Whether you travel frequently for business or only occasionally for pleasure, chances are you've considered hiring a charter plane. When you fly on a private plane, you can skip the long wait times and baggage checks of a commercial flight. Your departure and return times are determined by your schedule, and in some cases you can even book a same-day flight! Here are some of our most commonly asked questions regarding private flights:
We fly to and from the over 5,000 regional airports in North America, which are crowd-free and conveniently located close to your home, office, and your destination of choice. With easy parking and pilot escort for security, check-in, and boarding, you can arrive at the airport just minutes before your flight. Since we focus exclusively on your schedule and desired route, you fly straight to your destination. And with our 99%+ on-time departure rate, add it all up and you will save hours vs. a typical commercial airline trip (or long drive for that matter!).
Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
Steve Wooster, the managing director of services and air operations for the luxury travel network Virtuoso, said that the proliferation of private jet brands has led to these lower prices. “There are many more suppliers than there ever used to be, and competition means prices have dropped,” he said. “Private jet flying is now open to a diversity of passengers, not just C.E.O.’s.”
Charter operators own or manage private jets for multiple clients. Like traditional flight departments, charter companies handle all aspects of aircraft operation and maintenance. However, they are not aligned with just one corporation. They manage aircraft for a private owner or corporation and also handle the sales of available flight time on the aircraft they own or manage. Maintenance services can also be provided which typically include on-site or mobile repair, major and minor routine inspections, troubleshooting assistance away from base, avionics installation and repair, jet engine and battery service, interior modifications and refurbishment, Inspection Authority (IA) qualified inspectors, aircraft planning and budgetary projections, compliance with service bulletins, aircraft storage management, record keeping and management, technical appraisal of private jet purchases, leases and lease terminations, and Part 91 or Part 135 conformity inspections.
The 91,000 lb (41,000 kg), 6,750 nmi Gulfstream G550 was selected for the IAI EL/W-2085 Conformal Airborne Early Warning AESA radar for Italy, Singapore and Israel (which also has IAI Sigint G550s) while L3 Technologies transfers the U.S. Compass Call electronic-attack system to the G550 CAEW-based EC-37B, like the NC-37B range-support aircraft, and will modify others for Australia’s AISREW program, Northrop Grumman proposes the G550 for the J-Stars Recap;
While today’s connected society allows people to access a vast wealth of information, right at their fingertips, the reality of the Web is that it provides a very incomplete picture of private jets for sale or the private jet marketplace. Indeed, many of the best aircraft for sale never appear on the Internet, as they’re bought and sold among Aircraft Brokers for their clients without ever being listed for sale.
After your initial enquiry you will be assigned a personal charter expert who will send you a selection of quotes for you to choose from. Each quote will have a clear breakdown of aircrafts and airports and reasons they have been selected for you. Should you wish to go ahead they will then book the aircraft and send you all the flight details including directions to the terminal and any other important information. They will be your first point of call for any further enquiries you may have up to the flight and, if possible, they will meet you at the terminal. From your initial quote you will be able to contact your account manager 24/7 (if on holiday you will be assigned another account manager to cover) so you can call from wherever, whenever you like.
A public charter is one in which a tour operator rents the aircraft and advertises and sells seats to members of the public, either directly or through a travel agent. In the case of public charters, the flight must be filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the tour operator must supply a charter prospectus. The tour operator also must assume a legal responsibility to provide the transportation service, and must abide by DOT requirements for the protection of the clients' money. Public charters often operate only seasonally, and are often sold as part of a vacation package deal, although spare seats may be offered at bargain prices.
Lastly, don't be afraid to ask about safety: Any reputable operator should have safety information prominently featured on their website, and won't mind answering questions about their pilots, such as how many hours they have flown. (At least 250 hours, which is what it takes to get a commercial license; NetJets mandates at least 2,500 hours; Wheels Up, mandates 7,000 hours for a captain and 4,000 for a first officer.) Gollan suggests fliers ask if the pilot has any health issues, and feel free to ask if the operator (or plane itself) have any accidents or incidents in its history.
Ms. Broder booked a jet charter this March from New Jersey to Las Vegas for her client Steven Michaels, an entrepreneur from Cherry Hill, N.J., and seven of his friends. The trip was in celebration of several of the men turning 50, and the group wanted an extravagant getaway. First-class tickets worked out to close to $2,000 a person round trip, while chartering an eight-seat Citation III jet was $3,500 each. When presented with both options, Mr. Michaels said that going private was a no-brainer. “The journey was like paying for a high-end tour or excursion and ended up being one of the most fun parts of the trip,” he said.