Everyone would like to travel in luxury and on their own schedule. Private jet charter flights offer this opportunity. However, you may be new to the whole issue and need some help understanding the arrangements, costs and other issues of flying a private jet charter. The following is a set of questions and answers that will introduce you to this exciting travel possibility and will help you to make arrangements online.
A private jet charter flight is a trip on a jet where you purchase all the seats on the plane, and the plane travels to your choice of destination and on your schedule. There are pros and cons for both commercial flights and private jet charter flights. When you fly a commercial airline it is almost always going to be less expensive than the other option. It is even possible to find tickets that are less than $200 on a commercial flight, depending on your destination. While you might pay as much as $2,000 to fly internationally on a commercial flight, it is almost always going to be cheaper than the charter flight.
During inclement weather, a commercial plane that is larger may be able to take off while the smaller charter is grounded. While this is so, the charter plane is smaller and can be accommodated at even small airports. While the commercial flight will be cheaper, it has a lot of disadvantages when compared with the charter flight. When you fly commercially, there are long lines, layovers and other issues that eat up time. For instance, getting to a particular airport might take a long time. For most busy people, all of this can be a colossal waste of time. The scheduling of fights can also be an issue. Since you have to conform to a particular schedule, you may have to alter your calendar to fit it in. There is simply no room to conduct business on a commercial flight. Besides being uncomfortable, the flight crew can also overhear your private discussions. With respect to amenities, a commercial airline offers very little. Nowadays, you are lucky to even get drinks and a snack. Many times, because you are separated from your luggage, it can get lost. There are many luxuries that come with charter flights, and you can even have your transport drive you directly onto the tarmac. Finally, the image that comes along with a private jet can’t be beat when you are trying to impress others with your company. So, while a commercial flight is cheaper, charter flights save you time and hassles and can make travelling an enjoyable, luxurious experience.
What is Private Jet Rental?
Air charter brokers are much like travel agents that arrange all of the details of the trip. Sometimes a broker can save you money. There are various reasons that you might want to use a broker. Brokers have access to a large group of companies and know all of their details. They can help match the company to your particular needs. They can establish relationships with multiple carriers in multiple locations to deal with any transfers from company to company. They can help you out if you need to make last minute plans because of weather or personal scheduling needs. They have access to all of the safety and other information about the company that you choose. They have knowledge of FAA operational regulations and restrictions and make sure that the company is following them. They have knowledge about all of the necessary paperwork. This covers insurance issues, for instance.
How do you choose a broker?
Brokers are not regulated, although your state may have laws that they have to comply with. You need to select a broker that has knowledge of the whole area. Common errors are, for instance, if the broker arranges for you to go on a longer route than is necessary, costing you time and money. You should also check out the publication by the NBAA called Best Practices for Air Charter Brokering. It is a helpful guide. Using a qualified broker can cut down on the time it takes to make arrangements. A qualified broker will have all the knowledge necessary and the paperwork ready to deal with your trip.
How is the price set for your flight?
Those who fly privately nowadays have a lot of choices with respect to pricing. It has been noted that many companies are trying to bring the prices down. For instance, instead of paying an hourly rate of $2,500 you might find a package for the same amount per month. Since the recession, flight hours have been down on charter flights by 20%. The range is pretty wide for the hourly rate. It can be anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000 an hour. Companies charge different amounts, based on the size of the plane. A light jet costs less than a mid-size jet, and a heavy jet costs more than a mid-size jet. A light jet typically seats 6-8 people and has about 2-3 hours of range. Midsize jets can seat nine people comfortably and have about 3-4 hours of range. Heavy jets seat up to 14 and have a range of 7-9 hours or more. All of the amenities that come with the flight are charged for separate from the cost of the flight. You should always find out if there are any hidden costs or fees on the bill for your flight. You might be surprised with a bigger bill than expected.
Can you find big discounts on charter flights anywhere?
Articles on the internet claim that, in certain cases, you can fly on a private jet for the same cost that you would pay on a commercial airline. Websites have sprung up that are offering last-minute deals on unused inventory. Others are changing the cost structure of private plane travel to make it more affordable. The majority of these cheap offers are last-minute deals. Not everyone is able to make their plans at the last minute, however. Other companies are offering deals where you pay a certain price per month for unlimited flights to a certain location. These flights are more expensive than the last-minute deals. Apparently, the Northeast markets, California and the Northeast-to-Florida routes tend to have the most last-minute deals on them. A good idea is to do your search through a broker, as they have the most complete information on flights available.
