I had the pleasure to work with Joel on a last minute trip needed to transport several professional athletes to an event. Joel was fast-acting and completely professional every step of the way. He sent constant updates to make sure our trip needs were met every step of the way. I would recommend Joel and Stratos to anybody looking to book private jets who also values professionalism and accountability.
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.
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Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
There are potentially even better deals. JetSuite offers SuiteDeals for as little as $500 each way. You have to sign up on its website, but when I visited, it didn’t have any flights listed. Wheels Up has a program called 8760. You pay $6,900 annually and access empty legs for as little as $320. You also get entry to its hospitality at events at the Super Bowl, The Masters, other high profile confabs, plus an Inspirato Key Membership which normally has a $10,000 initiation fee and then $3,500 annual dues.
Because a charter flight is not part of a scheduled service, the flight will depart when you want it to. You are also able to choose which cities you fly to and from. Charter Flights are particularly convenient when you need to travel to a city where scheduled airline service may require multiple connections or layovers before you reach your destination.
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!
Each traveler has the opportunity to select the plane that will be most comfortable for the chosen group. Hire a helicopter for the perfect two-person sightseeing trip over upstate New York; take a group of your closest friends to island hop off the coast of mainland Florida on a turboprop plane, great for short trips. For cross-country travelers—like an East Coast group of friends planning a bachelor party or bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas—a chartered super mid-size jet that flies nonstop could do the trick. Even jumbo jets like 747’s can be chartered for a larger group—think 50 to 500 people—so that everyone can fly together without having to worry about booking tickets on a commercial airline. The best part? No luggage fees.
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.
Recently booked a jet for 11 people from my organization to continue operations during hurricane Irma. As business owners know, operations do not cease during a disaster and customers must continue to be served. Stratos Jet Charters booked the aircraft we needed within an hour of reaching out. Our team was able to continue business operations in NYC seamlessly. Much appreciation to Joel and his team for fast action!
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.
After your initial enquiry you will be assigned a personal charter expert who will send you a selection of quotes for you to choose from. Each quote will have a clear breakdown of aircrafts and airports and reasons they have been selected for you. Should you wish to go ahead they will then book the aircraft and send you all the flight details including directions to the terminal and any other important information. They will be your first point of call for any further enquiries you may have up to the flight and, if possible, they will meet you at the terminal. From your initial quote you will be able to contact your account manager 24/7 (if on holiday you will be assigned another account manager to cover) so you can call from wherever, whenever you like.