Choosing a Charter Partner
When you charter a flight, the only other passengers you have to deal with are any family or guests you choose to bring along with you. This is one very important reason why a private charter flight can be an amazing experience – if you choose the right charter partner.
Private flights are all about the ultimate in convenience and personalized service, after all. But, choosing a charter company that will make your experience truly magnificent in every way can quickly become very confusing.
Remember: the charter company you choose is also “on board” with you. The company you choose can have a much more dramatic impact on your overall flying experience than crammed seating, lost luggage, or any number of crying babies.
Consider these few pointers before you choose a charter flight company and you’ll make a better-informed decision before your next flight:
Your charter partner should be 100% focused on your needs and goals as a client. You deserve the ultimate in service. Anything less and you might as well go back through the TSA frisk line and fly commercial.
- FAA Approved Air Carrier
Believe it or not, there are many individuals and companies operating charter operations illegally. Flying with an illegal charter operator is dangerous and can present an enormous liability risk for you and for your family if anything goes wrong. Ask to see their FAA Air Carrier Certificate.
- Brick and Mortar
Most charter companies are actually brokers. They don’t own or operate the aircraft you and your family and guests will be flying in. This means brokers don’t have control over the aircraft’s maintenance, schedule, or prices. This can and often does result in price changes, delays, or canceled flights for you. The wrong choice here can quickly feel a lot like that commercial flight experience you were hoping to avoid.
- A Plane for Your Specific Needs
Your charter partner should have several planes to choose from, for different types of charter flights. Paying for a plane that’s larger than you need will dramatically increase your cost. You shouldn’t ever have to pay for air just to get in the air.
- Multiple Aircraft
Having multiple planes available will decrease the chances of your flight being delayed or canceled – leaving you stuck sitting in the airport, enduring the “wonderful” commercial flight experience you paid specifically to avoid.
Do they have a good reputation? This is the Internet age. Do some research, see their online reviews, look at social medial outlets and ask for past client references. You should 100% trust the company you’re choosing for you and your family.
- Newer Aircraft
Older aircraft are like any other machine. They tend to require more maintenance as they get older. Look for aircraft that are no more than 5-10 years old to avoid delays or cancelations due to unforeseen maintenance downtime. After all, people wear out too, and nothing will wear you out faster than sitting around an airport needlessly.
- Price Guarantee
Pricing should be clear and presented promptly – in writing. There should be a guarantee that the price you agreed to is the price you pay.
Ask to review the deposit policy. Deposits should be reasonable; not more than 10%-15% of the total flight cost. Deposits should also be refundable, as long as you cancel 24-36 hours prior to your flight’s departure time.
- Standby Time
How many hours’ wait time was included in the quote? If necessary, how much will you be charged for overnight waiting and lodging?
- Corporate Clients
Do they offer standard billing terms or corporate rates for professionals that fly often? If you fly for business, you deserve the best available rate. Any charter company that wants your business will offer you one.
- Facility & Service
You’re paying for a very personalized, quality service; you deserve true first class treatment, in a consistently clean and professional environment – every time.
- Concierge Services
Flying isn’t just about getting there. It’s also about your destination. First class service should be first class all the way, even after you’ve touched down. Do they offer complimentary concierge services, such as hotel and dinner reservations? What about car rental or excursion booking?