What Are Empty leg charters?
An empty leg charter flight is a way to save money. What is meant by an empty leg is that there is an empty plane after it serves customers on a flight. The trip back to the home airport is empty. The savings is dramatic on these flights and can even be discounted by up to seventy percent sometimes. There are disadvantages to empty leg flights. Your scheduling for the flight is dependent on the initial flight. Therefore, you lose some of the flexibility that you would ordinarily have with a charter flight. You are also at the mercy of the prior flight. If it becomes delayed or cancelled, then you might have to make alternative arrangements. Also, the airport that you fly from or to may not be the best choice for you. In these ways, empty leg charters are somewhat like commercial flights. You can find empty leg flights through a carrier that you are familiar with. Most charter companies will have these flights available. Working through a broker is one possible way of getting these flights. The broker will be familiar with the routes of carriers and can help you locate a good flight. One thing you should know about empty leg flights is that their availability comes and goes with particular seasons and events. For instance, if there is a Super Bowl in a particular city, then there are probably going to be a lot of empty leg flights out of that city. Empty leg flights, since they save on total fuel usage and its effects on the environment, are a wise option if you care about environmental issues. It is true that you will need to be more flexible to take these flights, but the savings is a big plus.
How to Pick a Private Jet Rental Company?
To pick a company that does charter flights, you should not merely look them up in the phone book. Instead, use the web to locate directories of FAA authorized charter operators, brokers and their locations. You can also look at the various aircraft that they offer. Be wary of brokers that serve only as travel agents for other companies. This will needlessly add to your cost. If you wish to use one of these services for extra help, then do so. The next step is to validate the charter company. You should verify the claims that they make in their advertising. Make sure that they have FAA documentation, proper insurance and third party audits. If you can, visit the company. You can learn a lot about a company by meeting with its representatives. Look for good customer service. There should be one person who is in charge of your trip. Make sure they are helpful and responsive. Next, select an aircraft. Many times, a company will have pictures of their fleet on hand to peruse. Next, check up on your pilot. Check specifically what the minimum hours for flying a particular plane are. Different plane require different pilot hours. Generally speaking, every captain should have at least 5,000 total flight hours and three hundred hours in the specific plane. Finally, find out how much it will cost. Make sure that you get a clear quote. Nothing should be left vague to surprise you at a later time. Nonessentials like catering might be left up in the air, but everything else should be clarified.
Do Jet Card Programs Exist?
- Jet card programs offer debit-style cards that contain benefits that usually only come with part ownership of a jet. They give you one-way pricing, guaranteed access to a specific model of jet and concierge service. Also, card programs may offer roundtrip discounts, peak and off-peak rates and refundable deposits.
- Cards are only used when you are going to be flying regularly during the year. They are typically sold by both charter operators and brokers as well. All good card programs use auditing services that check planes and flight crews to ensure that they adhere to standards even higher than those of the FAA.
- The following variables apply when purchasing a card program: Two types of cards are available. You can purchase them by the dollar amount or by the number of hours that you want. The cards that go by the dollar amount are good for people who want access to the whole fleet of planes. Hourly rates vary with the aircraft category.
- Hourly cards are good for people who use only one category of plane and want to keep tabs on their available flight time. There are cards which restrict you to one type of aircraft, whereas others allow you to select from a whole fleet. The ones that are restricted to one type of plane sometimes charge a fee if you want to switch the type of plane you wish to fly. All cards have peak travel times when there may be added costs to fly.
- You might face other restrictions as well. You should keep in mind that a card with more flexibility generally will cost you more money. What must be kept in mind is that most jet cards have an expiration date.
- After this date, usually all of your money or hours will expire. Also, occasionally there are added costs to fly that are not included in the card. Be careful about this.
Will the competition amongst companies increase?
A note on private jet companies is the future with regard to competition amongst companies. Is the market expanding? If that is the case, then you can expect the fares to reduce.
