the fine print of the contract. “If something happens with your child or your health and you can’t fly, you need to have a reputable broker who can be your advocate,” said Chet Dudzik Jr., president of JetWay Private Air. “If that broker or agent has a good relationship with the charter company, the chances are good you can cancel.” In addition, he said, “We assume every aircraft won’t take off, so we have a recovery aircraft in place,” and no one is left on the ramp.
Read the full article at:http://travel.nytimes.com/