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.
First time flying on a private plane. Knowing the exact layout inside & manner of boarding. Originally inquired about a Lear jet 35 & then confirmed a citation ll. Not a problem for me & my husband but for the 102 year old traveling with us was difficult to board as initial step into plane was 18 inches & the crew had to find a step stool. Steps were little and required several people to board & inboard her. The crew of Lance & Meagan were exemplary & would fly with them anytime
At last minute's notice I needed to find a private plane to get my elderly parents from Bangor, Maine to Atlanta. I googled charter companies and Stratos Charters was first to pop up. I called immediately and Joel (founder and president of company) answered. He could not have been more gracious and helpful. He was the perfect combination of professional and personable. Our charter was arranged and the trip went through seamlessly. Stratos Charter and Joel made a stressful situation into a very pleasant one for us. I highly recommend their services and will definitely use them in the future. Thank you to them!
We go through great lengths to make sure your safe journey. We are proud to state that so far passage of our journey has been safe and no mishappening recorded. We ensure all the safety measures while providing you the most deserving private jet services. The ground staff and competent crew members stay alert for your safety and privacy with utmost concern.
Joel was a delight to work with arranging our flight from IRMA. Very professional and accommodating. I would definitely use him and your company again and refer others to you. The flight was fantastic with very nice pilots, James Briggs and Thomas Sommers. We were not the typical passengers as my husband has Alzheimer's and is wheelchair bound. Thanks for everything!!!
Joel and Stratos are amazing! He made sure our flight was tailored perfectly and was very responsive and always available for contact. They catered specifically to our needs with late notice. The pilots were fantastic and patient, especially considering we had three animals and arrived 10 minutes before take-off. They provided the smoothest flight in the Hawker we’ve ever taken. Stratos offered transportation to and from; the boarding process was welcoming and convenient. We will only fly privately with Stratos Jets through Joel and his team. Thank you guys for everything!
When you play the empty leg market, you need to be very flexible and understand that there’s a decent chance your empty leg may not happen or might be moved. If the customer chartering the inbound flight wants to leave a few hours later, your flight will be delayed. On the flip side, your planned departure could be suddenly moved up because Mr. Big wants to leave earlier.
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.
As always, your staff is a pleasure to work with, and are very good with their communication, etc. I (of course) wish we didn't have the snafu with your client cutting the trip short, only to change his mind - costing us an additional 3 hours of flight time (approx. $10,000) - since we cancelled a trip with another operator to accommodate his request to leave early. I think there should have been a consideration for a 2 hour cancellation fee or something there. We understand that this wasn't Stratos Jets' doing - but I believe your client should have been penalized in some way as he was informed we had another trip and he told us to cancel it to accommodate him. This was very disappointing (and financially detrimental) for us, especially as we had lowered the cost of the trip (in addition to removing all minimums) prior to booking. The only way it made sense for us to do that was to fly while sitting transient.
My experience with Stratos has been very good since I started booking jets several years ago. Joel and his team provide excellent service and followup at every stage. We recently had a flight where the incoming plane had a mechanical and they were able to replace it with a comparable one within just a few hours. Our original take off time was only missed by less than a half hour. The Stratos team communicated with us all along the way and everything was fine. The pilots are very good at what they do and the ground organization is thorough and efficient. I would recommend them to a friend.
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.
I was thouroughly impressed with the professionalism of the Broker Joel, the flight organizer Sarah and the crew on both legs. The aircraft was clean, in good shape and right on time. The crew was friendly and professional to me and my guests. Two small issues were getting a tail number on less than 12 hours that made getting our rental cars more complex than necessary and more significant was being notified by our bank that you tried to bill my flight a couple times when I paid in full prior to first leg. All in all I would use them again but would encourage one contact who checks in daily a few days prior to flight rather than me having try to figure out who to call when it looked like a couple problems were coming up.
Everyone involved was courteous and helpful in getting a last minute emergency trip arranged. However, the premise for using your services was to be GUARANTEED ARRIVAL by a SPECIFIC TIME. Neither the departure nor arrival was anywhere close to what was promised. Hence, our reasons for hiring Stratos to take us became unnecessary and a wasted expense