PrivateFly has a safety policy that maximises the safety and security of our registered members. The aircraft operators who quote for your flight through the PrivateFly network are licensed to commercially charter their aircraft and are governed by their national civil aviation authority. PrivateFly is able on request to send detailed reports concerning the companies and crews that operate your selected aircraft.
Private jet charter involves paying to use someone else’s aircraft when they are not using it. This is normally a one off adhoc charter agreement with no long term financial commitment. Fractional ownership involves sharing the full cost of purchasing and operating an aircraft. As such chartering a private jet can is often described as subsidised flying as the fixed costs (such as aircraft purchasing and depreciation, pilot salaries, aircraft maintenance and insurances) are paid for by the owner. When you charter someone else’s aircraft you are only paying for the fuel, airport fees and a small amount of extra cost to allow the aircraft owner to offset some of his annual tax bill.
If the paying customer – that person shelling out $5,000 to $20,000 per hour - cancels his or her trip, then your empty leg will also be cancelled. If you were going somewhere, make sure your hotel and car rental reservations can be changed without penalty. If you were using an empty leg to get home, make sure you also scan the airline schedules and availability so you have a backup plan. Most empty legs can be cancelled anytime before departure, and reasons can include that delays earlier in the day meant your pilots ran out of time to something on the inbound flight broke and needs to be fixed. Oh, and that’s it. You’ll get a refund of your money, but you’re usually on your own, perhaps sitting in a private jet terminal at an airport with no commercial flights.
The most economical option is chartering, which doesn't require any cash upfront (other than a deposit) through companies like Tradewind, Sentient, and Solairus, (which we took home from North Carolina). Of course, there are the old standbys like NetJets and Marquis, who sell fractional ownership (like 1/16th) of a single jet for upwards of $100K. One step down from that, pricewise, is the jet card, where you buy a set amount of hours from a company like Nicholas or Private Jet Services, and can use those hours for different planes. Then there are membership models like WheelsUp, where you pay $17,500 as an initiation fee to fly in their fleet, and then a $8,500 annual dues fee starting the second year. It's like a country club—only you're guaranteed access to a KingAir350i or Citation Excel / XLS instead of a golf course.
Joel Thomas: Hi William! Thanks for the opportunity to serve you and your wife. We are always grateful when our clients take the time to offer feedback. We reached out to Chief Pilot of the air carrier you flew with regarding the noise you mentioned and here is what they said: "Frequently you'll hear noises that sound like that and its just the airplane expanding as altitude, temperature and humidity change. Its actually very common." Looking forward to working with you all again soon! All my best
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.
I had the pleasure to work with Joel on a last minute trip needed to transport several professional athletes to an event. Joel was fast-acting and completely professional every step of the way. He sent constant updates to make sure our trip needs were met every step of the way. I would recommend Joel and Stratos to anybody looking to book private jets who also values professionalism and accountability.