After an intense lockdown period because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few countries have opened up their airports for international travel. But with treatments and vaccines for the Coronavirus still in testing, traveling safely is vital. If you’ve considered hiring a private jet, you’re not alone. However, you might have a myriad of questions about the intricate details of private charter flights. Is it expensive? Where do I start looking? What type of aircraft should I consider? While the entire process seems easy, it’s common to find many people making mistakes. You only need to understand what to look out for. Once you’ve achieved this, booking your flight is going to be a worthwhile experience. Here’s a checklist of some common mistakes you need to avoid before you hire a private flight.
Don’t Assume They’re Unaffordable
Yes, private charter flights aren’t cheap. However, some companies offer options such as empty legs that can help slash your flying cost. In some cases, jet chartering services might be more affordable compared to flying Business or First Class. There are many charter companies available in the market offering such services. Start by making a list of potential charter companies you might be interested in. Narrow down your list to about 3-4 companies. Next, you want to compare prices and pick a relatively cheaper option. You’ll also need to check for issues such as the company’s reputation and conduct.
Making Your Decision Based on One Operator
Choose your flying operator wisely. You’ll need to do some background research and pick a reputable choice. You must research the kind of aircraft you need; however, don’t overdo it. Contacting many operators can often confuse you. “Reach out to 2-to-3 operators for the best balance between cost and convenience,” says Santosh Sharma, CEO and Co-founder of Foresee Aviation. “People have this misconception that an operator is more dependable compared to an aggregator. Even though an operator offers aircraft from their fleet only, an aggregator offers options of aircraft tailored to a cost-benefit assessment,” explains Santosh. “With such a wide array of options to choose from, a customer can easily make the perfect decision,” adds Santosh.
Don’t be a last-minute rusher! Unlike regular flights where a last-minute booking will get you a seat, don’t wait until the last hour to book a charter flight. In most cases, early books can lower costs for your company. On the other hand, last-minute scheduling may cost you more. Additionally, you may not get the preferred jet suited to your needs. Ensure you book as early as possible when you know you need the private plane. Assess your schedule and know when it’s best to travel.
Yes, you are flying private – this doesn’t mean you can carry as much luggage as you wish. In most cases, it depends on how much luggage your aircraft can accommodate. If your baggage is overweight, you might be asked to unload it. Some operators offer to transfer your luggage by rail, road, or commercial air if you decide to carry more. However, you might be required to pay more for such services. Ideally, the restriction on what to carry is similar to a normal flight. Avoid sharp objects, firearms, weapons, or flammable objects. However, you can carry liquids, unlike commercial flights where it’s not allowed.
Understand Customization Options
Well-reputable private jet operators provide many customization options with their jets. But this depends on the type of aircraft you hire. If you need extra services, such as in-flight half-or-full-course dinner space or room for pets, consult with your provider in advance. In some cases, they might even offer special services for business travelers you may like. To get the most out of a private jet flight, ensure you customize your flying experience for added convenience and comfort.
Negotiate Enough and Carry ID Proof
Many first-time flyers aren’t aware of their options. As such, they’ll end up booking from the airline website directly. Avoid this! You’ll end up missing out on offers or deals that operators provide. Please do a thorough check of what’s included in the flight, the timings, special packages, the cost-break assessment, and compare it to other providers. Remember: negotiation is essential. Finally, just because you’re flying private doesn’t mean you don’t require photo identification. You’ll need your passport when flying internationally and a driver’s license for local travel.
An excellent way to save money when using private charter flights is to travel during the off-peak season. There are times when flights are more expensive to charter a flight than others. There you have it, enjoy your flight!