When it comes to choosing a jet charter company for your private flights, you have a lot of different providers vying for your business. As the industry has boomed in recent years, we’ve seen lots of new companies pop up to take advantage of the increased demand. But not all jet charter companies are created equal. In fact, your experiences can vary quite widely depending on who you go with.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the key considerations that you should be thinking about when choosing a jet charter company.
It’s important to make sure that the company you choose has the necessary licensing as mandated by the FAA or the equivalent in whatever country you’re chartering the jet. The company will require a current air carrier certificate which gives them the authorization to offer private charter flights to passengers, as well as a D085 certificate which proves the ownership and registration of the plane in question.
These certifications should give you the necessary comfort to know that you’re dealing with a professional operation which has completed the necessary maintenance, pilot training and administrative tasks necessary to run a reputable jet charter company. It’s a relatively straightforward request of a company in this space, so if they aren’t able to provide this documentation then that should be an immediate red flag.
Another key priority, perhaps the most important, is the safety track record. You want to go with a company that has a flawless safety record and takes it as seriously as possible. In most cases, you should be able to get hold of safety travel logs and/or safety certifications provided by independent auditors who work on the consumers’ behalf. These assurances are worth their weight in gold because you simply don’t want to take any risk in this department.
One of the biggest differentiators between charter companies is the quality of their customer service. When you’re paying for a private jet flight, you expect a premium level of service and unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Pay attention to how the company treats you throughout the booking process and look for other reviews online from past customers. This can provide insight into their customer service and how much they care for their customers. By making this a key part of your decision making, you’ll be sure to have a seamless experience that really puts your interests first and gets the most out of your money.
Find out how long the provider has been operating because it can often be a sign of how reputable the company is. It’s not always the case, but as a general rule – the longer an operation has been in business – the more it can be trusted. Be careful of new companies who haven’t built a strong brand for themselves just yet. Treat those with care and do your due diligence before putting your life in their hands.
One of the key benefits of flying private is the ability to be flexible and adaptable – making changes much more spontaneously than would be possible on a commercial flight. As a result, it’s worth enquiring about the flexibility that companies allow with your bookings. Can you change your departure date easily? What if you need to change your route? What is the boarding and deboarding process? All of these considerations can make a difference if you are looking for full autonomy and recognise that your schedule could change at a moment’s notice, requiring changes to your travel plans. The very best companies will be able and willing to accommodate your changes because your interests are prioritised.
Obviously, it’s impossible to compare providers without talking about pricing. But it’s slightly more complicated in the private jet business because, for the most part, you get what you pay for. It’s not always ideal to go for the cheapest option because you know that they are cutting corners somewhere. For most clients who are looking at private charter flights, they are willing to pay a bit extra to have the peace of mind to know that the service is going to be excellent, the experience will be seamless, and they’ll be able to build a working relationship with that company. So really, you need to look at your budget and assess exactly what is important to you – then find a price range that works accordingly.
One key thing to note is to beware of companies that will include additional charges after the flight for things like de-icing fees, fuel surcharges, last minute aircraft changes and the like. This can be a nasty surprise when the invoice comes. Rather go with companies who are fully transparent with their fees and include everything in the final quote – so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
Some companies will offer a range of auxiliary services to go along with the jet charter itself, many of which can be very useful to clients, especially if they can be tacked onto the existing booking. These services could include private security, chauffeured travel at the destination, enhanced privacy arrangements, special food and beverage options, and a range of others. It’s worth enquiring into these when comparing providers because your charter flight doesn’t happen in isolation. When you look at it in the context of your whole trip and consider some of the other pieces that could make sense to bundle together – then this could change the way you look at your jet charter company.
The final consideration is whether the company has a loyalty programme that rewards frequent use. If you plan on chartering planes on a regular basis, then it would make sense to look for a good loyalty programme that works for your needs. Building a long-term relationship in this way could provide a lot more valuable than shopping around every time you need to charter a private flight. It also shows how much a company values your business and says something about its values and company culture.
So those are some of the key considerations you should be making when choosing a jet charter company. All of them will depend on your needs and what matters to you – but it’s worth doing your research so that you make the right decision for you.
We’re biased, of course, but here at Farringdon Jets we take all of these points very seriously and strive to give the best possible experience and value to our esteemed clients. If you’re looking to get started with chartering private flights, don’t hesitate to get in touch so we can give you a full rundown of our services and why we think that you won’t find anything like us, anywhere else.