When you book a business jet charter, whether you are flying just a few hundred miles or halfway around the world, there are certain expectations you should have. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a favorite client and his family on a ski trip or bringing the board of directors to a meeting in Tokyo; a business trip can have a huge impact on your current and future bottom line, and the flight itself is an important and often-overlooked component of that trip. The four basic things that a business jet charter company should be able to provide you with would be safety, service, luxury, and value.
When flying, safety is always a primary for a traveler. After all, service, luxury and value don’t mean much if you and your guests do not land safely in your intended destination. Safety encompasses everything from the experience of the pilot and flight crew to the soundness of the aircraft to the trustworthiness of the flight attendants on board. There are a number of agencies that certify business jet charter companies for safety, including the FAA, ARGUS, the Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF), the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and Wyvern, to name a few. A good company should have certifications from some of these organizations. Beyond the certifications, it’s a good idea to look at how many flight hours a company runs each year and how many accidents or incidents it has experienced over the last several years. Most companies will have flight hour minimums for their captains and flight crews, as well (the higher the minimum, the better).
Service, for a charter jet company, begins long before you ever set foot on the plane. Service begins when you first begin to entertain the idea of hiring a charter jet and the company gives you the facts and figures you need without a high-pressure sales pitch. Service is providing a wide variety of aircraft and destinations. Service is also having enough aircraft to choose from so that you can find one that is perfectly suited to your needs. Service is asking the right questions to make sure that you end up with the right aircraft and the right amenities at the right price. On the plane, exceptional service should be expected from the flight crew.
Luxury is another one of those relative concepts, like service, which needs to be defined on an individual basis. If you have flown on commercial airliners your entire life, an international business jet charter company will offer you more luxury than you are accustomed to. You will not go through long security lines at the airport; there will be no baggage claim; you will know the people you are seated with–all of these are built-in luxuries of charter jet travel. Most jets will also have some other standard luxuries, like leather seats, wi-fi, and an assortment of gourmet food and drinks. In terms of comparing charter jet companies on the basis of luxury, it’s purely a matter of personal taste.
Hiring a business jet charter is not cheap, but you don’t need to overpay, either. Compare the offers of several companies before committing, and ask about “empty leg” deals, which occur when a jet flies a one-way trip and then has to return empty, unless someone happens to need to fly that exact route. In some cases, you can actually end up paying close to what you would pay for a commercial flight. In any case shopping around will help keep costs in line while still traveling in style.