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Unless you're a very experienced private jet charter flier and an insurance executive, insurance issues might be a mystery to you. The top air charter brokers can not only demystify this issue, but also handle all necessary insurance requirements for you. Private jet charters' insurance can involve more obscure issues than experienced business travelers are familiar with.
Your experienced air charter broker has information on the level of insurance carried by the private jet charter company operator that is best for you. It often will coordinate this protection with the insurance coverage your company requires for all senior executives at your level of responsibility. Most air charter company brokers are aware of particular policy riders that are necessary.
More obscure issues involve the request of waiver of subrogation clauses that are sometimes required for certain aircraft or trip destinations. Another example is the additional insurance required if your jet rental is using a “loaner” engine if its own turbine is undergoing its annual tear down and rebuild procedure.
Private air charter brokers are aware of these issues and can handle all necessities so you aren't required to become an expert. You and your company should be thrilled to know that you can concentrate on business success and not be burdened with these issues.
Corporate executives, athletes and government agencies have long been customers of the private jet industry. But today, private jet travel has extended its reach to entrepreneurs, families and adventure seekers. With varying incentive programs and empty leg flight deals (when a flight reaches it's destination it sometimes must return to it's departure airport empty), the use of a private jet by "everyday people" is on the rise. While private jet charters retain their luxury status, participating in a private jet service is not just for the elite. Today's private jet services go beyond basic travel options; access to helicopters for such services as relief flights and tours, and added amenities including in-flight dining and entertainment.
Private jet charter prices have a great deal of variation depending on the level of service you require. One advantage to private charter skycard programs is having funds on deposit as part of your account so that you can quickly book, pay, and confirm a private jet charter without delay. Chances are, after chartering a flight from a company, as your charter flight needs increase in frequency, you can easily upgrade your skycard program to obtain a higher level of service with more benefits. If you are in the process of depositing more funds into your skycard program, consider the advantages of moving up to the next level in your charter membership program, giving you more privileges and wider travel options.
The term "empty legs" refers to a flight on a charter jet completing the unoccupied leg of a charter trip. These flights are an economical charter for one-way trips if you can be somewhat flexible on your departure point and flight schedule. The best charter company websites offer searches for empty legs; simply input your desired departure and destination and see what availabilities turn up. For the most commonly traveled routes, you may find a wide range of results. For less popular routes, you may only find a jet going part of the way; so you may need to make other arrangements for completing your planned trip.
Not sure if you should purchase or lease of a private jet? There is one factor that can help you make the most cost-effective decision. Calculate the number of hours you plan on using the jet per year. If you aren't anticipating more than 400 flying hours a year, leasing may be the more cost-effective solution for you. Unless you are investing in a brand new private jet for sale, chances are you will have to also invest in required maintenance, upgrades, or repairs soon after your purchase excluding routine work which may be required after each flight. If your flying needs outweigh those additional investments, buying a private jet is for you.
Since 9-11 commercial airlines had significantly increased security procedures, resulting in additional severe passenger inconveniences and departure delays. The security procedures of private flights have also been increased, but with far less inconvenience to the passengers than at commercial airports. The best charter operators go above and beyond the requirements set forth by the FAA and deploy special techniques to ensure maximum flight security and safety. Such procedures are obviously secret to avoid any circumvention by undesirable persons. All flights require two forms of ID before passengers can board the airplane, not just to protect the private charter jet operation, but also to prevent potential misuse of your charter membership. The best charter jet operators allow transfer of membership privileges to anyone you designate and the identification requirements assure only the right person can fly the trip. Additional safety and security regulations govern travel with firearms and hazardous materials, please check with your operator for details.
You can get some details on a charter jet flight simply by visiting the website of the charter operator, but in most cases you won't be able to get detailed price quotes without talking to a representative. Since there are many variables that affect a trip quote, such as number of passengers, departure and arrival points, flight times, catering needs, special in-flight services, return schedule, transportation to-from airports, special security needs and other special requests each charter trip ends up as unique event with a detailed plan. In some cases the trip arrangements may benefit from program upgrades or other special offers. The variables are many, and your private expert travel specialist can arrange the details to your satisfaction and give you the best possible quote based on the complete details of your trip.
You might think a larger group (50 or more passengers) could pose a problem for your favorite private jet charter company. In many cases you will be pleased to learn that your air charter broker can give you the same level of outstanding service to which you've become accustomed.
