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.
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."
At Pentastar Aviation, we focus first and foremost on passenger safety. There are no age restrictions for passengers on private jets. Just let us know if you are traveling with a child, and we’ll be sure the aircraft selected for your trip will accommodate your family’s needs. Please note, however, neither PACI nor Pentastar Aviation will transport unaccompanied minors under the age of 18. Domestic pets are allowed on some aircraft. Make sure to let your charter sales representative know if you will be traveling with a pet so we can accommodate your request. Please note that exotic animals may not be allowed, especially on international flights.
When you play the empty leg market, you need to be very flexible and understand that there’s a decent chance your empty leg may not happen or might be moved. If the customer chartering the inbound flight wants to leave a few hours later, your flight will be delayed. On the flip side, your planned departure could be suddenly moved up because Mr. Big wants to leave earlier.
Charter companies offer a tailored service in which the client has a choice of meals, drinks, staffing levels and additional services. Tour companies aim to maximize profits, so public charters usually only provide a very basic service to passengers, with a cheap -- or no -- meal, minimal staffing and low baggage allowances. With a private charter, organizations can take advantage of options such as video conferencing, business services and corporate branding. In-flight meals are of a better quality, and passengers do not have luggage restrictions. With public charters, passengers still have to stand in line for check-in and security, so they need to be at the airport two to three hours before the flight. With a private charter, you can pass straight through security and onto the aircraft.
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.
If the paying customer – that person shelling out $5,000 to $20,000 per hour - cancels his or her trip, then your empty leg will also be cancelled. If you were going somewhere, make sure your hotel and car rental reservations can be changed without penalty. If you were using an empty leg to get home, make sure you also scan the airline schedules and availability so you have a backup plan. Most empty legs can be cancelled anytime before departure, and reasons can include that delays earlier in the day meant your pilots ran out of time to something on the inbound flight broke and needs to be fixed. Oh, and that’s it. You’ll get a refund of your money, but you’re usually on your own, perhaps sitting in a private jet terminal at an airport with no commercial flights.
How much luggage can you bring? Unlikecommercial airlines, there are no baggage limits per se. You can bring whatever luggage will fit on the plane. But always work with your flight planner, especially if you’ll need to accommodate extra bags or heavy equipment. With smaller planes in particular, weight limits may influence the amount of baggage you can bring.
So is there a cheaper way to get that entire private jet to yourself to really impress your friends and family? The answer is yes. It’s called and an empty leg, which is repositioning flight that takes place after the aircraft dropped off its last full paying charter passengers and now has to fly to another airport to pick up its next group, or sometimes for the aircraft and crew to come back to their base after dropping off customers and various combinations.
We had quite a number of issues booking this trip, which resulted in add'l work and follow up for me. As broker these issues should have been handled / caught prior to making a proposal. I believe I had to sign 4 different revised quote sheets for this trip! Also the final signed sheet stated we would land in LFMD on the return leg. Hence we booked transportation for pick up at LFMD. However flight landed in LFMN. This caused add'l stress and expense for no reason. I have only now seen that the last itinerary link showed an arrival at LFMN - but I never opened this one since all previous ones, including the contract reconfirmation showed LFMD. As for the aircraft itself: it was one of the oldest ones I have ever flown. The door / separation to the toilet / luggage area was broken (not the lock but the entire frame!) and the toilet was not accessible due to a lot of "stuff" (amenities, water bottles, etc.) being thrown in / stored in the area. Overall cleanliness was not superb either. Finally, the catering we requested was not available / not complete. Breakfast (eggwhite and sausage!!) was cold and wet and the fruitplatter had molded grapes; no ice bucket, nor champagne glasses were present. On the return leg, fruitplatter was nice but again no ice bucket nor champagne glasses were present. As a matter of fact, the soft drink container was not even replenished w new ice!! So overall - yes, we flew from A to B but the service experience was disappointing.
Everything was first class even though we not only left one of our bags on the plane but lost a wallet on the return trip (not on the plane), Matt Machokas was very helpful in assisting us in helping to resolve our problems. All pilots were great. Matt also arranged a flight for us because of a date issue I made with the return flight. He assisted in finding another plane to be sent so that we did not have to wait another day.
Wings Up is unique in the private-charter game as there is no membership or long-term commitment required to take advantage of the company’s services. Any traveler can charter an aircraft through Wings Up without prior engagement and because there are no membership fees, the bottom line cost is much lower—sometimes up to half price—compared to other flight charter companies.
Another place private air charter will surprise you – and save you time - is on the ground. These days flying commercial aircraft means you can sometimes spend as much time on the ground as you do in the air -- making your way through boarding pass and baggage check lines, working your way through TSA procedures, and struggling through plane boarding and overhead bin competition.
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.