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.
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.
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.
For most private jet journeys it is normally easy to add extra passengers onto the flight at the last minute. However to save any embarrassment with or delays for your guests, it is advisable to check with PrivateFly first. Some destinations (such as Russia) require pre-clearance of customers. Also for shorter runways, there may be a limitation on the maximum number of passengers due to the aircraft landing and take off weight limits.
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.
I had 15 piece band booked on a commercial airline that got cancelled due to weather. Every single flight for the next 2 days was sold out and the band was going to miss their performance. Thank to the Herculean efforts from Glenn and Joel, we were able to secure a flight for the following morning and get the band to Florida on time. Glenn was simply amazing with his follow-through, availability when I needed him and keeping an eye on everything. He was with me from the first phone call at 6:30pm until take-off the next morning at 10:10am. Thank you Stratos for saving the day!
Private charter flights offer a range of advantages for busy professionals, including time-efficiency. From quicker check-ins to faster transit times, private jet hire is the perfect way to fulfil multiple meetings in different cities, carry out several site visits in one day or simply have more of an opportunity to remain productive while travelling.