It is true that the expense level is high with respect to these flights, but there is definitely room for reduction of fares. Business travelers are increasingly flying to distant places, which is fueling a revival in the private jet industry. The most demand is for planes that can do the longest flights that can go up to 13 hours. This kind of flight requires an ultra long range plane that can fly for that range of time.
The internet has brought people together from far flung places in the world. However, business many times must be conducted face to face. In some locations, commercial airline travel is not even available. While the market for these long distance flights has grown, the market for short distance flights hasn’t changed much. This being the case, the near future doesn’t seem to hold any hope of there being more competition amongst carriers. This is the case, even though if one looks on the internet, they will see a vast array of companies that offer private jet charter service.
Types of private planes
It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the different kinds of planes that these carriers fly, so you will know which option to choose. First, there are light jets. These jets aren’t as spacious as other private jets, but they save you the most money if you are going to be only travelling a short distance. Light jets have low engine sounds and can reach speeds of up to 500 miles per hour. Mid-size jets are more spacious than light jets. These jets are able to fly from coast to coast. Super mid-size jets are able to do transcontinental flights. These planes are allowed to take off and land at both smaller airports and larger ones as well. These jets contain all of the amenities of larger private jets. They have spacious cabins and entertainment systems. Heavy jets are the largest of the private planes. They have the capability of flying long ranges. Sometimes these jets have places for you to sleep. Usually, these jets have flight attendants. Turbo prop planes are usually smaller than the other ones mentioned here. They can comfortably hold between five and eight passengers. They can fly for up to four hours at a time. These planes can handle short, rough runways that larger jets cannot. These planes also are able to have gear that will allow them to land in many different kinds of environments.
Luggage space and restrictions for Private Jet Rental
Space is limited on private jets, but there are no formal rules about how much you can take like there are on commercial flights. Obviously, as a plane gets larger, there is more space to bring along all of the extra things that you wish. Access to the luggage area varies depending on the type of plane. This should be kept in mind if you have any items that you wish to have access to during the flight. Access can be from within the main cabin, through the outside of the plane, or both. Space is also constrained by how many people are on the flight. The range of the aircraft is dependent on how much weight it is carrying, so the pilot needs to know how much weight from baggage there is. To give you an idea about how much space there is for luggage on a plane, a very light jet can have up to 71 cubic feet of space. This is surprisingly quite a bit. You should make sure to resolve any issues you have with baggage before the day of your flight with the charter company. This will make sure that you don’t have any delays on your flight.
Amount of Luggage
You should always plan ahead of time with your carrier how much luggage will be allowed. The rule of thumb, however, is that you can bring one suitcase and one carry-on, just like on commercial flights.
It always helps if you bring soft luggage. That way the crew can fit more in the compartment. With respect to your children, it is a good idea if you bring things that will entertain them on the flight. This will keep both your children and the crew happy. When we say that pets are allowed, of course we mean in the cabin alongside of the passenger. Check for larger animals like big dogs about any size restrictions. With respect to seat assignments, there is no restriction on these flights. You can sit wherever you choose. However, if you are a guest of someone else, then you should ask them where to sit. While some people may want to dress up in a way befitting of luxury, there are no real restrictions on what you can and cannot wear on these flights. As with commercial flights, alcohol is permitted to be consumed on these flights. If you are sick, then the rule of thumb is that you should only fly if you would fly in the same condition on a commercial jet.
It is advised on some websites not to buy a jet card. With respect to prices, restrictions, aircraft type or positioning charges, using the regular service will give you the best option. Since there is a higher level of service on a private jet, don’t forget to voice your needs. Most likely, the crew and staff will accommodate your needs. Typical questions include: I have odd size baggage to take. Is that possible? I have dietary restrictions. Can you help me? I have a special privacy need. Could you accommodate me? With respect to pets, many pets actually enjoy the flight. Many pets benefit from their owner’s calming presence. Pets typically fly free with many charter companies and no documentation is needed for domestic flights. With respect to how far in advance you should book your flight, the best time is four to seven days in advance. That way, aircraft availability is more known.
