As air travel recovers from the pandemic, many travelers have turned to private jet charters as a way to avoid crowded airports and long security lines. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warns that it is easy for passengers to end up on an illegal charter, which can compromise their safety.
Illegal charters are those operated by companies or pilots who do not meet the FAA’s, EASA’s or the region’s aviation safety standards, putting passengers at risk. According to the FAA, they have proposed about $9.5 million in civil fines against nearly two dozen companies for conducting illegal charters since the beginning of 2021. This means the problem is more widespread than we know.
Therefore, to ensure a safe and legal charter flight, it is essential to vet the charter flight operator before booking and Farringdon Jets does exactly that for you. Here are some steps to take to avoid illegal charters.
Ask to see the company’s Air Carrier Operating Certificate.
Approximately 2,000 air charter operators in the United States have met the comprehensive criteria required to qualify for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Carrier Operating Certificate. It is essential to ask the company for their certificate number before booking a flight.
Ask to see the pilot’s credentials.
The pilot must hold either a Commercial Pilot Certificate or an Air Transport Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA. Make sure the pilot’s certificate is valid.
Ask about safety credentials.
The operator should have an SMS (Safety Management System) in place, and they should have been audited and certificated by a third party to ensure they are operating safely. Be sure to ask about their safety credentials.
Be skeptical of a low price.
Legitimate charter companies are required to meet various safety regulations, so they are unlikely to offer low prices. Illegal charters often undercut legitimate operators’ costs because they are not subject to all safety regulations. So, be careful when the price is too low.
Expect to pay some taxes.
Legitimate charter companies are required to charge various taxes, including Federal Excise Tax (FET), Domestic Segment Fee, and head tax. If the company does not charge taxes or charges a low amount, it may be a red flag.
To ensure that you are booking a legal and secure private charter flight, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to vet the charter flight operator. You can start by checking if they hold a valid Air Carrier Operating Certificate, the pilot has valid credentials, the operator has safety credentials, the price is reasonable, and taxes are charged. By doing so, you can be confident that you are booking a safe and legal private charter flight, regardless of your destination. For more information on how to book a safe and legal private jet charter, reach out to the Farringdon Jets charter team.