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. It is important to remember when looking for a private jet charter that not all private aviation companies are created equal. You might be traveling privately for convenience, but there are other functionalities and accommodations that can differentiate one company from another.
Understanding what to look for in private aviation companies can help you narrow your options from mediocre to exceptional. It can help you determine the safety options available to you, while ensuring your trip is as smooth and seamless as possible from boarding to landing.
Let’s take a closer look at what to look for in a great private aviation company, and what to avoid when flying private.
Key Requirements for the Ultimate Private Aviation Experience
Private aviation is for those who simply don’t have the time to wait for commercial aviation. Taking a private jet, even a short distance, can often save you time and increase your productivity as you move from meeting to meeting, or event to event.
In this way, private jets are not a luxury. They’re a necessity. But taking the time to find the right private aviation company to charter your flight is crucial.
There are some things that you should expect from a private aviation company in terms of performance and professionalism, and then there are things that are absolute must-haves from your private jet charter. At Stratos Jet Charters it’s our aim to provide you with the very best of both worlds.
Here are the most important requirements and accommodations to look for in a private jet company:
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, the difference becomes clearer. Here are some of the most important requirements and accommodations to look for in a private jet company:
- ARGUS Certification:
ARGUS 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 prospective carriers, financial health and a wide range of additional points.
- Membership in the Air Charter Safety Foundation
The Air Charter Safety Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that strives to lead and support the highest standards in aviation. They are the go-to resource for private aviation companies, offering tools and information to operate the safest personal and private options available. Through risk management programs, standard audits, and more, the ACSF provides the means needed to help aviation companies meet those quality standards and provide a seamless quality experience.
Having a solid infrastructure in place is one of the most important details to consider when looking for a private jet charter company. Do they have the proper staff, technology, and insurance in place to ensure a smooth, safe and successful flight?
The ideal private aviation charter company has:
Personnel to support the journey. Private flight advisors and a dedicated team of flight coordinators should be available to guide you through your private jet charter experience, from the moment you book until your flight touches down. High-quality brokers offer far-reaching support in regard to securing aircraft, scheduling flights and meeting clients’ individual travel needs. All-inclusive support stems from a client-centric approach to private aviation.
Technology to deliver a consistent, reliable user experience. A modern private aviation company uses a customer portal that allows you to book and manage flights, review and monitor your plans and share your travel information with others. Technology is a deciding factor 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. A resourceful private jet charter company also uses a vendor portal to increase visibility into the availability of private jets and provide necessary details to the flight carrier. This type of private aviation software ensures proper organization and coordination for your private flight.
Insurance. Private aviation companies should have two forms of insurance: liability and errors and omissions insurance. The best charter companies maintain 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.
At Stratos, we have made a major investment in our technological infrastructure, personnel and processes – each designed to support the customer journey and expand your margin of safety. We are focused on your complete and total satisfaction and we believe that these investments result in a more consistent and reliable customer experience.
We also maintain a $50 million non-owned liability policy that goes above and beyond a standard air carrier policy, as well as an errors and omissions plan so you are not on the hook for our mistakes, should we make one.
A private jet charter company with pre-defined, clear safety standards in place can provide you peace of mind before booking a flight. When choosing your private jet charter provider, you need to ensure they:
- Clearly state and follow a set of crew standards
- Work only with air carriers who follow compliance and predefined safety standards
- Generate systematic checks of operational history, aircraft, crew members and insurance, alongside providing proof of all.
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.
Optimal private aviation safety sets one charter company apart from another. Having systematic processes in place gives you the assurance and confidence needed to feel comfortable booking with a private jet charter company.
Our safety standards exceed the standards set by the Federal Aviation Administration, and it can be seen in our policy to always have two pilots and our accident rate: we have never had an accident or incident involving an injury. Never.
Among the safety precautions that we take that send us above and beyond the rest of the private aviation industry is that we always require there to be two pilots on the flight–that’s something that not every private jet charter service does. But it goes far beyond two pilots.
Stratos audits and advocates for both of the pilots to have impeccable careers, extensive training and experience. We audit every crew assignment to ensure they meet our exacting standards.
Additionally, we will only work with air carriers who adhere to the strict guidelines that Stratos puts forward. It is our goal to be as safe or safer than commercial airlines. That’s not something that can be said of all private aviation companies.
Many brokers or air carriers say that safety is their top priority, but they don’t provide the validation that they’ve done everything in their power to mitigate risk. At Stratos Jet Charters we are transparent in our processes with customers. Disclosing important insights into the carrier, the aircraft, and crew assigned to your flight.
What’s more, is that we voluntarily open ourselves up to an on-site audit by ARGUS. We only select high-quality, well-capitalized air carriers with a long track record of excellence. Even during recent times when there have been pilot shortages and a limited supply of available aircraft, Stratos has not bent their rules to allow for less than the best.
Private jet charter brokers, like Stratos, are not responsible for owning or operating aircraft. That means it’s essential to work with a company that has a plan in place in the event of an accident or pause in the process. A private jet charter company with strong industry relationships can be useful if something doesn’t go as planned.
When you work directly with an air carrier, there’s less flexibility to change plans in the air when a route changes or a plane experiences a mechanical problem. By booking a flight with a private jet charter brokerage like Stratos, instead, you are indirectly positively impacted by the working relationships within the industry. Stratos has access to the full market of available private jets and can quickly solve whatever challenges your travel plans require.