Safety and private jet charter flights
There are several questions that you need to ask a carrier about safety issues. First, ask about the experience level of the pilots and how often they retrain. To save money, many carriers hire pilots that only satisfy the minimum requirements of the FAA. You don’t want a pilot who is just gaining their experience from your flight. Some carriers try to save money on the copilot. You have to ensure that everyone on the flight crew has the adequate amount of experience. You should pursue a carrier that has strict requirements about the amount of time that the pilot has to have flown. The best situation is where both pilots assigned to your flight have at least 5,000 hours of flight experience. Both of them should have the ability to be the captain, if something were to go wrong. Also, the best operators will require that the pilots attend simulator training for emergencies at least annually. The most important thing for your safety is that the company have an excellent safety record. This is where the auditing of a third party evaluator comes in. A third party evaluator will have stricter standards than the FAA does. You can determine the safety record of a carrier in a few different ways. First, you can call the FAA’s local Flight Standards District Office and ask them about any accidents or incidents that the carrier might have had. Second, you should request a third party report from Wyvern, the leader in safety reports. Their report will cover both the information regarding the pilot and the safety record of the carrier. Third, ask the carrier what their safety rating is and if they have had a third party evaluation. A successful audit by an expert organization is key to determining the safety of the carrier.
Pets and children on charter flights
There is more flexibility when travelling with pets and children on charter flights. With respect to pets, most carriers will allow on the flight any pet that does not violate any legal restrictions. Of course, this assumes that there will be room for the size of your pet on the plane. With respect to pregnant women, the guidelines for flying on a charter flight are usually the same as they would be on a commercial flight. Most airlines do not allow on their flights a woman who is 36 weeks pregnant. They usually require a certificate from a medical doctor after 28 weeks of pregnancy. There might be some flexibility in the rules on a private charter if the doctor is willing to let the woman fly. What is true is that the whole experience of a private jet is more comfortable for a pregnant woman. She won’t have to wait in line, and they can more cater to her needs on the flight. Taking a baby on board a private jet also has some advantages. There are usually no restrictions on the type of liquids and food that you can bring on board. You should remember that a baby needs a passport to travel to another country. The rules for when a child needs their own seat on the plane are also the same as commercial airlines. Up until the age of two, they can sit on your lap. After that they will need their own seat. As children get older, their needs change. Due to the flexibility and luxury of private jets, all of their needs can be catered to.
What does the experience of a private jet charter feel like?
The experience of flying on a private jet charter is a pleasure from beginning to end. Your flight experience starts at the private airport. When you arrive, you are greeted by a guard that checks you off on his list. You are usually allowed to park in a lot that doesn’t cost anything and is very close to the airport building. You can relax in the lounge by your hangar and have a snack. Usually you won’t have to wait for a long time to board your aircraft. When the plane is ready, you simply walk outside and get on. There are no lines, no security and usually a friendly staff member will help you with your bags. Pilots on these planes are usually friendly and will make small talk with you. The interior of the plane is usually spacious and has an entertainment system.
When you reach your destination, there are no lines either. You simply exit the plane and go to your preferred mode of transport. With respect to turbulence and bumpiness, pilots say that big planes handle it better than small planes. However, they will also tell you that the main thing that causes bumpiness is what the weather conditions are, not the size of the plane.
Etiquette on private planes
Most people have questions about the etiquette of private jet travel. There are a few differences from commercial travel. What about tipping the crew? On a commercial jet, this question would never arise. However, on a private jet, while it is not deemed necessary to tip, you can if you have had a particularly great experience on the flight. The common amount ranges from $50 to $100. How long should you arrive before the flight? Since the plane is hired just for you, you might have some leeway here. However, you are generally asked to arrive fifteen minutes before your flight. If you have any problems getting there, by all means you should call ahead of time.
How fast will your trip be?
Not only will your trip be shorter because you have no lines or security or walking around the airport, but also the plane will fly faster than a commercial jet. Private jets can travel up to 100 miles an hour faster than a commercial jet. The truth is, however, that this probably is only a benefit for the busy businessman. A family that is trying to enjoy the private jet experience would probably want to prolong that experience.
What kind of amenities are available on a private jet?
