Private Jet Charters 101: Choosing the Right Charter Service
Choosing the right private jet charters can have a tremendous impact on your travel experience. If you’re new to private aviation, or you’re still trying to figure out how the process works, it can be a little confusing at first.
One of the main challenges in determining ‘the right’ private jet is that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s because the requirements of each charter flight are different. There are dozens of factors that influence which jet charter will be suitable for your chosen itinerary. Some of the basic ones include:
- Number of people flying
- Amount of luggage and equipment (golf clubs, bikes etc.)
- Distance travelled
- Airport characteristics (runway lengths, elevation, weather)
Here are some other factors that will affect your decision…
One-way, Round-trip or Empty leg?
One-way flights result in higher jet charter rates because you are typically required to pay repositioning fees to cover the cost of the aircraft returning to its base. It’s convenient, but you pay a premium for it.
In private aviation, a round-trip means a quick turnaround time, usually within 24 hours. Otherwise, the cost of retaining the crew and aircraft on standby becomes prohibitive. So while a round-trip is more cost-effective than a one-way, some restrictions apply.
For travelers with flexible schedules, it might be worth considering an empty-leg flight. These are the aforementioned repositioning flights for returning aircraft. Rather than let the flight go empty, many operators will offer them at discounted prices.
Air Charter Safety
While the Federal Aviation Administration regulates the air charter industry, some charter companies operate to higher safety standard than others.
When booking private jet charters, be sure to ask the following questions:
- Does the operator hold Part 135 certification?
- Are they accredited by either ARGUS or Wyvern?
- Do they conduct third-party safety audits on all private jet charters?
- How long has the management team been in place?
Less scrupulous operators have been known to forsake safe operating procedures (such as crew duty restrictions) in order to present lower jet charter prices. To learn more about this, read: Private Jet Charter Safety: Why You Shouldn’t Book on Price Alone.
Jet Card Program or On-demand Private Jet Charters?
Perhaps the greatest advantage of private jet travel is flexibility. It allows you to fly:
- When you want
- Where you want
- On an aircraft of your choosing
- To a greater range of airports
For those who prefer ultimate freedom when arranging private jet charters, on-demand travel lets you plan trips on a flight-by-flight basis. This is ideal for people whose schedules constantly change or need to make last-minute bookings.
Another option is the jet card program. Many find this prepaid approach convenient because it:
- Guarantees flight availability
- Usually waives repositioning fees
- Ensures consistent pricing
- Allows you to easily track travel expenses
Looking for an air charter broker with a proven safety record and industry-leading customer service? Call Stratos Jets to begin planning your private jet charters—(888) 593-9066 (toll free) or request a quote online.