The most economical option is chartering, which doesn't require any cash upfront (other than a deposit) through companies like Tradewind, Sentient, and Solairus, (which we took home from North Carolina). Of course, there are the old standbys like NetJets and Marquis, who sell fractional ownership (like 1/16th) of a single jet for upwards of $100K. One step down from that, pricewise, is the jet card, where you buy a set amount of hours from a company like Nicholas or Private Jet Services, and can use those hours for different planes. Then there are membership models like WheelsUp, where you pay $17,500 as an initiation fee to fly in their fleet, and then a $8,500 annual dues fee starting the second year. It's like a country club—only you're guaranteed access to a KingAir350i or Citation Excel / XLS instead of a golf course.
We were on a commercial flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City when part way into our flight we got notification from Delta app that our delay was going to cause us to miss our connection. We were on a long weekend for MLK to go skiing in Lake Tahoe. We were going to be rescheduled the following day, thus missing half of our vacation. I had email only, and emailed Garett asking if they had an operator in SLC who could get us to Tahoe that evening. Within 20 minutes he came back with two quotes. By the time we landed he had set up the flight, emailed me the number to the shuttle to get from Delta terminal to the private terminal, and did it all for a great price. To throw things off even more, we were set to fly to Tahoe, but Delta somehow got our bags on the flight to Reno that they said we couldn't make. So at the last minute we changed from Tahoe to Reno for a destination. By the time we took the shuttle to the FBO our flight plan was set and we took off within 10 minutes. It could not have been more seamless. It literally saved our vacation. Time is the most precious resource we have and time with family is even more precious. Our daughter is a senior and this is one of the last trips we'll have with her; it meant a lot, and Stratos savings our vacation, allowing us to create memories, means all that much more. Thank you!! Dave
Since day one, Joel and his team have been providing us with great customer service and always meet or exceed our needs. They are impeccable in their constant communication, which includes everything from quotes to flight status, and all in between. They are very accommodating to all requests, even the last minute ones. Sarah with trip support has carefully and flawlessly helped with all requested travel arrangements, from car rental to car service. It is hard to find a company these days that is genuine and understands the importance of truly great customer service, and this company and all members of the team, have this! It is very refreshing. I would recommend this company to anyone who has ever thought about trying Jet Charters or has done so for years, it will be a change for the best!
No matter what company you're flying with, be sure to ask if there two pilots or one. (Though two pilots are standard on commercial flights, regulations vary for private planes of all sizes.) It also helps to ask if the operator owns the plane—typically, companies that own their planes offer better service. Never forget to ask about daily minimums and taxi fees. "If the hourly rate is $9,000 and you have a single 40-minute flight, you might assume you are going to pay $6,000," says Doug Gollan, creator of PrivateJetCardComparisons.com. "But if your provider has a daily minimum of 1.5 hours, you are going to actually be charged $13,500, plus taxi time, which in my comparisons I have found varies between being included and up to 12 minutes per segment."
On-Demand Pricing works for some of our clients. Others want greater predictability for budgeting their travel expenditures, so Stratos offers Fixed-Rate Pricing via our prepaid Stratos Jet Card. By prepaying your aircraft charter fees at a locked-in rate, you can budget your travel expenses in advance.* The best way to lock in hourly rates for private flights is with a Jet Card Membership.
WE were told to go to First Aviation Services terminal at Teterboro but our plane was at another terminal so we wasted over 45 minutes trying to find our aircraft and our agent was not at all helpful. In fact he told us someone was coming to pick us up and they never came and we had to find someone to help us get to the terminal our plane was located at. The agent asked us for our rental car info but when we landed in Naples the rental car was not at the terminal and we had to find a ride over to the other side of the air field to get our rental car. The flight was great but the handling of the pre and post flight were below normal and not what I am used to when I fly private.
Joel was a delight to work with arranging our flight from IRMA. Very professional and accommodating. I would definitely use him and your company again and refer others to you. The flight was fantastic with very nice pilots, James Briggs and Thomas Sommers. We were not the typical passengers as my husband has Alzheimer's and is wheelchair bound. Thanks for everything!!!
Same on return flight except we arrived a good half hour early but crew jumped to task and loaded us and dogs promptly for return. Only item worth mentioning was during climb out to altitude both my wife and I heard numerous bumping sound on both sides of fuselage up and down the sides and top. We have owned our own planes and owned shares in jets through Flight Options and chartered often over the years and we have never had this type of noise. It almost sounded like rivets coming out or random bird strikes (which I knew it was not). I mentioned it to the co-pilot and he told me to report it so maintenance could be sure to check it out. Said it may be a maintenance issue on an older aircraft but a first for me. After attaining altitude the noise did not reoccur. All else went according to schedule and the pilots were very professional and assisted on and off with dogs and luggage. I would use again this service. Thank
Very professional, very knowledgeable - truly care about their clients. Stratos is always very good to work with. When one of their requests come in we know we will be treated equitably, politely, and professionally, as the Operator. The Stratos team is always friendly and thorough. The Stratos Guests are always very good to our Flight Crews, which we appreciate very much. I would highly recommend Stratos Jet Charters. Malachi Mountain Aviation.
We decided at the last minute to escape from Florida as hurricane Irma was bearing down on us, and Stratos came through for us. Despite our first choice airport running out of fuel, they managed to get some at another and we got out with about 1 hour to spare. It was a hectic time, with everyone else scrambling to escape, but Stratos made the whole experience simple and efficient for us.We will definitely fly with them another time, preferable when we're not all stressed about a hurricane aimed right at us!
Other near-term empty leg deals included Houston to Aspen on a Citation X seating eight for $14,000, not much less than an eight-seat Learjet 45XR for $18,945 with a normal charter. Skyjet, a broker that also offers empty legs had one this weekend from Nassau in the Bahamas to Ft. Lauderdale on a six-seat Phenom 300 for $3,000. Ft. Lauderdale to Key West and Tampa to Ft. Lauderdale, also on a Phenom 300, were being offered at $2,625 each. Chartering a similar aircraft for the same timings the regular way would run around $6,000.
We prefer to finalize our itinerary, plane and crew at least a week in advance. We did not get things completely final until the day of the actual flight. Secondly, we prefer to pay post-flight rather than pre-flight. You were able to make an exception in our case which was appreciated. Lastly, the quality of the catering service from STT was atrocious. It was inedible.
From pre-trip planning to updates via text message on your way to the airport, Stratos had us covered. We made our way from Emirates @ JFK and the FOB transfer was easy. Joel had already updated Julie (my assistant) before we landed that there were long delays out of JFK due to weather. The transfer to FBO was easy and they were expecting us. The plane was comfortable and modern and the crew could not have been kinder. Thank you guys as always for a great trip. Flight was great and the crew took us right past the storms and my one year old son slept the whole trip; a much needed reprieve for my wife and I.