The first thing to say about amenities and luxuries on board a private jet is that the sky is the limit. Unlike commercial flights, you the passenger are the one that makes the plans ahead of time for whatever luxuries you want. Typically, the price of the fare includes a crew that includes a flight attendant. For extra luxury, you can hire other personnel, room permitting. You may want to hire a mixologist or a masseur as well. With respect to the food available for these flights, the sky is also the limit. Some carriers send menus ahead of time to their passengers, with a wide assortment of meals and desserts. Another option is to have a restaurant cater the affair. When you order from a restaurant, make sure that it is within reasonable driving distance to the airport. Also, you might be restricted as to your ability to heat or reheat food on the plane. Make sure to keep this in mind. You should ask your carrier if there is a bar on the plane. Many times there is even a full bar that serves snacks as well. If not, consider hiring a mixologist for the flight. You should also ask what kind of office setup there is on the plane if you need to conduct business there. Many carriers will have a phone and fax available on the flight. You should be aware of the fact that you can probably use your cell phone on the flight, but you are restricted from its use when travelling over the middle of an ocean. Most carriers will have an adequate entertainment center on board, so you can watch movies or tv and listen to music.
Hire a private jet to escape winter delays?
Let us say that you are stranded at the airport in the winter. Many times this can happen, laying you over for even a number of days. Let us say also that if you don’t get a sooner flight, then you will miss an important meeting or affair. There have been winters when thousands of flights have been cancelled. When flights are cancelled, it can also take a number of days before you can catch a rescheduled flight. Driving or even taking a train may take longer than you can afford. For those willing to pay a high price, a private jet can offer a solution. Private jets many times have an advantage in travelling before and after storms. The smaller airports from where private jets fly don’t have the same issues that the larger airports have during a storm. A lack of gates or security screeners or gate agents can put down a larger airport. The smaller airports don’t have this problem. When this situation happens, you can sometimes even share a plane with others who are in the same predicament. You can share the plane with other families to defray the high cost. Being able to take a winter flight on a private jet just may be the thing to save you from missing your important engagements.
What is the difference between flying first class and flying on a private jet?
Some of this has already been covered in prior sections. However, it should be mentioned again that it is nearly always the case that a private jet will be more costly than flying first class on a commercial jet. What is true, though, is that many times it is worth it. If you are a businessman, it is hard to conduct business meetings, even in first class. A private jet affords more privacy, and you are more in authority when you are chartering your own flight. What was not mentioned before is that private jets offer something that no commercial flight could ever offer. This is the ability to switch destinations in midflight. While this is not necessarily possible on every carrier, the possibility still exists on some. What should be mentioned is that sometimes you actually get more personal space in first class. The room is limited on a private jet and many times the seats are narrower. What is true, though is that the flexibility, service and lack of hassles always makes the private jet the more enjoyable and useful option. One more thing that was not mentioned before is that there are only about five hundred airports available nationwide that allow commercial jets, whereas there are about five thousand airports that allow private jets.
In conclusion, private jets offer a luxurious, quick and expensive way to travel. For business people who have a harried schedule, it is many times imperative that they travel on a private jet. This is for reasons of prestige, speed and privacy. One thing that also needs to be mentioned that has not been mentioned so far is that private jets can increase productivity for a business person. The space and accommodations as well as the privacy allow them to complete their work on the plane. Many times office equipment is present on these flights as well. The most important questions that you should pursue with your carrier are those that relate to the safety of the plane and the pilot. All told, flying on a private jet is just as safe as flying on a commercial airline. Finally, many times, at a great price, you can use a private jet to get you out of sticky situations. When winter weather cancels flights, many times the charter jets are still operating.
Make The Right Impression
If you are in business and need to entertain clients, it is important to give off the right impression. Treating them to a private jet communicates your prestige and status and gives them a luxurious experience that they will never forget.
Everyone knows that it is the impression that we make even more than the ideas that we come up with that impresses people. This is why you should definitely consider a private jet. When Oprah wanted to treat her staff to a vacation, one of the things that she did was charter a special jet for them to travel in. What is the case also is that if your firm uses private jets, they come off as being more professional, efficient and prestigious than other firms.
While there is definite prestige in using private jet charter flights, there is always the option to actually buy a plane for your company. Nothing says prestige like your logo emblazoned on the side of your plane. What must be remembered also is that prestige is not the only issue for the businessman. Most business people carry on a harried schedule and simply don’t have the time to wait around in airports. Also, the greater speed of the private jet saves time as well.