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.
VistaJet own and operate the largest Bombardier private jet fleet in the world. With access to a fleet of over 70 aircraft, VistaJet customers are guaranteed private jet hire when needed – with as little as 24 hours notice. The VistaJet cabin design is identical across the fleet. The understated interiors feature Italian wood and leather finishing, and whether you and your executives want to work, relax or entertain, you’re sure to have exactly what you need.
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.
Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
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As the assistant who actually booked the trip and made the plans for my employer and her family, I must say that the experience was a new one for me. That said, the unfamiliar process was made much simpler thanks to the knowledge, expertise and patience of my rep, Christina Nesbit. She was extremely informative and helped thru each step of the process, reassuring me that the passengers were getting the most appropriate plane for their needs.I will double check to be sure there isn't any additional feedback I am missing, but to date I was told that the flight was a pleasurable one and they were appreciative and impressed that the President came to greet them pre flight as well.Thank you, Shari
From pre-trip planning to updates via text message on your way to the airport, Stratos had us covered. We made our way from Emirates @ JFK and the FOB transfer was easy. Joel had already updated Julie (my assistant) before we landed that there were long delays out of JFK due to weather. The transfer to FBO was easy and they were expecting us. The plane was comfortable and modern and the crew could not have been kinder. Thank you guys as always for a great trip. Flight was great and the crew took us right past the storms and my one year old son slept the whole trip; a much needed reprieve for my wife and I.
The company I represent was in a crisis situation where we needed to get halfway across the country within a matter of hours. The only available commercial flight was sold out and nothing would get us there in time. After doing some research, I found Stratos Jet Charters and called Joel at around 7 in the morning. He answered right away and were at the airport two hours later. Because it was a high stress situation in a short amount of time, I called Joel and his team countless times in a two hour window; they remained extremely professional and kind. Plus, Joel was able to get us an extremely competitive price, especially considering the short notice. I highly recommend using Stratos Jet Charters and know I will definitely use them again.
Peace of mind!!! My family and I just completed our first charter on a private jet with Stratos. My wife and I have been on a few of our friend’s charters before and I fly regularly on my company's aircraft but this was the first charter of our own. Stratos and specifically Joel Thomas made my wife and I feel that we were in great hands throughout the planning, selection and ultimately flight process. Family loved it!!! Great experience.
Everything was first class even though we not only left one of our bags on the plane but lost a wallet on the return trip (not on the plane), Matt Machokas was very helpful in assisting us in helping to resolve our problems. All pilots were great. Matt also arranged a flight for us because of a date issue I made with the return flight. He assisted in finding another plane to be sent so that we did not have to wait another day.
Situated some 600 miles off the eastern seaboard of the United States, Bermuda is an archipelago consisting of approximately 138 islands. Bermuda is known as a luxurious island destination with picture perfect beaches or a night sky to die for. Though majority of visitors come for its pristine and secluded beaches, Bermuda has some great places of interests like Hamilton City which is the seaside capital of Bermuda, St. George's Town which is a unique UNESCO World Heritage site, and Kings Wharf and Royal Naval Dockyard which are the original pier and the largest cruise port in the island.
From start to finish, our experience with Stratos was totally professional, made very simple and the ultimate in how charter travel should be booked/enjoyed! We know it takes an entire team behind the scenes but all credit to Joel for his 'personal' touch and for making our return trip to New York a very memorable one indeed!!! We have used several charter companies worldwide over the years but Joel and his team beat them all!!!
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.
I met Joel, years ago, when he first introduced me to Stratos Jet Charters during its start-up phase. I was always very impressed on their marketing and honesty, as a broker. Joel is very genuine and caring when it comes to his customers or the operators that he works with. I know that Stratos Jets will not sacrifice safety for anything. I know that he likes to treat everyone like they are part of the Stratos Jet family. The trip planning process, from quote request to trip planning to invoice, is seamless – they’ve thought of everything and continue to be ahead of the trend in our industry with the way they do things. They think of everything! In my opinion, Stratos Jet Charters set the bar for aircraft brokerage and I will always continue to look forward to working with them.