Costco selling annual $17.5K private jet subscription

Want to go home for the holidays but are afraid to fly commercial because of the coronavirus pandemic? Costco has the solution.

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For $17,499.99, consumers can buy a one-year subscription to a private jet charter company that can book a flight “as easily as a ride-share or short-term vacation rental," the wholesale retailer said on the electronics portion of its website.

The cost to use the company, Wheels Up, is steep, but Costco adds a $3,500 Costco Shop Card, plus a $4,000 flight credit with every purchase. Costco promises that subscribers can receive guaranteed nationwide aircraft availability “up to 365 days a year.”

Other benefits include “dedicated account management,” and a one-year membership with Inspirato, a luxury vacation rental subscription service, according to the product description.

Members also have the option to buy an additional Fund Program with lower rates and cheaper billable fly times -- no, the subscription does not include the cost of individual flights, just the privilege of using the private jet service. Customers can also “pay as they fly,” the product description reads.

The Wheels Up fleet includes more than 300 private aircraft and more than 1,250 partner aircraft. The company said it has enhanced health and safety measures through its Safe Passage program, All Wheels Up aircraft receive an antimicrobial shield treatment at least every 90 days, the company’s website said.

The fleet of Wheels Up aircraft feature in-flight Wi-Fi, Gogo services for calls and texts, and a lavatory and refreshment center, The Washington Post reported.

Instead of High Efficiency Particulate Air filters (HEPA), the pressurization system of each aircraft fully changes cabin air with fresh air every three minutes, the newspaper reported.