Nowadays, hiring an executive jet is considered a very safe travel option, because you are in contact with far fewer people at the airport and during your flight. Moreover, during the security checking and boarding, you limit your health risk to a minimum since you have access to the executive terminal. In fact, wealthy people charter private jets to avoid long queues and crowded airports, therefore saving time.
In addition, due to travel restrictions, people who can afford it go for Private Jets, as having your own private space while flying in the air is a distinctive experience. There is no doubt that the cost of chartering a private jet is a little high, but it’s worth spending each and every penny.
1. Why charter a private jet?
Private jets give you the ultimate freedom and flexibility. Just imagine you are the only passenger along with your friends and guests onboard your own private chartered jet. You can actually have your private jet broker organize an exclusive private flight where confidentiality and your privacy are the ultimate advantages. Moreover, when you have decided to travel by any type of private jet, you can choose the departure and arrival airports according to your wishes. Thus the additional journey time and transfer times, allowing you to save time. Along with that, you can arrive only 20 minutes before your flight departure time instead of many hours - so no tiresome waiting in lounges or at luggage collection and boarding procedures.
Particularly in the US and Europe, private jet firms have experienced a boom in their business in the last few years, as more affluent people tend to charter private jets to keep their life and business cycle rotate at the desired pace, even during an economic or public health crisis. But keep in mind that there are a few points that should be taken into account before you charter a private jet. You must have adequate knowledge regarding the key pointers on how private jets work. Once you have decided to charter a private jet, the first step is to contact your private jet broker who will assist you in booking the right private jet.
2. Finding the aircraft that best suits your needs
You have avoided commercial flights for a reason. Private aircraft booking is not a difficult process. There are several private jet companies in Europe. Also, there are a lot of preconceived ideas while you are planning to charter a private jet. But keep in mind that you need to find the private jet that best suits your needs, and that’s what private jet brokers are here for.
Cheaper is not always the best solution. The cost of chartering a private jet is quite hefty on the pocket. Thus, it is necessary that it provides you all that you need. While booking a private jet, keep the following points in mind.
Number of passengers: this actually defines the type of private jet you are going to charter. On average, 4 to 18 people can be accommodated in jets ranging from turboprops to heavy jets. Other variables may include the height of individuals, the layout of the jet cabin and the space requirement.
Amount of luggage: here, it plays a huge role in selecting the type of jet. The more luggage you have, the larger the jet you will need to carry them. There are certain jets that do not accommodate more than the 1 or 2 pieces of carry-on luggage. So make a note of the number and size of the pieces of luggage you are going to carry along with other equipment, and decide accordingly. The best way is to inform your private jet broker at the time of booking about the luggage quantity. It will help you to avoid any inconvenience in the long run.
Flying direct or with stops: having an idea of the flight distance is necessary for the selection of the appropriate aircraft. When flying long distances, if you do not want to take a break for refueling then you might have to change the private jet type to a larger private jet as different jets have different levels of fuel autonomy. Furthermore, if you have to fly for a longer period of time then there is definitely a need to take a nap during the flight, which you could mostly do in large and long range jets which are equipped with convertible sofa beds.
Airport restrictions: travelling to remote areas usually comes with some constraints. A disadvantage is that small airports usually have much shorter runways. Consequently, the choice of private jets you can charter may also vary depending upon the final destination.
In addition, do check the safety ratings of the jet, cabin crew or attendants and operator. Operators and brokers have to follow some industry standards and must meet the ARGUS industry standards.
3. Booking an aircraft and paying for the charter
So far your private jet broker has helped you determine the right private jet for your private flight as per your need and convenience. Now comes the most important step of booking the private aircraft and paying for chartered flights. If you are hiring it for the first time, you may find it somewhat daunting. But hiring a private plane in Europe and Switzerland is as easy as finding a location on Google Map.
You can book a private jet in two ways. First, you can charter a flight through operators. Operators are the ones who themselves physically manage a fleet of jets. The other way is through a broker. Brokers are the middlemen between operators and clients. You can technically charter a private jet directly through operators. However, it is best to hire it through a broker. There are a number of reasons in favour of hiring a private broker instead of an operator.
Significant Discount: Brokers have developed long-term and good relationships with operators. As a result, they can get big discounts. Other people book a private jet once in a blue moon while brokers make volume purchases. It also empowers them to bargain on price. Thus, they are in a position to offer you a price plan that is much more reasonable.
Aircraft On Ground Security: In case of any technical or mechanical fault in a jet, brokers usually have a Plan B. While an operator is stuck with his grounded fleet, brokers’ ability to source a suitable private jet on the market for you can be helpful when it comes to finding a backup private jet, as they know you cannot afford to run late for a meeting.
