How Do You Charter A Private Jet?
Chances are you want to hire a private jet charter for an upcoming family vacation or a crucial business meeting, but like many first-timers, you’re unsure of how to charter one. Shopping around may be a hassle, considering there are so many options.
Most people choose a jet company based on certain personal needs. Once you understand how charters work and what requirements to consider, you’ll be able to select the best company for you.
What Determines the Type of Private Jet To Hire?
When looking for a private jet charter, consider the following matters:
A few questions to consider:
- Are you traveling near or far? Some companies don’t fly their charters long-distance.
- Will you be traveling alone or with others? The answer to this question will largely determine the size of the private jet that you will choose. If you are traveling alone, you may want to consider sharing the private jet with other people heading to the same destination.
- Will you be a frequent flyer? If you are thinking of booking a commuter jet on a regular basis, look into companies that offer membership deals. These memberships are like a budget package and provide advantages for loyal, repeat customers.
Your Traveling Time
If you are traveling for a vacation during the holidays, fares might be a bit higher than the off-season. The growing number of jet companies is good news for customers who want quality service. Premier Private Jets, for instance, has increased its fleet to eight aircraft to expand its availability to customers. On the flipside, variety may mean more difficulty in choosing the best flight option.
So, how do you charter a private jet? The following points can help guide you.
- Explore all available nearby companies: Find out ticket prices from various charters. Call at least three companies, and request price quotes. You’ll be surprised to know how much quotes can vary. There’s no guarantee that the higher rates, the better the service. Remember to check on other additional charges, such as repositioning fees and take-off fees. By comparing their overall cost, you’ll be able to determine which companies offer an affordable private jet that best fits your needs.
- Understand all the available options: Numerous charter flight operators exist, and each one is unique. Explore them in-depth before you choose the right one.
The first option is chartering, which has proven to be the most economical. You will only have to pay a deposit and no other cash upfront when you book — Tradewind Aviation is one company that has such an arrangement.
The second option is taking advantage of a deal in which the charter operator sells fractional ownership of a single jet for upwards of $100K. NetJets and Marquis offer this option.
The third option is the jet card. For this option, a type of budget package, you buy a certain number of flight hours from charter companies like Private Jet Services and use the flight hours on various planes.
The fourth option is the membership model where you pay initiation fees and an annual fee in your second and subsequent years to use a company’s fleet.
Don’t Hesitate To Ask Questions
You have the right to know information about the flight you are about to book. Be sure to ask about passenger safety while on the plane, the pilot’s experience (the hours they have flown) and health status, the accident history of the plane operator, and the flight itself, including taxi fees and daily minimums. With this information, you will be able to make an informed decision.
Have you ever noticed that when a company operates their own vehicles, their service is better? The same applies to plane operators. Firms that operate a fleet that they own tend to offer better service. So, ask if the operator holds the aircraft. It will give you a hint of what kind of service you are going to get.
Choose a Shared Ride
Sharing a flight with other travelers is like carpooling, and it will lower your fare. If you don’t mind traveling with strangers, look for jet companies like Tradewind Shuttle, which operate in places like New York, Boston, Stowe, and Nantucket.
These jet charter companies work with others as partners. This means one company’s jet takes you for half the journey, and the other company’s jet takes you for the other half of the journey. If you can find such companies in your area, you will enjoy cheaper fares.
Ask for Photos of the Plane
Some private jet companies provide photos of their planes directly on their websites, while others offer details without including the pictures. Be sure to ask if you want to know what their planes look like.
Avoid Unnecessary Luggage
Avoid carrying heavy luggage when traveling on small planes. Charter flights limit luggage weight for balancing purposes. So, always ask about luggage weight restrictions before booking.
Having heavy luggage should not discourage you from using private jets, though. You can arrange in advance to have Ship Sticks or Luggage Forward move your luggage for a small fee.
Join Empty-Leg Email Lists
Flexible flyers can save money on traveling costs by joining empty-leg email lists. These lists notify travelers of discounted flights from companies that send emails whenever such opportunities arise.
You might get a discounted flight to a destination from where the charter doesn’t offer a return flight.
This arrangement leads to a win-win situation — flying an empty leg offsets the company’s expense of returning the plane to its place of origin. Flyers reach their destination with discounted flight fares and the jet company gets its airplane back without incurring any loss.
Know Your Taste
Individual tastes determine what kind of private jet a person will hire. Some travelers like the more spacious cabins and greater luggage capacity of turboprop planes. Other travelers like the faster flights that light jets provide. Figuring out what you prefer will help you make a decision.
Have a Safe and Enjoyable Flight
By following the above guidelines, you will be in an excellent position to charter a private jet with the most suitable options for your needs.