Selecting A Private Charter Company

In this post, I would like to give you the tools for evaluating the quality and capability of private aviation operators and the various charter broker companies when offering you the appropriate aircraft for the required flight.

It is possible that for flights in different geographic regions of the world, different companies will suit you, such as if you also change the type of aircraft in which you have decided to fly.  On the other hand, it is possible that you are convinced there is one company you have checked out over a period of time that can give you an honest professional answer for your changing requirements.

If you are making your first flight, or one of your first flights, you should always check a number of possibilities.  Even if the company you have applied to seems to you to be professional and honest, take advantage of the fact that obtaining a number of price proposals and the possibility to gain an impression from the attitude of a number of companies to your application,   will not cost you anything, except perhaps investment of more time, an investment that will return to you as money, safety and professionalism.

As I detailed in the previous post, the market includes Operators that possess one or more jets and Charter Broker companies that are connected to many aviation operators by agreements.

On first application, it is worthwhile to apply to the two types of companies and check them out.  There is no inherent advantage of one type over another.  From the point of view of prices, most of the serious Charter Broker companies can obtain for you similar prices and even cheaper than those you can obtain directly from the Operators.

Below are a number of check points, that with their help you can make an evaluation of the Private Charter companies:

The company’s Internet site

This is the initial show place of the company.  Does the site seem to you to have a professional and invested look? Is it detailed and does it include relevant information?  Is the company’s team displayed or does it remain anonymous?  It is true, that a beautiful and professional site does not necessarily mean that the company is such, but if in the site there is more concealed than overt and it seems amateur, you can see for yourself how the company will seem…

Establishing first contact with the company

Does the company have a 24/7 human answering team?  Remember that such a service can be essential if a necessity arises for changes shortly prior to the flight.  An answering service round the clock will ensure immediate attention by the company of every one of your requests.
If you have sent a request form via the company’s Internet site, check how much time it takes for them to come back to you – a quick response is evident of an organized company that puts customer service high on its list of priorities.

Professionalism of the initial response

Have you been asked clarification questions relevant  to your request?

Have your questions been answered satisfactorily and professionally?  Have they come back to you with answers to questions remaining without a response from the initial application?  Can you feel that there is someone at the other end of the line (or the e-mail) holding the reins?

 It is worthwhile asking the company representative at the beginning to detail the types of aircraft at their disposal, which aircraft you are recommended to consider for carrying out the requested flight and what is the range of cost of those aircraft (with no obligation).  In this way you can know the general direction that company is taking in searching for the aircraft suitable for you.

Creative solutions

If your request for a flight is somewhat more complex than a flight from Moscow to Geneva, check if the company that you have turned to offers creative solutions, such as a combination of a regular flight and a private flight, use of empty legs a private shared flight, and more.

Price Proposal

How was the price proposal given?  By telephone with no obligation? By simple textual e-mail?  Or perhaps with a neat PDF document, including details of the proposed aircraft types, interior and exterior pictures and the conditions accompanying the proposal?
Check if the company has given you a number of options for selection with a clear explanation (in the proposal or orally after having been sent) regarding the various considerations in selecting the aircraft.  Does it seem that the company “leads” you to a certain aircraft from considerations that do not seem relevant to you?
Again, during the work at this stage, you can learn much about the way the company will execute your flight.  You should expect the best and the most professional answers.

An answer to supplementary questions

After receiving a number of price proposals and explanations about the various aircraft offered, it is possible you would like to ask supplementary questions to the company.  See what the attitude is of the company to such questions.  Do not hesitate to ask sharp questions “Another company told me that the Citation II will be too crowded for eight passengers – what do you think?”  See if the answers to the questions are to the point or in the style “Don’t believe whoever told you that”.

 We will be delighted if you also decide in your search to consult with us and to check our capabilities in all the above criteria when looking for the appropriate aircraft for your next private flight.

About Author

Zur Banner

Business Jets captain and flight instructor, Air traffic control officer (Res,). Holds an LLB and BA degrees from Tel-Aviv University. LynxJet Private Flights CEO.