The long-range business jet features an enhanced variation of the 850XP’s winglets, increasing hot/high-altitude and cruise performance and range. On the runway in hot/high conditions, the 900XP requires 1,800 feet less runway for a 2,000 nautical mile trip with six passengers. It can complete coast-to-coast trips, Teterboro to Seattle for example.
I work on the operator side of this business. Joel and his team (Christina, Simon, Kerry, and more) are all incredibly wonderful to work with. They are always responsive in a timely manner and deliver accurate information consistently. They bring a very positive attitude and outlook to this industry. Hopeful to book many more trips with them in the future.
No matter what company you're flying with, be sure to ask if there two pilots or one. (Though two pilots are standard on commercial flights, regulations vary for private planes of all sizes.) It also helps to ask if the operator owns the plane—typically, companies that own their planes offer better service. Never forget to ask about daily minimums and taxi fees. "If the hourly rate is $9,000 and you have a single 40-minute flight, you might assume you are going to pay $6,000," says Doug Gollan, creator of PrivateJetCardComparisons.com. "But if your provider has a daily minimum of 1.5 hours, you are going to actually be charged $13,500, plus taxi time, which in my comparisons I have found varies between being included and up to 12 minutes per segment."
Within reason, many more things in private aviation are possible then they are in commercial airlines. A very common filter that people would want to know is the aircraft’s age. They would want know, “can I have an aircraft that’s less than five years old?” Depending on the culture of who is travelling, we will sometimes have people that only want male pilots, for example, or they want a smoking aircraft in some cases, or they want to take their pets on board, or they want a particular colour interior. Sometimes you will have requests like the aircraft has to fly at a certain altitude because a passenger has poor health, and they only want to fly at a certain altitude. You’re not going to phone up Ryanair and ask that.
Always enjoy flying privately. Exciting from planning a trip to booking to flight(s). Predominantly use Stratos. Attentive and personal service. Joel Thomas was a great go to person. All subcontractors that they use have been top-notched. Only critique is I obtained better final pricing of the flight when I received quotes from other charter companies. Seems to be an industry thing about competitive pricing in order to obtain the best price. Yes I would recommend Stratos.
Having used many charter companies before with mixed experiences, I can say with confidence that Stratos has the best service and highest level of professionalism of any of the charter services I have encountered. Most recently, we had an unfortunate last minute cancellation of a charter booked through another service, and Stratos came through at the last minute to find the right plane at the right price for us with under 24 hour notice. I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism as well as their willingness and ability to go above and beyond to find the right charter for us - even as a first time customer.
When it comes to small planes, weight matters. Don't be surprised when your contact emails you for all passenger weights, and when the pilot organizes seating by weights. (You don't want the three biggest people on the right side, for instance.) Similarly, don't expect to bring two weeks of stuff for a weekend, and definitely mention if you're planning on bringing golf clubs or skis. If they don't fit, check out ShipSticks or LuggageForward, which sends your equipment beforehand for a relatively small fee.
Of course, once you find a couple good brokers who know your specific preferences for aircraft types and operators – there are over 2,000 charter operators in the U.S. they can access -- your broker can do much of the screening for you. That said, the brokerage side of the business is unregulated and there are more than 7,500 aircraft in the U.S. that are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 135 to operate revenue charter flights, with each operator having varying standards and procedures. From the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), below are questions they recommend that you ask your broker.
We prefer to finalize our itinerary, plane and crew at least a week in advance. We did not get things completely final until the day of the actual flight. Secondly, we prefer to pay post-flight rather than pre-flight. You were able to make an exception in our case which was appreciated. Lastly, the quality of the catering service from STT was atrocious. It was inedible.
For example, we had three families on a Embraer Legacy, which is a 13-seat aircraft, for February half term. Because it’s three of them grouping up, it’s costing them about £7,000 for two families of four and one family of five. If you divide that up, it’s not as expensive as people think [£538 per person]. We’re seeing that more and more people are grouping up, putting more bums on seats and making it more affordable.
It is clear that Stratos Jets is one of best charter brokerage companies in the world. When we get the pleasure to work with Joel and his entire team, we get to see first hand what sets them apart. The knowledge of operations, safety and different charter markets is always spot on. The trips are sent to us complete and executed flawlessly which makes the entire process more effiecient and better served the client. In addition to being one of the top aviation professional, Joel is a role model for many and I am grateful to have him part of my journey as a friend.