Q: Does a private charter cost less than commercial service?
A: No. The trade-off between less expensive scheduled service is a lower price in exchange for a strict schedule, traveling with (not always polite or agreeable) strangers, very little personal space, and the stress of navigating the airport terminals. Air charter is private, flexible and convenient. Typically, a private charter costs between 40-100% more than commercial service – but-oh-so-worth-it!
Q: What about safety?
A: All aircraft are maintained and operated in accordance with FAA regulations or the international (ICAO) equivalent. In fact, for large commercial aircraft (50 or more passengers) the regulations are the same (Part 121) as those applied to scheduled service operators. For business jet aircraft, in addition to the FAA standards that operators are required to adhere to, we also utilize internationally recognized third-party audit protocols to verify operator standards and crew experience.
Q: How does security work?
A: For large groups utilizing commercial aircraft via the terminal environment, passengers will be screened via the standard checkpoint. However, in many cases we can arrange direct motor coach to aircraft transfers, bypassing the clogged terminal checkpoint. Passengers and their accessible property are privately screened in accordance with TSA standards before boarding their private charter aircraft. For business jet aircraft, passengers may be “wanded” prior to boarding. In both cases, only your group is being screened, which significantly expedites the process. One of the primary benefits of private air charter is the peace of mind of knowing that only your group is traveling with you.
Q. Can we choose our own schedule?
A. Yes. Choosing your own schedule is one of the many benefits of flying private. That said, keep in mind that at busy airports and/or during special events, there may be schedule restrictions. In most cases our clients are able to tailor the departure schedule according to their needs. You can also make schedule and name changes. Try that on scheduled service!
Q: How do I decide which operator and aircraft is right for me?
A: Our staff will research the market and present all available options to you. Based on the purchase factors that are most important to you, we will assist in determining the right aircraft and operator for your charter needs. Keep in mind that we are a single point of contact company. The person that you start with is the person that is with you every step of the way, guiding you through the charter process from your initial inquiry through the final arrival.
Q: Is baggage limited by weight or the number of checked pieces of luggage?
A: Unlike scheduled service, there is no limit to the number or the weight of checked baggage for each passenger. Instead, there is a payload limit. The total payload limit includes passenger weights, carry-on luggage, and checked baggage. Want to fill the belly with stuffed animals? By all means. Golf clubs? Sure. Provided the total payload is under the volume and weight limits established by the aircraft operator, passengers are free to bring as many bags as they want. There is no charge for additional baggage.
Q: What is an FBO?
A: An FBO is a Fixed Based Operator that handles private charter flights on the ramp versus at the terminal. Think of it as a private terminal for the fabulously fortunate charter traveler. FBOs are generally located on the “general aviation” side of the airport and allow for passengers to board the aircraft directly versus going through the main terminal (no ticket counter, TSA check point, or boarding gate). Depending on the type of charter and / or group size, security screening is still required, but your passengers would be privately screened as opposed to screening with hundreds of passengers from multiple flights.
Q: What about catering and beverages?
A: Charter flight catering is only limited by your imagination and the equipment on board the aircraft. Many modern aircraft have reduced galley space and ovens as a result of the sparse catering offerings of most airlines. Within these limitations, we will help develop a customized meal and beverage menu. For the more lavishly appointed business jets, the catering options can be even more varied. Some of the most VVIP aircraft even staff their fleet with Michelin chefs.
Q: How will seats be assigned?
A: You are free to assign seats in any way you choose. Some clients prefer to leave the entire aircraft as open seating, while some prefer to assign every seat in advance. It is your private charter. You decide!
Q: What about in-flight entertainment?
A: There is a lot of variability between operators when it comes to in-flight entertainment, including video capability, Wi-Fi, and the availability of power outlets. When we are researching options on your behalf, please let us know what amenities are important to you and we’ll present everything that the marketplace has to offer.