My experience with Stratos has been very good since I started booking jets several years ago. Joel and his team provide excellent service and followup at every stage. We recently had a flight where the incoming plane had a mechanical and they were able to replace it with a comparable one within just a few hours. Our original take off time was only missed by less than a half hour. The Stratos team communicated with us all along the way and everything was fine. The pilots are very good at what they do and the ground organization is thorough and efficient. I would recommend them to a friend.
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.
Worked with Kerry Hill and as always, she delivered excellent service. First date departure had to be delayed due to a mechanical issue with the aircraft and she kept me well informed. When the revised departure date came, she worked continuously to get a hangar for the aircraft in order to help avoid costly de-icing then next morning. Can't say enough good things about Kerry and Stratos Jet!
Having used many charter companies before with mixed experiences, I can say with confidence that Stratos has the best service and highest level of professionalism of any of the charter services I have encountered. Most recently, we had an unfortunate last minute cancellation of a charter booked through another service, and Stratos came through at the last minute to find the right plane at the right price for us with under 24 hour notice. I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism as well as their willingness and ability to go above and beyond to find the right charter for us - even as a first time customer.
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."