It is time to fly, and private aviation is the way to go. Even as COVID-19 restrictions lift, the benefits of charting a private jet often outweigh those of flying commercially. With a 33% increase in first-time business aviation bookings since 2019, those who found private aviation over the past two years are here to stay.
But new or seasoned to private aviation, there are many questions that are important to ask before booking to get the most out of your investment and ensure safety for all parties involved.
We broke it down below into our top six questions to ask before chartering a private jet — which a skilled aviation consultant will know how to answer. If you find that someone cannot answer the below questions, take that as a red flag and look elsewhere for your charter needs.
Let’s dive in:
- What are the company’s safety ratings? Safety ratings are an invaluable tool in avoiding excessive risk on your next flight. We advise looking for Wyvern, ARGUS, and IS-BAO safety ratings. These three primary safety ratings provide a third-party objective assessment and separate the best from the rest.
- What are the standards for pilots and crew operating the aircraft, and what steps does the company take to ensure pilots meet training standards? Your aviation company should demonstrate its dedication to the highest levels of safety by providing superior training for pilots, quality control, flight dispatchers and other key personnel. Make sure safety is always at the forefront of everything your aviation provider does.
- How much luggage can I bring? All aircraft have weight and capacity limits, often in line with optimal travel time due to the plane’s weight and the fuel burned, should the aircraft be heavier than intended. If the aircraft type does not match your luggage needs, that is a big problem. For example, if you are traveling as an executive for a business trip where you will be playing golf — you will likely be bringing golf clubs. Or a hockey team headed to the big game — confirm that there is enough space for players and equipment.
- Is there a dedicated point of contact, or will I have to navigate customer service or an automated support line? Many private aviation providers are steering away from individualized one-on-one assistance, and predictably so given the automated and digital world in which we live. However, nothing can replace human touch and true personalization. At the financial investment that one makes towards private aviation, a dedicated point person to serve as your contact for your entire time as a customer should be the expectation, not the exception.
- Is there a contingency plan, and are additional costs involved should an unexpected situation arise? An expert aviation provider will have multiple contingency plans to account for various scenarios such as mechanical issues or inclement weather. Make sure that you are very clear about costs in these scenarios. If there is a mechanical situation and your plane cannot fly, there might be costs associated with getting a replacement plane flown in. Do not be afraid to have an open discussion about how that situation will work, which further validates the need for a dedicated point of contact working by your side.
- Can I book multiple aircraft at the same time? Concurrent bookings should always be an option for those who need to divide a larger group of C-suite or executive team members between multiple aircraft for safety reasons. The option to work efficiently with your aviation provider to procure multiple planes through one organization is key to business success.