By working with an ACANA member, you can trust that your air charter service provider is honest, reliable and fair. In all ways, Stratos Jet Charters seeks to be open, honest and fair with our clients. As a member of the prestigious Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA), we are committed to promoting higher standards of ethics, professionalism and integrity. We engage in fair business practices, such as honest and fair advertising and clear pricing. A founding tenant of both our organization and ACANA is to provide our clients with the information they need to make informed buying decisions for each and every charter flight. Because of the recent entry of air charter brokering in the industry, it is not yet fully regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT).  This “free” environment has allowed for some air charter organizations to engage in unfair and dishonest business practices to undercut their legitimate competitors. As both an ACANA member, and agent for our clients, Stratos Jets has a responsibility to offer our clients insight into these deceptive business tactics to help them make the best decisions for their individual jet charter needs.

What Constitutes Unethical Business Practices in Private Aviation?

As one ACANA member said, “unethical business practices are the evil twin of best practices.” Unethical business practices can take on many shadowy forms, and are not always easy to identify. The best way to arm yourself against unethical brokers and operators is to commit yourself to only working with ACANA members. ACANA members play a key part in promoting best practices and professionalism and are barred from engaging in unethical business practices. However, if you should choose to work with a non-ACANA member, you need to be aware of the possibility of your charter broker engaging in dishonest and unfair business practices. An example of a deceptive business practice that we have seen in the industry is “phantom aircraft bidding”.  This practice occurs when a charter brokerage offers a firm quote on an aircraft at a price point that is not available in the charter market. After the charter broker “wins the trip” by procuring a contract with the client, he or she will try to “fill the requirement” by contacting several operators and using the client’s signature on the contract as leverage. If the broker can’t offer the aircraft they promised, they will then tell the client that a mechanical, or other event, has occurred to prevent the flight. Another example of a deceptive business practice occurs when a charter broker offers a “best price guarantee”. Charter brokers who offer this type of pricing do not offer clients an “apples-to-apples” choice; but instead rely on taking advantage of a client’s inexperience or lack of knowledge to offer an aircraft from an operator with a poor safety history. These brokers will provide an aircraft with an unacceptably low-level of insurance to operate the flight, or an aircraft that has not been approved for aircraft charter operations.

Other examples of unethical business practices that are currently prohibited by ACANA include:

– Creating confusion in the consumer’s mind as to whether a service provider is an air carrier or a broker, such as creating marketing materials that imply a broker is an operator – Engaging in speculative pricing that is not based on actual aircraft availability in an effort to undercut the legitimate pricing of competitors – Engaging in behavior or other unlawful activity that results in enforcement action from the FAA or Department of Transportation – Transacting business with operators that are not properly certified (135 or ICAO equivalent) At Stratos Jets, we would never put profit over the safety and integrity of your charter flight experience. We understand the real costs of private aviation and relate these to our clients. Our private flight advisors are among the most knowledgeable in the industry and are available 24 hours a day to answer and explain any questions you may have regarding your charter flight. Stratos Jets only works with fully registered Part 135 and Part 121 Air Carriers, verified through independent agencies such as WYVERN and ARG/US. Stratos Jets’ In-house Safety Due Diligence program carefully screens all aircraft operators to ensure that every flight flown for our clients is on the safest, most well maintained aircraft under the command of two highly trained pilots. This ensures that your charter experience will be among the safest in the industry, as well as of the highest quality. As an ACANA member, Stratos Jets goal is to inform the public about the requirements and expectations of a safe, effectual charter experience. We believe that the more knowledgeable our clients are, the better our industry, regulations, and services will be. We hope to be a contributor in helping ACANA shape the regulatory landscape of FAA and DOT regulations to continually improve the charter marketplace for the benefit of our clients.