Whether it's the customer service, privacy, time-saving, flexibility, public image, or the convenience of private aviation, those who choose to charter a private plane need to consider some factors before booking. Here are the steps to follow if you are considering chartering a private aircraft.
Determine your needs
Is a private jet right for you? Flying a charter flight can help you save time - not only will you be able to eliminate time wasted at the airport, you can also fly out of and into one of the 5,000 airports that private planes can fly through (in comparison to the 500 airports available to larger commercial aircraft). You'll also have privacy on the plane if you need to conduct a business meeting, and will have much more flexibility in your arrival and departure times. Of course, there's also the image associated with flying on a private jet. You can evaluate more of the private plane benefits by reading this article.
Once you've determined that a private plane is right for you, evaluate your needs.
- How many people will be traveling and how much baggage will they have?
- What is your departure and arrival time and dates?
- What locations will you be traveling through?
- Will you be traveling round trip, or one way?
- Is this a unique situation, or will you need to make other flights this year?
The answer to these questions will impact the price you pay, and help determine whether you should use a charter broker, charter operator, buy a jet card or talk to a fractional aviation company.
Determine if you should use a charter broker
Charter operators are a great option for travelers who only need to fly a few times per year. There's no upfront expense, but for travelers flying more than 25 hours per year, it may not be the most economical. In that case, it may be best to look into a jet card, which might be more cost effective, especially if you do a lot of own way trips.
If you aren't sure which charter operator to use, you may decide to use a charter broker. Charter brokers can help with finding a jet charter company - they have access to a larger fleet of aircraft, have knowledge of the industry, and can help with paperwork and regulations. Air charter brokers don't have to be formally licensed or regulated, so review this article to help Find a Jet Charter Broker.
What to ask your charter broker
Because charter brokers aren't licensed, you'll want to make sure you carefully vet your chosen company. There are many questions you should ask, in the following categories:
- Customer service
- Problem resolution
Review this article for a comprehensive list of questions to ask your air charter broker.
What to expect on the bill
Flying on a private aircraft will be more expensive than commerical, and the bill will be different too. Review this article to see exactly what you should expect to find on the charter bill.
Depending on your travel plans and requirements, there may be charges for landing fees, overnight accomodation for the crew, additional fuel costs and more.
To get a feel for the cost, read this article on the cost of private jet charter. It includes specific flight examples, typical hourly rates for various aircraft and also a pricing tool to give you actual quotes.