A reliable private aviation company works closely with the right personnel to recover issues as they arise. If mechanical difficulties keep a private jet from lifting off the ground, we have vast industry relationships that can be called upon to transfer your trip to another aircraft.
Changes to a flight or the route of the flight can be another nuisance to deal with; by leveraging Stratos relationships, you reap the benefit of close relationships that can complete the changes you need to get in the air efficiently and safely.
Strong industry relationships, in general, provide consumers with the ability to resolve disputes in a way that all parties involved can benefit.
Zero Conflict of Interest
When you book directly with an air carrier you may find yourself dealing with a conflict of interest; air carriers who own their own planes or manage aircraft have a financial obligation to drive revenue to specific aircraft and services.
As the consumer, this means that a conflict could exist where they will put their needs ahead of your needs. This could result in flying on a plane that is larger than necessary, smaller than necessary, or doesn’t have the appropriate performance or space to meet all of your needs.
Aircraft carriers only make money when their planes are flying and each has monthly hour requirements to meet, which means they might be more concerned for their own profit over your satisfaction with your flight service. These limitations could result in you spending significantly to meet their needs of driving revenue to a specific aircraft. Unfortunately, this could also mean a reduced margin of safety.
Finding a reputable private jet charter broker, instead, takes away the potential for conflict of interest. At Stratos, we don’t own or operate any aircraft. This means that we have the opportunity to recommend the right aircraft for you, every single time, without bringing the financials into the equation.
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 are highly focused on the price and have less interest in the appropriateness of the aircraft or your comfort. They lack the knowledge to help you make an informed buying decision that meets the intent of your travels.
These types of brokers are more like order takers than expert flight advisors. 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 what they lack includes key industry relationships, quality personnel and technology to deliver the safest most reliable customer experience. 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. Because they typically don’t have the support to efficiently provide concierge services, in-flight catering or ground transportation services are rarely offered.
Industry leaders 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.
Stratos is committed to continually setting the bar higher. The company invests in the latest technology and uses all available resources to the client’s advantage. From maintaining an all-inclusive understanding of the industry to offering in-depth local knowledge, our private flight advisors and trip support specialists rise to the challenge of addressing clients’ needs.
The Stratos team stays on top of the latest developments in the industry and even has a hand in creating many of them. Its commitment to ongoing education ensures clients always receive the highest possible tier of service, from flying in the safest and most accommodating aircraft for the trip to having any minor details taken care of when they reach their destinations.
Today’s air charter clients demand a higher level of service from brokers. It’s not just a matter of getting to a destination; it’s about value. Stratos was founded with the mission of meeting this growing demand and filling the gap left by basement brokers.
When you’re looking for a broker for your next private jet charter, look for one dedicated to providing the value of a well-rounded experience. Pay attention to the details, like:
- ARGUS Certification
- Air Charter Association Safety Foundation
- Safety-Minded Approach that is observable
- Organizational structure designed to deliver a personalized customer experience
- Operation on a Client-Focused Platform
- Extensive Support
Stratos offers all this and more. The company is committed to catering to clients’ needs and generating the value-centric experience so vital to the private aviation industry today..
Trust Stratos Jet Charters as Your Private Aviation Company
Choosing the right private aviation company shouldn’t be hard. We understand you: when you make the decision for a private jet charter, look for the charter service that has the best records and the best recommendations. Here’s what Stratos Jet Charters can do for you:
Analyze the market for all available aircraft and make recommendations of aircraft based on the operator’s track record. Our knowledge and insight into the private aviation market is built on over 16 years of experience organizing tens of thousands of flights. We have developed relationships with air carriers and we know their strengths and their proven capabilities, so we are able to match the right air carrier to the right client.
Coordinate and organize your trip. We have a Trip Support Team that is set up to manage your pre-flight experience, your flight experience, and your post-flight experience. We will do everything we can to make these processes seamless. As your private flight advisor sources and educates you on the best aircraft options on the front end, our client services team ensures that your travel itinerary is precise to your specifications on the back end.
At Stratos we work as a team. We have private flight advisors for you who will be arranging things, but we don’t want to leave all of your important flight’s details on the shoulders of one person, so we all take ownership over your flight, from start to finish.
Audit and advocate for the most experienced crew to manage your trip. We want the best crew possible, and that means that we need to know who they are and what they’re capable of, long before they ever get assigned to your aircraft.
Troubleshoot and resolve issues on your behalf. We want to take care of all headaches before you even know that they exist. We will work for you to solve any problems so that your trip is seamless and incident-free.
At Stratos, while we respect the privacy of our customers, we make no issue of the fact that we attract a lot of high powered businesspeople and influential people from across the country. We are highly regarded in the industry.
Take a look at our reviews. We average a 4.88 star review, with 519 five star reviews out of 561. These are hundreds of very satisfied customers who not only flew with us but took the time to leave us stellar reviews, saying things like:
“Our experience was magnificent. Everyone at Stratos was on point and helpful with any and all questions we had for our trip.”
“Kerry was absolutely amazing!! She made the entire process very seamless and so easy for me. Made me look very good to my boss.”
“Glen and his team took care of all of our needs, from the flight to the car that picked us up at our destination. Nothing could have been more convenient and top rate!”
We know you have a lot of options when it comes to private aviation. But we feel strongly that, when you weigh all the factors, there is only one company that rises to the top, and that is Stratos Jet Charters.
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