Thinking of chartering a private jet but unsure of where to start? Private jet charters are growing in popularity to the point where there are now plane shortages. Despite this, the number of new flyers continues to soar, no doubt fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.
Avoiding the hassle of airport checks, flexible traveling and privacy are some of the benefits of using a private jet charter.
As the demand grows, fake travel sites and illegal flights are increasingly a problem. These are not amateur websites but are often professional with stolen logos to make them look authentic. But doing prior research will ensure that you avoid falling for these types of scams or putting your safety at risk.
So before you book your next flight, here are some private jet charter tips on essential questions you should be asking.
Some of the most important questions you should be asking are safety-related ones. Getting access to safety records and information on any past accidents will give you an idea of how reliable a private airline is. Legitimate private jet charters should also be listed under local regulations.
You can also find out the ownership of the aircraft and ask for a copy of the FAA 135 Operating Certificate. This will allow you to check if the certificate matches with the management company. The FAA website is also a great resource for checking important aircraft information such as the type of aircraft, the owner, etc.
Lastly, remember to ask if they have insurance and whether it covers you and any extra passengers. Operators should have a copy of the Certificate of Insurance containing the aircraft’s tail number. You can use this to cross-check with aircraft details.
Consider doing some research into the length of time the company has been in operation. This shouldn’t be much of a concern if they are FAA-certified but it doesn’t hurt to find out more before committing.
The size of the operation will generally give you a good idea of how much experience the company has. Do they operate a single aircraft or do they manage a whole fleet of planes?
For most, a small fleet may not appear to be an issue. However, if any maintenance problems arise you will want to know if there is a backup plan in place such as a replacement aircraft.
Otherwise, you might find yourself stuck and having to arrange an alternative flight – both a hassle and an added expense.
Types of Charter Planes
If the operator has a large fleet of planes, you can inquire about the types of aircraft options available. The comfort level, the number of seats, schedule, and destination will determine whether there are any suitable options. Once you’ve made a decision, you may want to find out the aircraft’s manufacturing date and any major upgrades or maintenance issues.
There are a few programs that handle aircraft maintenance, so be sure to find out which program the private operator uses. Some of the more common aircraft maintenance programs include ICAO, CAMP, and AAIP – different operators may use alternative ones.
The most important thing to note is whether the aircraft are regularly maintained and there is a record of it.
For extra peace of mind, you may want to look into how emergencies are managed. A responsible operator will always have a contingency plan in place and be able to give you a thorough breakdown of it.
International Private Jet Charters
Not all operators within the US fly internationally as some only focus on domestic flights. If you have plans on flying abroad, then you should check if the operator has experience in international flights.
An operator that is well versed in flying outside of the United States will be far more familiar with customs laws. So the chances of encountering problems on arrival will be much lower.
Long-running operators usually have regular audits that are carried out by an independent organization. This includes inspecting the aircraft maintenance and the flight crew training. The private jet charter should receive a copy of the audit report which you can ask to view.
Does the operator have a large team of flight crew and do they have yearly training on safety procedures? Each company will have its own rules regarding the number of flights its crew can operate in a given time frame. But generally, the minimum amount of rest between flights is 10 hours for the flight crew.
For example, if you have a series of long-haul flights and a tight schedule, then you will need enough crew available to swap around. However, if you only have access to one set of flight crew then you will need to factor in enough time for the crew to rest.
Make sure that the quote includes any additional fees. Because you might discover some unexpected add-ons appearing on the final bill. Extra charges might include catering fees, permits, ground staff, and fuel costs.
Other terms and conditions to be aware of include the refund policy and any rules around flight rescheduling. If you have pets then you will need to find out if animals are allowed in the cabin and if there is an extra cost.
Private Jet Charter Process
Now that you have gathered some background information on different private jet charters, it’s time to book. There are two ways to do this, the first is directly through an operator that manages their fleet and the other a broker.
Brokers are a good choice if you frequently fly to many locations but with limited time for research. But, this does come at a higher cost in comparison to chartering directly.
Up-to-date information, cost savings, and flexibility are just some of the advantages of booking directly with a private jet charter. If you’re looking for an aviation partner that puts your needs and comfort first, then contact us today to find out more.