Many of the top air charter brokers can arrange your trip to include large airliners from Boeing, Airbus and others. Your travel party can include 200 or more. When you charter a private jet in this class, you'll enjoy luxury and comfort impossible with similar commercial airliners.
Your private jet charter company can arrange for all your in-flight wish list items, including food and beverage selections, audio and video options and other accommodations. Naturally, your air charter broker will handle flight times, security, airport clearances, insurance issues and FAA necessities as well.
Even with a large group you can enjoy the level of luxury you get with other private jet charters. Though this trip is complex, your private air charter company can handle these critical details and allow you to thoroughly enjoy your trip.
There are many different private jet charter companies that can satisfy your needs. Many are considered to be in the top echelon while others may have some issues that could concern you. If you want to charter a private jet, do some research on your favored air charter company.
Volumes of data can be found using the Internet to collect information and feedback on the companies or air charter broker firms you're interested in. Much of this information is free and/or public, allowing you to compile both factual and testimonial feedback regarding private jet charters.
Should you want more information, you might use a private source like the Aviation Research Group/US, Inc. to procure even more detailed data on subjects such as the true cost of fractional ownership, fuel costs and other statistics. Their function is to accumulate this information for operators, air charter brokers and other interested parties.
You could also benefit from personal referrals from those in your network you trust. While this may not replace your research compiled from third parties, it does provide you with a satisfied flier review. Testimonials, if given freely, are often a good source of real world information. A top air charter broker can also be a valuable source of the information you need.
The Air Charter Guide is often called the "Bible" of private air charter operations. With 900 pages of information regarding air charters in over 140 countries, the Air Charter Guide contains a wealth of information. Whether you are a novice in the world of private jet charters or an experienced veteran of the jet rental skies, the Air Charter Guide will contain some valuable information.
With subjects ranging from how to plan an air charter trip to listing various resources to transport air cargo – and everything in between – the Air Charter Guide is a valuable companion for business, celebrity, sports, and pleasure travelers. Whether you need to find an airport around Boston or San Francisco, Geneva or Singapore, you'll find what you need in the Air Charter Guide.
Another valuable publication is offered by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA). The NBAA Aircraft Charter Consumer Guide provides information regarding air charter company operators, air charter brokers, airports, safety and security, and other important issues. A word of caution: the Air Charter Guide is a wonderful resource, but as with any printed material, circumstances can change rather quickly. Use the Internet or your favorite air charter broker to stay abreast of the most recent news and information regarding your private jet charter needs.
One of the most important features of private jet charters for busy executives is the relaxation factor. Many top business people will attest that even first class flying doesn't provide the level of comfort or relaxation they are looking for.
A top private jet charter company can provide that relaxation factor. Despite the obvious benefit on long flights, shorter trips can be improved by allowing you to totally rest once your private strategy discussions are complete. You'll arrive at your destination completely refreshed and ready for that important business meeting.
The best air charter brokers can arrange for luxurious aircraft that include a stateroom or two with comfortable beds. Should you not need a heavy private jet charter, you can still locate smaller aircraft whose luxurious seats convert to equally comfortable beds. You'll enjoy the same amenities as with larger private jet charters at a lesser cost to fly. Your trusted air charter broker can offer excellent recommendations to arrange the trip you need to take with a perfect jet rental that gives you the opportunity to arrive rested and ready to do serious business.
A top private jet charter company operator or broker can provide superior trip services. Both can serve most of your private jet charter needs. An experienced air charter broker can provide even higher service levels in a few areas.
Brokers might offer a wider selection of private jet charters. Operators usually own their aircraft so you might be limited to a jet rental of only aircraft owned by the air charter company. Top air charter brokers have arrangements with many operators, providing you with an exhaustive selection of aircraft. These companies can also reliably arrange accommodations on extremely short notice to get you where you need to be in style.
The most important consideration when chartering a private jet is to find a broker who is working for you. This broker should act as your personal representative for all flight services including transportation to and from air terminals, in-flight necessities, flight schedules, safety and security and insurance riders or certificates. The best companies achieve that rating because their focus is to make your private jet charters the most comfortable, luxurious and efficient trip you've ever had.
Empty leg trips might save you serious money if your schedule is a convenient match. Many business executives have evolving travel plans as meetings get postponed, rescheduled or extended. When you charter a private jet, schedules are tight. As your plans change, your jet rental may not be available to you.
When your business ends you will still need a ride back to your office, though your aircraft may have departed. You might, however, find one or more other private jet charters in a similar situation, as the company may be departing to your intended destination without a passenger.
