By Aron van Ziel
Are you planning to fly with a private jet? It can be difficult to know exactly what to consider before booking a private plane. There are a number of factors that are important before you make a booking. In this blog you can read which factors are important and what to consider when booking a private jet.
Which private jet operator should you choose?
The first thing to check before booking a private flight is which operator has the capacity to operate your flight. Not every destination can be flown directly by every private jet and with every crew. Some airports such as Saint-Tropez and la Mole require specific qualifications from pilots. Not all drivers have these qualifications.
It is therefore important that you know in advance what your destination is, with how many people you will be traveling and how long you want to stay at the destination. On the basis of this information you can easily check whether an operator can meet your requirements and has the availability of a suitable crew and aircraft.
There are different types of devices. The type of aircraft can have a significant impact on the price you pay. Operators have different planes, some of these planes can fly to your destination in one go, others cannot. Also, certain aircraft cannot land at some airports.
If you want to book a private plane, you can distinguish between four types of private jets. The heavy jets, mid size jets, light jets and the air taxi. You can read the differences between these jets in our blog.
Also discuss the baggage you wish to take with the operator. It can have a major impact on the type of aircraft you need. If you are taking a lot of luggage, this can mean that a fuel stopover is required.
Which property model does the operator use?
Operators use many different pricing models. The best known model, which is also most often used by private jet operators is the ad-hoc model. You pay a rate per flight hour for your flight.
In addition, there is the fractional ownership or shared ownership model. You pay a fixed amount, so you become part of the owner of one of the aircraft in the fleet. This means that you are connected to the operator. This means you can often fly cheaper.
Another model that is often used is the membership model. You pay a fixed amount for a certain period in which you can fly for a maximum number of hours.
Through which channels can you book a private plane?
You can book a private plane in a number of different ways. The first way is by directly contacting an operator of a private aircraft. Another way is by contacting a broker. This is an intermediary that connects the aircraft and the customers.
When you book a flight, you may encounter unexpected problems at the last minute. Your appointment is delayed or there is a long traffic jam. This makes it important that you carefully consider in advance what flexibility your private jet operator offers with regard to departure times.
Each airport differs in the handling of flight schedules and whether slots are allocated. Often an aircraft has been assigned a specific slot in which it is allowed to depart. If this slot is not met, a new slot must be assigned. When the airport is busy, this can sometimes cause considerable delays. Make sure your operator is aware of the airport you are departing from. Should it happen that you have a different flight time than you planned in advance, please inform the operator as soon as possible. Also make sure you know in advance whether a change will incur additional costs. This way you will not be faced with surprises.
How experienced is the crew?
You may also ask yourself: How much experience does the crew have and how many crew members does the operator have available. Certain operators only fly with highly experienced pilots. With this they build up a lot of extra security and safety. It ensures that in unexpected events there is always an experienced pilot behind the wheel. A larger crew gives you the certainty of a timely departure with your private jet. Before booking the flight, ask about the company’s security measures and the pilots themselves. How much experience and flying hours do they have.
Ask for the payment terms
Another important point you can check before booking a private flight is the operator’s payment terms. The conditions differ per operator. You buy a package of a number of flying hours from certain operators. This way you pay a whole amount in one go, then you can fly until your hours are up. However, you are dependent on the availability of the devices. Some operators make it possible to book an alternative device at an additional cost. So you cannot always fly immediately when you wish. Therefore, schedule your booking temporarily.
With some operators you pay per flight hour. This may seem easier compared to a package. But if you buy a package, the flight hours are usually cheaper than when you pay per flight hour.
Most operators require you to pay for the private flight in advance. You can often pay by credit card or bank transfer. With some operators you can pay with American Express. This means that your trip is immediately insured.
Ask for the cancellation policy
If you are not yet sure whether you need to travel or at what time, the cancellation conditions are important. These also differ per operator. So request the cancellation conditions from the private jet operator. Some operators only refund money if the flight cannot be performed due to external circumstances such as technical defects or bad weather. If you cancel your private flight, you may not be refunded your money or part thereof. The size of the section depends on the period between cancellation and the departure time of the first flight.
Please note, booking later to avoid cancellation policy may affect the availability and price of the unit. Sometimes you can take an option on the device for a shorter period of time.
For example, in the light of the Covid-19 rules, you should take into account that the destination you wanted to travel to suddenly receives a negative or orange travel advice from the government. Your operator can indicate that the trip is not prohibited. As a result, you will not get your money back.
Ask which Covid-19 measures they have taken
Due to the current circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 virus, it is also important to check the corona measures taken by the operator. Many operators take extra measures with regard to the hygiene of the aircraft. Traveling by private jet is more corona proof compared to commercial airlines.
What catering is there on board?
No less important to ask: what catering is there on board? Of course it is always nice to have something to eat and drink during the flight. By asking this in advance, the operator can fulfill any special (diet) needs of you.
Before the flight
Once you have booked the flight, you can ask the operator a few more things. Ask for the registration number of the aircraft. Also ask who your pilot is, what his phone number is and where to meet him. This is usually not in the main departure hall. You can also request a contact person from your operator so that you can report any changes.
Flying with Fly Aeolus
At Fly Aeolus we would like to provide you with a time-saving and stressles journey. Our customers have access to a wide fleet which allows them to acces more than 1600 different airports. Who knows, we may soon fly you to your winter sports holiday.