Ensuring Safety: Every charter operator ensures safety standards are met. However, if you have chartered a jet via a broker, this will ensure that the aircraft and the crew are properly vetted. You really do not know the crew personally. Meanwhile, due to multiple purchases, brokers have an accurate evaluation report of pilot experience, cabin crew behaviour and third-party auditing.
In short, booking a private jet through a broker instead of going directly through an operator is a hundred times more secure. The dedicated private aviation advisors of the private jet firms will particularly ask about your needs during the flight. They will enquire about your needs that we have already discussed above.
The private jet broker will prepare a contract. You will have to duly give the required information so that they can draft the contract. The signing of the contract is done either physically or through any e-signing application. As far as payment is concerned it is made via wire transfer, or credit or debit card. It is entirely the choice of the firm to prescribe the preferred payment method. Along with that, you have to made advance payment. Meanwhile, additional charges like catering as well as car transfers are calculated in the final bill.
4. Fixing the details of your trip
Your private jet broker will keep tabs on the details of your trip ahead of your flight. First of all, let your private jet broker know about your catering preferences. If you are allergic to any kind of food, give prior notice to them. Also, some private jets come with a cabin attendant. Let your private jet broker know in advance if you want any cabin attendant or not.
No matter if you are flying a private jet or not, you still have to carry all the necessary travel documents with you. Check that your passport and National Identity card are still valid. Similarly, if required, you will have to apply for a visa prior to booking a private jet. The difference lies in the time taken for the boarding process. That’s how the private jet works. You will be treated on a priority basis with chartered flights. As far as ticketing is concerned, private jets are ticket free. You will receive an itinerary that mentions some crucial information. It includes your route details, booking references and other essential information about your flight. It may also explain the contact details of your crew, the time of departure and the tail number of your aircraft. In private jet charters, the tail number is the reference, not the flight number.
Your private jet broker firm usually offers ground chauffeur services as well. A private chauffeur can pick you up along with your luggage and drive you to the airport. In some cases, you can even get tarmac access to the runway. The chauffeur will then drop you at the stairs of your private jet. Luxury cars are available to pick you up on the day of your flight from your pick-up point.
5. The day of the flight
Unlike commercial airline flights, private jet charter flights do not require you to arrive at the airport several hours before take-off. You need to come only 20 minutes prior to departure time in order to avoid any hassle and to ensure take-off on time. The chartered private jet offers departure facilities from the private jet terminal that are exclusively reserved for the client. At the airport, you will go through what is called a Fixed Base Operator (FBO). FBO is a third-party firm that takes care of charter flight individuals’ needs, passenger and luggage handling, aircraft refuelling, hangar facilities etc. It allows you to drive straight to your exclusive jet instead of walking to it.
Once inside at the private jet terminal, give your itinerary and the registration of your aircraft to the handling agent. A representative will make contact with your private jet crew and pilot. Your luggage will be carried by the handling agent directly to the plane. After going through an identification check, scrutiny and rapid pre-flight session, you are ready to fly.
6. On board the aircraft
The onboard experience in private jets solely depends upon the type of private jet you have chartered. The onboard service starts with catering. If you have not ordered something prior to boarding, you will be offered standard catering. It may include any juice, drink or snacks. It is a complimentary service that most of the private jets offer. If you have ordered specific catering, you will be served during the flight.
As mentioned earlier, the booking for flight attendants is made previously. If you have opted for this service, the onboard cabin crew will serve the edibles to passengers. Pilots are not going to serve you. The sole responsibility of the pilots is to fly the jet. Meanwhile, for your entertainment, most of the big jets come with entertainment options and an audio system. Along with that, Wi-Fi service may also be available, and if requested, this will be charged after the flight.
7. On arrival
Upon arrival, an agent is already waiting near the plane’s stairs to transport you and your luggage to the private jet terminal. Usually, your private jet broker has arranged a private chauffeur service ahead of your arrival time to maximize your convenience. This is another major advantage of hiring a private broker - they make all the necessary arrangements for you and offer post-flight services as well. You will be picked up from the airport by your private chauffeur to be taken to your final destination.
As far as luggage collection is concerned, there is no need to wait for your luggage to appear on the rail. Passengers travelling by private jet have exclusive entry points. The process of luggage screening and pickup is quite seamless and smooth compared to that of commercial flights where you have to wait for hours for luggage clearance.
If you charter a jet for a return flight as well, the crew will give you their contact details and will agree with you on a meeting point and time. If you need to make any changes to the trip, instead of contacting the pilot, you need to communicate it to your private jet charter representative who will organize all the operational aspects of your new flight itinerary. It is the best and proper channel to minimize error.