Since the company is going wheels up anyway, they may be pleased to take you along. You could save between 25 and 50 percent on your normal private jet charter fee for such a trip. You may enjoy a private air charter with all the comfort and luxury you're accustomed to with the added benefit of a significant savings, making your just concluded business meeting even more successful.
Owning a private jet can be a wonderful experience and advantage, but often a private jet charter company can offer some advantages that aircraft ownership cannot. Here are some listed advantages:
The differences between chartering and owning a jet can be compared based on two criteria, one is cost and the other is the aircraft available for the flight. When you own a jet, you are responsible for either all or a fraction of all the costs, depending on full or fractional ownership. These costs include purchase costs, maintenance costs, applicable taxes and stamps, pilot salaries, landing fees, fueling costs, license fees, storage/hangar costs, insurance costs, inspection fees, overhaul costs and possibly some other costs and fees.
By owning the aircraft you have that single airplane available either full time or according to your fractional ownership share. The ownership of an airplane limits your ability to chose the best aircraft for each particular trip you are taking. If you have need for a short trip with a few people and wish to land at a small airport, your best choice may be a TurboProp, however if you wish to fly across the country and take a group with you, a medium or heavy jet would be your choice so there is no need to land and refuel, plus save significant flight-time.
If you own the airplane outright, you can only fly that plane and none other. If you own a fractional share, you can usually fly that particular aircraft or depending on your contract you may be able to select another aircraft and usually pay an additional fee and incur certain limitations on availability. In either case, you can only depend on the availability of your contracted aircraft, and sometimes be able to select a different one.
When you charter your aircraft, you have none of the responsibilities of ownership, nor the limitations of the size of any particular airplane. With an aircraft jet charter, there is no up-front purchase price, maintenance fees, airport hangar fees, ongoing fuel costs, nor the burden of hiring a crew and caring for storage. You select the exact airplane you need for each trip, whether you have 4 or 40 traveling. In addition, rather than having to make your way to the airport where your plane is kept, you fly from the airport most convenient to you. All charter costs are fixed based on your trip, so you know exactly what to budget, with no hidden or surprise expenses that come with ownership. You can call a charter agent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and discuss your needs in detail and they can have the exact aircraft ready for you in as little as 4 hours notice anywhere in the world. Plus they can also take care of any additional amenities you may need, such as, catering, an onboard chef, limousine service at both the departure and destination airport, hotels and any other travel related needs you may have. You simply pick your departure point, destination and the group you are taking, the agent takes care of the rest.
Charter jets have far greater range than charter helicopters, but a charter jet can't land in a clearing or on an approved landing zone on top of a building. If you have the need for short distance air travel within a metropolitan area such as New York or Chicago, the charter helicopter option offered by companies such as Blue Star Jets is the only alternative to driving. The helicopter is not an option on a long flight trip, but for short, inter-urban trips, speed, flexibility, or making a serious impression on a client, the charter chopper flight is an excellent choice. Ask your charter jet representative for additional information about helicopter options within metropolitan areas.
Charter flights require two forms of ID, but if you are traveling on a heavy jet to overseas locations you will need specific paperwork such as passport, visa and diplomatic/military papers if applicable. Other safety and security concerns can be readily overcome and reduce undue delays by knowing the applicable customs regulations in foreign countries. Some overseas airports require an inspection of the aircraft and/or the cargo. In some ports, drug-sniffing dogs are a routine matter, not any kind of special investigation. Your Blue Star Jet representative can inform you of special inspection requirements during your scheduled layovers or stops.
FAA rules forbid certain types of jet charter aircraft from making instrument approaches at night, but the FAA isn't the only agency that can impose restrictions on aircraft. Local noise abatement policies can also affect night landings at certain destinations. Popular tourist spots like Aspen, Colorado impose such policies restricting aircraft activity between certain night time hours, creating a curfew for jet charter pilots who must otherwise divert to other airports to land legally. It's important to accept such policies as part of the "travel game". Never try to pressure a jet charter pilot or representative of a charter agency to bend the rules, as there is no flexibility allowed. Breaking FAA and local noise abatement rules can have serious consequences.
When trying to book charter flights, it's important to remember that the private jet charter company does not own, operate, or control the aircraft. An empty leg flight is flown at the discretion of the owner/operator, and the stated departure and destinations of these aircraft may change slightly based on previously unforeseen events. If you need a charter flight to fit your specific needs, it's best to plan a complete charter trip booked to your exact specifications rather than try to hop on a number of empty leg charter flights to complete the trip.
