Delta Private Jets, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines, earlier this year launched Sky Access. You pay $8,500 and can fly as many empty legs as you want at no additional cost. You also get 20% off select fares on Delta’s airline flights. There is a $500 fee if you cancel or no show. Over this weekend 66 empty legs were listed, although some such as Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, all of 30 miles, wouldn’t even give you time to pop open a beer. More interesting was Washington D.C. to Chicago and New York to Sarasota. There were also Nantucket to New York and Las Vegas to San Francisco, however, they were both on Friday, so the wrong direction for most people, and that’s the point, and perhaps a good segue to discussing the some of the downsides.
For those unfamiliar with air charter costs, prices can initially be a bit intimidating. One reason for the higher costs associated with flying privately is of course the fact that some of the costs incurred are costs that are typically shared by all passengers on commercial flights, whereas, in the case of chartering a private aircraft, you are chartering the entire aircraft and crew for your exclusive use.
Charter, also called air taxi or ad-hoc flights require certification from the associated country's regulating body such as the FAA in the U.S. The regulations are differentiated from typical commercial/passenger service by offering a non-scheduled service. In the U.S. these flights are regulated under FAA Part 135. There are some cases where a charter operator can sell scheduled flights, but only in limited quantities.
I met Joel, years ago, when he first introduced me to Stratos Jet Charters during its start-up phase. I was always very impressed on their marketing and honesty, as a broker. Joel is very genuine and caring when it comes to his customers or the operators that he works with. I know that Stratos Jets will not sacrifice safety for anything. I know that he likes to treat everyone like they are part of the Stratos Jet family. The trip planning process, from quote request to trip planning to invoice, is seamless – they’ve thought of everything and continue to be ahead of the trend in our industry with the way they do things. They think of everything! In my opinion, Stratos Jet Charters set the bar for aircraft brokerage and I will always continue to look forward to working with them.
Whether you travel frequently for business or only occasionally for pleasure, chances are you've considered hiring a charter plane. When you fly on a private plane, you can skip the long wait times and baggage checks of a commercial flight. Your departure and return times are determined by your schedule, and in some cases you can even book a same-day flight! Here are some of our most commonly asked questions regarding private flights:
Stratos Jet Charters doesn’t just claim to provide our clients with the best private jet charter service, we deliver it. We are consistently able to deliver world-class customer experience because we invest in key personnel. Our team shares our passion for excellence in private aviation. With more than a decade of experience in arranging thousands of private jet flights, we have developed a proprietary trip management system. This allows our Trip Support team to collaborate in real-time with our clients, booking agents, air carriers and concierge service providers involved with the trip. As a result, every private jet rental we book is arranged entirely to the client’s satisfaction.
Lastly, don't be afraid to ask about safety: Any reputable operator should have safety information prominently featured on their website, and won't mind answering questions about their pilots, such as how many hours they have flown. (At least 250 hours, which is what it takes to get a commercial license; NetJets mandates at least 2,500 hours; Wheels Up, mandates 7,000 hours for a captain and 4,000 for a first officer.) Gollan suggests fliers ask if the pilot has any health issues, and feel free to ask if the operator (or plane itself) have any accidents or incidents in its history.
Because jet charter is not priced on a per person or ticket basis, it is not likely that it would be more cost effective for a group of 10-15 individuals to charter a jet compared with flying via scheduled airline service in coach or first class. Even if the total cost for a charter trip is split among 10 people, the cost each person would cover would still be significant.