Lastly, don't be afraid to ask about safety: Any reputable operator should have safety information prominently featured on their website, and won't mind answering questions about their pilots, such as how many hours they have flown. (At least 250 hours, which is what it takes to get a commercial license; NetJets mandates at least 2,500 hours; Wheels Up, mandates 7,000 hours for a captain and 4,000 for a first officer.) Gollan suggests fliers ask if the pilot has any health issues, and feel free to ask if the operator (or plane itself) have any accidents or incidents in its history.
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 had quite a number of issues booking this trip, which resulted in add'l work and follow up for me. As broker these issues should have been handled / caught prior to making a proposal. I believe I had to sign 4 different revised quote sheets for this trip! Also the final signed sheet stated we would land in LFMD on the return leg. Hence we booked transportation for pick up at LFMD. However flight landed in LFMN. This caused add'l stress and expense for no reason. I have only now seen that the last itinerary link showed an arrival at LFMN - but I never opened this one since all previous ones, including the contract reconfirmation showed LFMD. As for the aircraft itself: it was one of the oldest ones I have ever flown. The door / separation to the toilet / luggage area was broken (not the lock but the entire frame!) and the toilet was not accessible due to a lot of "stuff" (amenities, water bottles, etc.) being thrown in / stored in the area. Overall cleanliness was not superb either. Finally, the catering we requested was not available / not complete. Breakfast (eggwhite and sausage!!) was cold and wet and the fruitplatter had molded grapes; no ice bucket, nor champagne glasses were present. On the return leg, fruitplatter was nice but again no ice bucket nor champagne glasses were present. As a matter of fact, the soft drink container was not even replenished w new ice!! So overall - yes, we flew from A to B but the service experience was disappointing.
It pays to book further ahead. On the whole, most private jet customers book very late. On those peak days, less availability in the market means customers might have to charter a jet to come in from further afield, which makes it more expensive, or they might need to charter for a larger aircraft than they need because all the smaller jets are already chartered. It is very rare that we can’t charter someone, but the costs are simply altered by availability or location of available aircraft.
Of course, the cheapest way to fly privately is to have a friend who invites you on their flight. Then there are the semi-private charters like JetSmarter, JetSuiteX and JetClass where you can buy a seat on a scheduled private jet and corporate shuttle flight sharing it with strangers, much like if you were on a commercial airline. You can buy tickets on these flights for under $200 and you do avoid those crowded main airport terminals. However, if you want to have the real deal experience, chartering your own private jet, you are looking at something between $5,000 and up to $20,000 per hour depending on the size of aircraft and routing.
the assetWe place an emphasis on exceeding expectations, especially when it comes to the management of your aircraft. With unmatched industry expertise and a commitment to safety, you can rest assured your asset is in good hands. We work to simplify ownership by managing every aspect—from maintenance to marketing—while keeping your economic interests at the forefront of consideration.
Once you've got a price quote, it's worth the effort to call around and get three or four other quotes. Prices vary widely, and one of the most important things to know is that you will often be paying for the plane to get to you, also known as the repositioning fee. Additional charges, common to a lot of flights, include airport charges. At New Jersey's Teterboro, it's $100, while some airports with higher density have an added fee. There are also takeoff fees to consider.
Customs and immigration procedures must be complied with for all private jet flights. Private jet customers are often not aware of any checks as in most cases these can be completed prior to the flight. At larger airports the private jet terminal will have dedicated customs and immigration staff. At smaller airports it is rare to see Customs and Immigration officials although they will be aware of your flight and can occasionally make special visits to the airport to meet a flight.
There are potentially even better deals. JetSuite offers SuiteDeals for as little as $500 each way. You have to sign up on its website, but when I visited, it didn’t have any flights listed. Wheels Up has a program called 8760. You pay $6,900 annually and access empty legs for as little as $320. You also get entry to its hospitality at events at the Super Bowl, The Masters, other high profile confabs, plus an Inspirato Key Membership which normally has a $10,000 initiation fee and then $3,500 annual dues.
Chartering a jet may seem easy with online brokers saying it just takes a few taps on your smartphone, and in some cases that may be true. You've read the stories: "We're the Uber of private jets." But there’s more to chartering than just searching Google for a broker or browsing a list of operators, then calling and saying, “I have five people going to Phoenix and we want to leave Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. How much is a private jet? Do you have a G450?” When you charter on-demand, each trip you should spend the time to do some due diligence, and there are a wide variety of issues to cover. A few weeks ago, I was talking to one gentleman who told me a broker from a fairly well-known company was insisting a specific airplane type could fly a route nonstop. It couldn't.
Since day one, Joel and his team have been providing us with great customer service and always meet or exceed our needs. They are impeccable in their constant communication, which includes everything from quotes to flight status, and all in between. They are very accommodating to all requests, even the last minute ones. Sarah with trip support has carefully and flawlessly helped with all requested travel arrangements, from car rental to car service. It is hard to find a company these days that is genuine and understands the importance of truly great customer service, and this company and all members of the team, have this! It is very refreshing. I would recommend this company to anyone who has ever thought about trying Jet Charters or has done so for years, it will be a change for the best!
Joel Thomas and his great team at Stratos makes booking a private charter easy. They keep in contact with you from the start right through to after the flight, which gives my travellers a piece of mind. Everything is always exactly planned to our specifications. Stratos really goes above and beyond in their industry - they are simply the best at what they do.
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!