At Wings Up, passengers flying out of a private airport can board and be ready for flight a mere five minutes upon arrival. Other advantages of flying out of a private airport include bypassing TSA lines and body scans, in addition to avoiding the headache of flight delays or cancelations. International chartered flights still require a passport and all mandatory FAA regulations but don’t require arrival hours before takeoff, saving travelers precious time and energy.
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.”
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.
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.
As the assistant who actually booked the trip and made the plans for my employer and her family, I must say that the experience was a new one for me. That said, the unfamiliar process was made much simpler thanks to the knowledge, expertise and patience of my rep, Christina Nesbit. She was extremely informative and helped thru each step of the process, reassuring me that the passengers were getting the most appropriate plane for their needs.I will double check to be sure there isn't any additional feedback I am missing, but to date I was told that the flight was a pleasurable one and they were appreciative and impressed that the President came to greet them pre flight as well.Thank you, Shari
You will be told how much the hold can take on your chosen aircraft and can upgrade if you feel more space is needed. This will generally be far more than that of a commercial airline. You may also need to upgrade if carrying things like golf clubs and skis. If travelling with a gun, you will need to provide a license and the gun and ammunition must be kept separate. It is then at the captain’s discretion whether it can be on board.