Booking a private jet charter for the first time—or even the hundredth time—is exciting. Scrolling through the aircraft options, choosing the departure and arrival airport and ordering your favorite inflight meal are just a few of the perks private flyers enjoy when making a booking.

However, here’s a scenario we often see: A client has done some research and requested quotes from a few providers, with one quote coming in much cheaper than the rest. The cheaper quote has caught their eye and they’re leaning towards it more than the other quotes.

Should they book it?

man with laptop

We know it can be tempting to make that booking on private jet cost alone, but we’re here to tell you that booking the cheapest private jet may lead to an unsafe flying experience. Aside from the private jet cost, here are three important considerations to make when selecting a broker for private jet travel.

1. Safety

Underfunded, low-cost carriers are notorious for poor service. These providers typically don’t have the budget needed to attract seasoned, experienced pilots. They may also be dealing with cash flow problems or financial pressures that relate to deferred aircraft maintenance, leading them to cut costs in areas that won’t show up until it matters.

High-quality air carriers, on the other hand, provide the safest charter experience, and in some cases, they offer the most reasonable private jet cost. At Stratos, we only work with these air carriers since our focus is on providing the safest, most reputable aircraft options to our clients.

Why are some air carriers more expensive than others?

The primary cost driver in private aviation is unoccupied flight time. Every aircraft has a schedule and will require some repositioning to complete the requested routing. That private jet cost is then passed along to the traveler.

Why do I have to pay for unoccupied flight time?

Unless your travel plans are flexible, the aircraft will need to be flown to the airport you’re departing from. And then after you’ve departed the aircraft, it will then need to reposition back to its originating hangar or to the point of their next scheduled departure.

private jet waiting on tarmac

However, there are ways to avoid repositioning fees. Using advanced technology, Stratos runs a thorough market analysis of all available aircraft and make suggestions on the aircraft best positioned to accommodate your travel request.

Oftentimes, we find high-quality air carriers that have a gap in their schedule that aligns very closely with your travel patterns. We then review this market analysis with you and make suggestions based on the operational history of each provider and recommend companies with a strong track record for aviation excellence.

A Safety Case Study

A few years ago, we worked with a father trying to organize a private flight for his son’s family to get home during a severe snowstorm after their commercial flight had been cancelled. After presenting charter options, he advised that he’d been given a much cheaper quote with a different provider on a Piper Saratoga. He decided to hire that aircraft and carrier instead of one of the options we presented.

When we saw the AIRMET ZULU (icy weather advisory) come through, we notified him immediately and explained how icing affects an aircraft’s ability to generate lift and fly safely. We advised he wait out the storm instead of putting his son’s family at risk.

In the end, the father appreciated our concern and advice and booked a Citation CJ3 with us, and his son’s family arrived home safely.

2. Reliability

Many low-cost air carriers try to win business on private jet cost alone. These providers chase business by quoting on any trip they can, hoping to get their aircraft into position for your flight. This business model can sometimes work in the flyer’s favor, but it can very often end in a last-minute trip cancellation due to phantom mechanical issues.

man waiting for flight at FBO airport

When you hire a high-quality air carrier that’s reputable and has plenty of experience, the odds of facing mechanical delays or flight cancellations are extremely unlikely. You can rest assured that your flight will run as scheduled, getting you where you need to be when you expect to be there.

3. Reputation

In the aviation industry, there is nothing safer and more reliable than an excellent reputation.

When discussing Stratos’s reputation with Stratos CEO and founder Joel Thomas, he says, “My reputation and income is derived from the travel experience our clients enjoy. I want our clients to have a safe, reliable, and hassle-free flight, resulting in a great experience that can be shared with the client’s friends and family. When I’m asked to compete based on a price point rather than on quality, it increases the likelihood of a maintenance issue or other service interruption and causes me and the client undue stress.”

private jet passengers

How do I know which air carriers are reputable?

This is where you can lean on us instead of booking based on private jet cost. Having been in business since 2006, Stratos has booked tens of thousands of charter flights for our clients. We keep detailed records of every flight and aircraft operator we hire, enabling us to evaluate providers, including their:

  • dispatch reliability
  • methods for resolving disrupted service
  • customer service

Additionally, as an ARGUS certified broker, we use third party tools that can audit the operational history of an air carrier.

“Keeping this data allows us to make strong recommendations that benefit those that book through Stratos. Although we may not always be the cheapest option, our recommendations can help you have a safe, reliable, and relaxing travel experience,” offers Thomas.

Another way to make sure the aircraft and carrier you hire is reputable is by looking at their safety accreditations. At Stratos, we’re one of the few jet charter brokers recognized by industry-leading organizations, like:

  • ACANA (Air Charter Association of North America) – A group of the industry’s most reputable brokers guided by the highest safety, integrity, ethical and professionalism standards
  • Wyvern and ARGUS, leading third-party safety auditors that special in pursuing on-site safety audits. It’s important to note that not all
  • Air Charter Safety Foundation

Four Reasons Why Our Clients Continue to Work with Us

At Stratos, we pride ourselves on our reputation, reliability, and safety track record. We’ve made it our mission to provide some of the safest flights in the skies. By providing excellent customer service, our clients continue to book with us.

They also lean on us to:

  1. Analyze the market and make aircraft recommendations based on the operator’s performance
  2. Coordinate and organize itineraries
  3. Audit and advocate for the most experienced crew to manage the trip
  4. Troubleshoot and resolve issues on the flyer’s behalf

We know that flying private is expensive. However, we firmly believe that spending just a little more money to increase the likelihood of a reliable customer experience is good insurance.


Ready to take to the skies in one of the safest, most reliable aircraft available in the market? Give us a call and get started with a free quote at 888.593.9066 or visit us online.