When you’re flying by private jet you expect timeliness and efficiency, but you also expect the best levels of safety. And that means that you have the best crew, well staffed and well trained. Finding the availability of your private plane will open new doors to the world, but what does it take behind the scenes to get you where you want to go?
What kind of flight crew do you need? How many pilots will be on the plane? What about flight attendants? And how much do all these personnel cost?
There’s more to the cost of a private jet flight than just the cost of jet fuel. How can you get the best price for your flight while still getting safety, security and speed?
Here’s How Stratos Does It
On the customer side, Stratos is responsible for the gathering of passenger details (full name, DOB and weights), airports, preferred FBOs (may require an added fee depending on fuel contracts the operator may have at the airport), departure times, dates and the routing in general. We also offer concierge services like catering and ground transportation.
On the aircraft operator side, we receive crew and tail assignments, FBO assignments (if not requested by the client), departure dates & times and the routing in general.
We don’t just accept the assignments from the vendor. We audit the crew and the aircraft to ensure that they meet our standards which far exceed the FAA requirements.
For the crew, we’re looking for experience. For the Aircraft, we’re looking for it to be listed on the carrier’s DO85 and we’re looking for evidence of insurance being enforced and active on that aircraft. Stratos is always added as additional insured so that the policy covers Stratos passengers. We also carry our own $50 Million non-owned aircraft liability policy that goes over and above the air carriers policy.
We have a dedicated team of professionals in place ensuring proper management of all pre-flight, in-flight, and post-flight matters. Stratos enlists the most talented individuals for this role, each having more than five years of experience in similar fields. Each team member shares similar qualities related to attention to detail, time management, and strong problem-solving skills when issues arise. This seamless process delivers a consistent and reliable customer experience which helped us earn our ARGUS Certified Broker status.
Do Private Jets Have One or Two Pilots?
While some smaller private jets and turbo-props can legally be flown by a single pilot, at Stratos Jet Charters, we require that the air carriers we contract with to always have two pilots on every flight. This is non-negotiable with us.
Yes, it’s true that many aircraft are built to be handled by a single pilot but we find that the peace of mind and expanded margin of safety that comes from these precautions to be more than worth the expense of having a second pilot on-board these private business jets.
We require two pilots to be on-board every flight, no matter how short or how long. A flight from New York to Washington DC will have two pilots, and a flight from Seattle to Miami will have two pilots. There are just too many things at risk–your lives–to cut costs in a way that would possibly put anyone in danger.
Not all jet charter services make this demand, and yes, they may be able to quote you a lower price because they’re cutting costs. But when it comes to safety in any respect, Stratos Jet Charters will not skimp.
Can You Take a Private Jet Anywhere?
A private jet can fly anywhere that a commercial jet can fly, as the private jet must comply with all of the laws and treaties that govern air travel. This gives a private jet enormous freedom to fly nearly anywhere in the world, and we have indeed sent many passengers on long flights to distant countries.
While travel within the United States is more frequent, we have extensive experience with international travel, and it is very much possible to go anywhere by private jet in the world. By hiring Stratos you gain our 16 years of experience in coordinating travel all around the world.
When you book your charter flight with Stratos Jet Charters, we will make the arrangements for you to travel to these countries, making sure that the aircraft that we charter for you has all the legal documentation in place to make such a trip. And it’s not just the aircraft that needs documentation: we get all of the documents in place for every passenger, ensure that every crew member, and every other operational part of this trip is perfectly planned.
You will be required to bring your passport, even though you generally will be landing at a private airport. (Even at private airports, there are customs officials who must inspect passports and allow you to enter the country. Fortunately, this process is easier and faster than waiting in line with hundreds of other travelers for customs at a commercial airport.)
Aside from the laws that govern air travel, the only thing that restricts your international flights is the range of the aircraft. We have written about the ranges of private aviation aircraft at length (read here) so you can get an idea of what type of aircraft you will need to go where you intend to go.
How Much Does it Cost to Staff a Private Jet?
Costs for pilots vary based on the type of aircraft they’re flying, and this is because of the level of expertise that is required to fly each type of aircraft. (Please note: this does not mean that the smaller planes are staffed by less competent pilots. Each type of plane requires a specific training of pilots who must receive a “type rating” in the specific type of airplane they will fly. Owners of larger, more expensive planes demand more experience from their crews.)
Pilots and crew have a lot of costs associated with them that you would expect from any highly-trained professionals. Aside from the costs that are incurred in the flight, which include things like hotel stays, meals and transportation for the crews, they also have salaries which include healthcare and retirement.
The air carriers that we work with have committed to treating their flight crews well, because we want to attract the best in the business. It’s not merely a matter of pride for Stratos Jet Charters, but it’s a matter of safety and the wellbeing of every passenger on every plane. We want the best crews because we care about you.
Do You Tip a Private Jet Crew? If So, How Much?
It is not required to tip a private jet’s staff or pilots. You are welcome to, and according to etiquette there is no expectation to tip the pilot or copilot. However, if you do wish to tip, a proper amount is usually somewhere around $50 after the first leg of the trip. If a member of the flight crew doubles as a flight attendant to ensure the comfort and well-being of the passengers, then a tip is more acceptable.
How Many Flight Attendants Are On a Private Jet?
This will vary depending on both your preferences and on the size of the private plane (and the number of available seats on private jets). Generally, smaller jets do not have flight attendants, and it is only with larger aircraft that you can expect an attendant. A pilot may come back to greet the passengers, but this is different from the role of a flight attendant. Only in rare circumstances, such as a large aircraft with 12 passengers or 19 passengers–on a private jet with available seats–on a long range trip, will there be more than one flight attendant.
In regard to tipping, it is more common to tip a flight attendant than to tip a pilot.
Where Can You Go On a Private Jet?