You may be able to choose your traveling partner, but you can't choose who will be on the plane with you if you fly on a big airline. With charter jets, you have the freedom to choose whom you wish to fly with. You can be assured that these traveling companions have undergone a detailed background check and are other professionals. If traveling with other passengers on private charter jets doesn't appeal to you, then you have the freedom to charter the whole aircraft, too. However, by sharing in the flight, the cost is less.
If you've ever flown on a public airline, it's likely you've had an inconsiderate seat partner. Imagine you've had a long day and would like to just sit and rest, but meanwhile the passenger next to you is blaring his MP3 player or snoring. This is another reason a jet charter service is so appealing to more and more travelers. With a private jet charter, you have the piece of mind that you will get the rest and service you need and want. By flying some of the most luxurious jets in the market you can be assured that the flight will be as comfortable as your own bed. You will fly with a courteous and attentive crew. Furthermore, many jet charters can offer a bilingual representative to assist travelers from around the world.
These days, there are more and more ways that your personal space is invaded at airports, but private jet charter services save you from the embarrassing scrutiny that may occur at commercial airport security screening stations. You also skip past the lengthy delays, especially at airports that have a bottleneck scenario. However, just because private jet charter services don't use big machines in their screening of travelers that there is a lack of security for you, other travelers and the plane. Many companies conduct detailed investigations of all their pilots, ground crew, flight attendants and fellow passengers.
Air charter flights are more than just a means of getting from one place to another. They are convenient and a necessity to anyone who believes time is money. For many business travelers, getting there on time or ahead of schedule is incredibly important. One of the key reasons savvy travelers choose air charter travel is to avoid lengthy waits and frequent unnecessary delays at commercial airports, which can be unbearable. Air charter flights save you from these delays by offering private boarding at your airport of choice. Companies like Blue Star Jets need only a four-hour lead time on traveling and they can arrange ground transportation to get you to and from the airport. With private air charter you don't have to get up at 4 a.m. to catch a 9 a.m. flight. They fly when you're ready. If you need additional assistance with travel arrangements, hotels or daycare, an air charter service, such as Blue Star Jets, can handle these needs.
There are many ways in which charter aircraft operations differ from commercial airlines, but one way that usually remains the same is with regard to passenger identification. The best charter jet flights require two forms of ID before passengers can board the airplane. This isn't just to protect the private charter jet operation, it's also designed to prevent identity theft and misuse of your charter membership. The best charter jet operations do allow you to transfer your membership privileges to anyone you choose, but the identification requirement is designed to insure that those who do use your privileges are authorized by you to do so. Depending on the flight, you may encounter additional security requirements, and there are FAA regulations that govern travel with firearms and other hazardous materials. You may need to carry additional paperwork based on your luggage or any cargo or samples you bring with you on the flight.
Charter flights require two forms of ID, but if you are traveling in a heavy jet to an overseas location you will need additional paperwork such as your passport, visa, or diplomatic papers. Military members should carry a copy of their orders, leave forms, or other paperwork. For some international flights, clearing customs may be required even if you don't intend to leave the airport. International security situations may require an inspection of the aircraft. In some ports, running a drug-sniffing dog is a routine matter, but some may misinterpret the routine as some kind of special investigation.
The best charter jet companies also offer helicopters, but many travelers aren't sure when the helicopter option is more advantageous. Some people charter a helicopter flight for the novelty, but when it comes to business or private travel, helicopters are best when you need a short trip to a remote area. The U.S. military uses helicopters to take soldiers to training sites and military exercise locations where there are no nearby runways and easy road access. You may find helicopter travel advantageous in all locations where airports are far away and there is no easy road access to your desired destination. Jets are the only way to fly for long distances and may be more dependable in certain kinds of weather; helicopters won't fly with high wind or low visibility conditions. Chartering a helicopter is definitely the option for short trips if you need the access to remote locations, but for long trips a jet is the only option.
Based on the type of aircraft you wish to charter, you should be aware that some FAA rules governing night landings could change the availability of your aircraft. If the aircraft you are considering has a prohibition on "night instrument landing," the pilot may have to abide by a "curfew" for that particular aircraft. These types of issues are completely out of the hands of your jet charter agent and company, which acts on your behalf for locating and scheduling the trip. Charter jet agents do not own the aircraft, and can't be held responsible for FAA regulations that may affect night flights. If you are not sure, it's always best to inquire whether a night flight could pose a problem or delay based on such regulations.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|