There’s always a busy season!
Just because it’s a private jet charter doesn’t make the entire industry exclusive. There are millions of travelers who choose to fly privately. Research by JetSmarter reported a 110 percent increase in its membership and is expecting another 100 percent surge. So while flying privately definitely has its perks, this industry will see some busy seasons just like the commercial airlines. Unlike the traditional holiday seasons, the private charter jet companies have the special high peaks they see throughout the year. As you may have guessed that the Super Bowl is one of them, there is a short list of seasonal events that keep the business aviation industry in full swing.
- Art Basel Miami
- The Masters
- Cannes Festival
- New York Fashion Week
- Monaco Grand Prix
- Kentucky Derby
Flying privately or not, it’s always best to book your flight as early as possible to secure your seat during the busy seasons. To be absolutely sure, we recommend 3 – 4 weeks in advance.
Be Prepared to Spend More Money
There’s only so much parking space at an airport—and we’re not talking about motor vehicles! There are only so many terminals for these aircrafts to park. During peak seasons, traffic can get quite congested. While air traffic control does a superior job in safely managing the traffic on an off the ground, these jets still need a place to park. When space is limited, jets will need to reroute to another airport. Guess who is going to pay for those extra fees? It might be inclusive in your annual membership fee or one-time fee. It really all depends on what kind of agreement you have with your private charter company.
For your own safety, the private business aviation industry has regulated strict policies for pilot flight hours. To reduce any fatigue, pilots are allowed to work a maximum of 14 hours at a time accompanied by a minimum of 10 hours before flying again. Pilots must be on high alert when flying. While this regulation is for the betterment of flight safety, it does restrict pilot availability and can affect flight schedules, especially during the busy seasons.
The Pilot’s Flight Experience
This is extremely important. When flying privately, you have the opportunity to learn a little more about the pilot. You won’t be offending the charter company or the pilot when you ask about his or her experience. In fact, pilots like to talk shop! You also want to make sure you’re not getting someone like Harrison Ford! He may be a top-notch pilot in Star Wars, but he has had more than one questionable flight experience that might make anyone second-guess the captain!
What is the Charter Company’s Policy on Safety?
If the charter company that your booking doesn’t have a safety policy, then there’s a problem! By FAA’s standards, every private charter company must adhere to all of the safety policies and regulations, but you also have to ask what other measures are they taking to ensure that your flight is a safe and comfortable one. Ask if their company is frequently audited and has passed the requirements to be certified by industry safety organizations. You might want to rethink your flight with a company that hasn’t.
Have Key Information Ready When Booking Your Flight
There is key information every private charter company will need to know when booking your flight:
- How many people are boarding – The private jet charter company can book the best jet that will seat the right amount of passengers. The best-case scenario is that you have too many seats. On the other hand, you’ll be paying for them. Worst-case scenario: someone will have to fly commercial…or take the bus!
- Requested amenities – Arrange the flight so that your favorite beverages are fully stocked in the galley. If your flight is long enough, you might want the assistance of a flight attendant or maybe even a private chef. For business flights, make sure that you have the proper set up and connectivity for presentations.
- The total weight of luggage on board – This is critical information. Too much weight on an aircraft can cause catastrophic results. The charter company needs to know exactly how much weight is boarding an aircraft to ensure that they are selecting the right jet to meet your accommodations.
Make a List. Check it Twice!
The main takeaway is to be aware of the busy seasons within the private aviation industry and to make sure that the company you’re booking the flight with has high safety standards and isn’t skimping on their insurance premiums. Also, book in advance if you can help it.
Want more advice? Check out Offland Media’s blog post to get the latest information about the business aviation industry. Send us a comment online or just call us toll free at 1-800-604-5193 to speak to a representative.