If you’ve been spending a lot of money on travelling lately, you may have already thought about chartering a private plane instead.
Chartering has many advantages over flying commercial that should not be overlooked. However, you can make your chartering experience better if you know a few tricks. Here are a few essential tips for your first private plane, jet charter trip.
Be prepared for a whole new experience
If you think chartered flights are in any way similar to commercial flights, perish the thought right now. First of all, prices are significantly higher, as expected, but the experience is well worth it. The level of attention and amenities you’ll have access to are incomparable to what you would get when flying commercial, even first class.
And if budget is an issue, you should know that private jet hire start making more sense financially if you’re travelling with a large party. Cost can be split to reflect the prices you would pay with a regular commercial flight, without all the hassle.
You won’t have to think about lines and innumerable checkpoints. And even if you’re dealing with bad weather, the charter plane will still be available until the weather clears up, often departing much sooner than other commercial flights. In all ways, comparing charter flights with commercial flights is like comparing a chauffeured car service with public transport.
Know luggage limits beforehand
While there are fewer restrictions as far as luggage goes with private plane charter flights, that doesn’t mean it’s a free for all. Before you decide to board, make sure that you discuss in detail with your jet charter advisor the amount of luggage the airplane can handle and make sure that you plan accordingly. Different planes have different capacity, and this becomes especially important if you’re travelling with a group.
Make sure that you book as early as possible
If you want to be sure the private jet you want is available at the time of flight, you have to make sure that you book your flight as early as possible. Not doing so can result in a particular plane not being available and throwing a wrench in your plans if no planes with the capacity you need are available.
Private jet rental companies will allow you to book months in advance and with some companies, like Paramount Business Jets, you can to take off as early as an hour after booking. A wide variety of charter flights are offered to most destinations in the world by these larger rental corporations. So, make sure that you book a plane as soon as you have all the logistics down.
The general rule of thumb is to book at least two weeks before the flight to make sure it is available. You also should know that there is usually a 72-hour cancellation fee on charter flights.
Go for the best value for the money
Sure, getting a discount on your trip by opting for a low-quality aircraft might seem like a good idea at first, but it isn’t always the best value for your money. Going for a better aircraft, even if it means paying more, is often a better choice. The quality of the aircraft will have a huge impact on the quality of your flight. Luxury interiors and other options can make a big difference in your comfort.
Don’t be afraid to ask recommendations from your broker before you make your pick. You might think that there is not a big difference between a G400 and a G550, but the G550’s massage seats are above and beyond what you’ll get in a G400. All these minor details will have an impact on your flight and you might regret skimping out on a budget plane once you get in.
There are also a few other ways that you can save on your trip. For instance, you could decide to go for an aircraft that would need to refuel en-route to your particular destination. This way, you could save money by choosing a plane with a shorter range. Also, if you’re staying at your destination for a long period, you could save by taking two round trips instead of one where the plane stays with you the whole time. This could allow you to save on hangar time and crew lodging.
Catering orders can also be expensive and add to the price, as well as extra service. If you don’t have an issue paying a premium for VIP service, fine, but being conservative with your orders will allow you to save money on your private plane.
Ask as many questions as you can
You should never be afraid to ask as many questions as possible about your aircraft, crew or team before you take off. Most reliable jet chartering services will be more than happy to help you. You should take the opportunity to ask questions about the aircraft, such as when it was last refurbished, how many flight hours it had, what year the model is, etc. You should also ask as many questions as you can about your pilots as well. Knowing the number of flight hours and the flight history of pilots is no small detail, and might help ease your mind as well.
Make sure that you ask as many questions as possible along the way, so you can get the absolute best value possible. Ask about the appearance of the interior of the private plane and know which FBO you will use. Know the exact logistics as well, such as when you should be at the airport, where you’ll need to go, and who will be escorting you to your private plane.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for extras if you need them. Remember, this is a VIP service, and most chartering services will do everything in their power to accommodate you. Need WI-FI access as well as a satellite phone? Ask for it. Do you need some extra accommodations for your pets? This can also be arranged as well. If you want to fly a specific plane and no other model, it can also be reserved for you. You can arrange everything from the number of flight attendants, exact landing and departure times, and arrange special meals as well.
However, you also have to be flexible as well. For instance, there are cases where the exact private plane you want might not be available. If that is the case, look at the other options and look at which ones would be a good alternative. No need to be too rigid if you can get the same experience, sometimes at a much lower price.
If you want your chartered trip to go well and want to get the most value for your money, make sure that you follow the tips in this article. Make sure that you understand the differences between commercial and chartered flights and that you understand luggage and capacity restrictions first. Also, make sure that you book your flight early to make sure that you get the airplane that you want. Try to get the best deal as possible and don’t be afraid to ask for extras if available. And last, but not least, be ready to make concessions if they don’t affect the quality of your flight too much.