Elite Service in the Private Jet Charter Industry is Bringing an End to the Era of the Basement Broker

Customer Centric Charter Brokers are the Future of Private Air Travel

As the number of people choosing to take advantage of the benefits of private charter flights continues to surge, quite a few brokers have made their presences known with the hopes of cashing in on the growing demand. Through this rise in available air charter brokers, a considerable gap has emerged in the industry.

While most brokers fall into a category of mediocrity known as basement brokers, an elite few stand out in the crowd. Stratos Jet Charters, Inc. is one of only a handful to truly focus on safety and quality; not to mention, the company is dedicated to generating a positive and well-rounded client experience.  Read customer reviews of Stratos Jet Charters.

Characteristics of a High-Quality Air Charter Broker

As is the case in most industries, differentiating between the extraordinary and those that are only second-rate at best can be a bit difficult at first glance. Once you begin to delve deeper, though, the difference becomes clearer. Some of the distinguishing signs to look for while researching potential options include:

  • ARGUS Certification: ARUGS International, Inc. is the global leader in aviation safety, risk management and best business practices among numerous other aspects. In order to gain certification from ARGUS, brokers must open themselves up to heavy scrutiny in the categories of knowledge of the industry, understanding and implementation of safety programs, evaluation of perspective carriers, financial health and a wide range of additional points.
  • Membership in the Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA): An invite-only nonprofit organization, the Air Charter Association of North America is committed to advancing the air charter industry through educating consumers about the advantages of private charter flights and encouraging best business practices among those in the industry. The organization’s mission is to cater to businesses and consumers alike by representing the best interests of both. Only companies demonstrating like-minded pursuits are invited to be members.
  • Emphasis on Safety: A number of elements contribute to the safety of a flight, such as any accidents an aircraft may have been involved in, regular maintenance, pilot training and experience and takeoff and landing capabilities of the plane. This information is readily available to brokers who take the time to look. Those truly concerned with the safety of their clients take care to not only investigate the backgrounds of available planes and operators, but learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the various aircraft models on the market. Furthermore, they use this information when selecting aircraft and pilots.
  • Comprehensive Support: High-quality brokers offer far-reaching support in regard to securing aircraft, coordinating and scheduling flights and meeting clients’ individual travel needs. All-inclusive support stems from a client-centric approach to private aviation.
  • Maintains Extra Liability Coverage: Aircraft owners are required to insure their planes with minimum coverage amounts based on the type of aircraft and its passenger capacity. Superior brokers go above and beyond the industry standard to ensure carriers are adhering to these standards while also retaining additional coverage of their own.

Besides these points, technology and infrastructure are deciding factors in establishing which brokers lead the field and which ones are perfectly complacent in lagging behind. Technology has paved the way for a number of advancements in the business aviation sector and can be applied to everything from coordinating services to laying out flight paths based on current weather conditions for last-minute private jet charters.

Brokers on the cutting edge of the industry are willing to invest in the latest developments to foster the overall client experience. Those who encompass all these attributes are few and far between, but it’s fairly easy to spot the differences when you know what to look for.

Traits of a Basement Broker

On the other end of the spectrum, you have basement brokers, which make up a sizable segment of the industry. Those in this category basically have a website, phone line and internet access; in other words, they could essentially be operated out of someone’s basement. If you happen to stumble upon one of these brokers, the difference will be evident fairly early on in your experiences with them.

  • Lack of Backing from ARGUS: Receiving certification from ARGUS isn’t as simple as submitting a request form. In order to gain such an endorsement, brokers have to prove their worthiness from a number of different angles. Once they do, they’re listed on the ARGUS website for all to see, and they do so proudly. If you don’t see the ARGUS logo on a broker’s website, the company isn’t up to par.
  • Non-Members of ACANA: Membership in this organization isn’t free for all who apply; again, it’s an exclusive invite-only organization. Only those meeting with all the prerequisites in play are able to boast membership. As is the case with ARGUS, this membership will be clearly visible on a broker’s website. If it’s not there, they’re not the broker for you.
  • Little Attention to Safety: Basement brokers have yet to prove themselves in the eyes of the industry’s governing agencies, meaning they haven’t exhibited a comprehensive understanding of best practices or a dedication to considering safety above all else. In most cases, they fail to perform even basic background checks on pilots or aircraft before scheduling their charter flights.
  • Absence of Accountability: In many cases, basement brokers rely on outsourcing rather than in-house team members. Each of their representatives is tasked with an extensive list of responsibilities with the torch being passed to any number of staff members along the way. There is no guarantee the person you speak with while scheduling your flight will be available if last-minute problems arise, and you’ll most likely receive the run-around after initial contact. Though staff members’ responsibilities run heavy, the not-my-job mentality tends to complicate matters in the long run.
  • Lack of Organization: Organization begins with agent training and education. It’s fostered by technology and a division of responsibilities. Since neither of these aspects comes cheap, organization is generally scarce with bottom-of-the-barrel brokers. For the most part, they’re not willing to invest in the tools necessary to achieve higher levels of order.

Basement brokers are primarily interested in their own bottom lines. They often promote rock-bottom pricing, which they’re able to achieve by lacking in every other department. They’re middle-men connecting consumers with service providers and collecting credit card numbers, nothing more.

Bottom Line

Private aviation has evolved quite a bit over the years. Though a middle ground does exist, the industry’s expanded reach has given rise to two distinct divisions: basement brokers and those who rise above the rest. Those on both sides of the fence arrange private charter flights, but the similarities tend to end there.

Basement brokers employ freelance representatives who have little to no investment in ensuring a safe flight or delivering an excellent customer experience. They proceed to schedule flights on the premise of which aircraft can technically get the job done with the lowest overhead cost. Their selling points are cheap prices, but their services, or lack of such as the case may be, reflect their overall agendas.

Brokers on the less-than-stellar end of the spectrum give little thought to the finer points. Technology and training are items in which they’re largely unwilling to invest. Whether or not an available aircraft is the safest option in light of the client’s specific requirements isn’t a consideration. In-flight needs are of no consequence. Clients are means to higher profits and nothing more.

The best private jet charter companies in the industry go beyond the bottom-of-the-barrel norm, catering to clients on a completely different level. They focus on the entire experience rather than simply connecting patrons with planes and pilots. As a result, clients receive a higher degree of service.

Looking to build a relationship with a customer experience oriented jet charter service? Stratos Jet Charters has access to more than 3,500 pre-screened planes across the globe. With more than 7,000 airports to choose from, we can ensure you make it to your destination safely and timely. Call one of our agents today – (888) 593-9066 (toll free) or request a quote online.

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