For every flyer there is a first time. And with any first time it's never going to be perfect. Here are the common mistakes when booking private charter jets for the first time.
#1 Don’t Think It Is Not Possible
Hmmm, private charter jets. They would be the gold-laden aircraft that appear in music videos. Or the magnificent jets that get splashed through magazines to prove John Travolta’s coolness factor. Oh wait, Trump Force One, that’s a private jet isn’t it? Mistake number one is to get caught up in all this hype. Yes, celebrities like to use private jets as status symbols. Beyonce famously bought one for Jay Z as a father day’s present, but not without getting the story onto every music and gossip magazine east of London.
All this opulence and extravagance doesn’t reflect the reality on the ground. Most private charter jets are relatively simple and average aircraft. There aren’t many bells and whistles, like free-flowing Champagne and a DJ that spins golden vinyl at 37,000 feet. No, it’s just a plane with a pilot, a small number of seats, and the ability to take you anywhere you want to go. The luxury of flying private isn’t the aircraft, as even jet brokers may have you believe. The luxury is the time you can save.
#2 Don’t Believe You Need a Prepaid Membership or Any Upfront Costs
Starting with private charter jets can seem a little like gaining entrance to an old fashioned gentlemen’s club. Traditionally, this is an elitist realm. It can be like one of those golf clubs where the entrance criteria isn’t how well you play, but money and status. Private jet cards preserve this myth. Yes you can have a private charter jet, as long as you slap a minimum of 100k on the table, before being invited through the door. Membership schemes preserve things exactly as they are, a cozy world of high society paying over the top for something they don’t understand.
Mistake two is to believe that membership schemes and their upfront costs are the only way into private charter jets. Just think about any private charter service. You don’t pay for a year upfront when booking a single cab journey. You wouldn’t purchase a season ticket if you only intend to watch one game. When booking a commercial flight you don’t get forced into buying an annual program. With private air charters there is also pay as you fly. So instead of overpriced jet cards and upfront fees, you pay for each flight as you need it. It is the easiest and most affordable way for first timers to dip their toes into air charters.
#3 Don’t Limit the Possibility
It doesn’t matter why you are interested in a jet rental; for business, leisure, taking friends to Vegas or visiting three remote sites in a single day. Ultimately, a private jet is going to provide convenience and save you time. But with every first time there is a tendency to be cautious. You are not sure exactly what is possible and how to go about chartering an aircraft. You want to fly to Manchester-Boston Regional Airport on a turboprop because that seems to be the best option for your needs. But the broker is pushing a medium-sized jet to Logan International instead.
With private charter jets you do not need to compromise. You can fly anywhere, anytime, on any type of aircraft. However, private jet cards tie you into a specific type of aircraft and impose fees for using certain airports, or for flying to areas beyond their reach. Unqualified jet brokers (there is no industry qualification and anyone can claim to be a jet broker) are limited to aircraft and operators within their network. Some professional advice will save you money or time. The mistake is to compromise on what you actually want. Be ambitious and be bold, because you can fly anywhere, anytime, on the aircraft of your choice.
#4 Don’t Pay Additional Fees
Okay, so you’ve paid $150k upfront for 25 hours on an aircraft that may or may not meet you needs (you really don’t know if it’s your first time). And what's this Bring out the credit cards because there are a load of little extras that operators and brokers like to add on. Half of them probably won’t make any sense to you right now: re-positioning fees, airport FBO surcharges, hangar fees, CPI escalators, minimum flight charges, fuel surcharges, peak date surcharges, interchange fees, and a nice 10k if your chosen aircraft needs de-icing. Gulp.
Private charter jets can be a very complicated business. Some private jet cards have over 25 types of surcharge. Others have more than 100 peak dates a year when you must pay a surcharge to use hours you have already purchased. But you don’t need to pay them, not if you to choose the more straightforward pay as you fly approach. You could pay and then pay some more. Or you could get a single transparent quote for each flight you take.
#5 Don’t Think Every Flight Will Be the Same
So you ease into air charters and have just flown back from a fantastic weekend away with the family. Or you just did a three-day marketing tour that used to take three weeks by road. Hoorah for private charter jets. Now you want to fly again. The easiest thing to do would be to book the same aircraft. After all, the pilot was a legend and the experience was superb. Except now you need to fly to Florida rather than California. Or you have four passengers instead of fifteen. Or a million other things that mean no two flights are ever the same.
Each aircraft has its home base and you will need to pay for the aircraft to reach your point of departure. Larger aircraft cost more than smaller aircraft, an expense that isn’t necessary for a shorter flight or with less passengers. Some aircraft are ideal for landing on short dusty airstrips in the wilderness. Others can offer boardroom style seating for a flight. The good news is that the level of professionalism and service you received the first time is consistent across the whole industry. So rather than restrict yourself to the same operator and aircraft, always consider what is best for each individual flight.
#6 Don’t Think You Need Somebody Else To Do It
Now you know what not to do. But where do you start?
Booking private charter jets is not complicated, not when you choose a pay as you fly approach. All you do is search, select and fly.
Airvel is the world’s leading booking engine for private air charters. You can search over 4000 FAA Part 135 approved aircraft and fly to more than 2500 destinations. Just fill in where and when you want to fly. With the instant search facility you will receive all the possible options, so you can compare aircraft, amenities and price. With this information you can make an informed decision about the best flight for your individual needs. Or you can double check the prices and options against any other website or broker you may have found.
Airvel makes air charter easy. We seek to change perceptions about an elitist industry and we believe that anyone can fly on a private jet. So no upfront costs, no memberships and no criteria. Just maximum choice and private charter jets that will work for you.