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Virgin Charter revolutionizes private charters

Can't tolerate airline delays, lost luggage or steerage seating? Sir Richard Branson has an offer that will have you clinking your martini glasses in delight.

Virgin CharterVirgin CharterA shy 25 years after a he chartered a jet to fly 50 of his closest business partners from Beef Island, Tortola to Puerto Rico (because of a canceled flight) the Virgin genius launched his very own private charter company earlier today.

Chasing the $30 billion market that services private jet flyers, Branson's sure he has another winner on his hands. According to Virgin Charter, "the smarter way to charter," will revolutionize how you book your next private flight.

"Until now, booking on-demand charter has been a cumbersome process and flyers didn't always know what they were getting," said Scott Duffy, CEO, Virgin Charter.

Travelocity is the exclusive travel agency for Virgin Charter and will access approximately 100 operators booking flights on more than 1,000 planes.

"Virgin Charter is a natural fit in our suite of corporate VIP and Meetings services," said Lesley Harris, president of Travelocity Business.

If you're on the hunt for a private flight, you'll be able to search on price, plane type, operator and flyer reviews. You can even narrow your search to planes that allow smoking and pets.

"Hot Deals" or "Empty Legs" targets the last minute luxury traveler. You can hitch a ride with a flight that's been partially booked through a bartering system. Everyone likes to haggle over price, it seems.

But there's a risk. Book a flight on "Empty Legs" and you're at the mercy of the original booker. If she changes the time of take off or cancels completely, you're out of luck.

And it's a green idea, because it fills up planes that are flying anyway. Okay, the green concept is a bit of stretch considering the planes usually hold less than a dozen people (compared with commercial jets that carry hundreds).

Victoria Pratt, Melissa George, Natasha Henstridge and Claudia Black will probably jump on the Empty Legs bandwagon but Paris and her buddy Britney may need a little convincing to green up their travel.

Ever flown a private jet? Was hard to go back to steerage on your next flight?

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