30 Jul Private Jet Charter Companies – What Makes One Trustworthy?
If you’re interested in learning what makes an honest and reliable private jet charter company, welcome. You’ve come to the right place, please read on.
With the industry rapidly growing, so is the amount private jet charter companies. One of the most popular misconceptions about this industry is that all chartering companies are all created equally. This cannot be farther from the truth.
For starters, aviation companies out there will give you a very wide range of prices for the same trip. If you are a customer that likes to shop around for the best price, you will be familiar with this. Some companies will hand out fair market prices, while others hike them up in hopes of a quick buck.
Customer service also plays a huge factor with every private jet charter company. If you’re spending thousands on a flight, you expect it to be perfect, right? There are some private jet charter companies have superb customer service to ensure the experience goes above and beyond expectation, while others will not even bother to pick up the phone at times – when you need it the most.
But what really makes a private jet company stand out?
I can tell you in two words. ARG/US Rating.
What does it mean to be an ARGUS Rated Private Jet Charter Broker?
Working with an ARGUS rated broker is an assurance you are working with a legitimate company who carries the highest regard for safety standards and customer satisfaction.
These elite companies are hard to come by.
In fact, only a mere 38 Jet Chartering Companies worldwide are ARGUS rated. Bitlux, being one of them, has proudly achieved this rating and carries high levels of safety and professionalism.
What does it take to become ARGUS rated?
In layman’s terms, ARGUS rating means safe, fair, ethical, and legitimate. There are 10 standards in particular that each company must uphold to earn this prestigious rating.
According to the official ARGUS website, these standards include everything an ARGUS rated company must have at all times.
Is your Private Jet Charter Company ARGUS Rated?
The easiest way to find out – ask!
This rating will ensure customers they are receiving full transparency and can be confident in knowing that they are going the safest route possible both in price and up in the air.
Many jet charter brokers are not ARGUS rated and therefore, their safety records are not displayed, ethics are not pledged, their operational procedure may not even exist!
This can also mean no one is monitoring this company and its legitimacy.
For the companies that do have this rating displayed, they are constantly under review to make sure that the company is living up to the ARGUS standard. The safety history, staff trainings, government regulations and crew maintenance programs are constantly under evaluation to ensure the integrity of the rating.
Now, onto the dangers of flying without an ARGUS rated broker…
The Grey Market Charter
Surprisingly, there is no formal global regulation or license that private jet charter broker must have to conduct business.
This leaves room for what the industry calls the “Grey Market”, which is an open door for unfair competition that leads to outrageous prices and can ultimately leave the passengers, crew, and pilots in danger.
By definition, grey market charters are flights flown by privately owned or corporately owned aircraft in which the owner is compensated for the flight without having the operative authority to sell that transportation on the flight. The owners of the aircraft will essentially give away trips way below market value to reduce their costs. Industry experts estimate that an astounding 40 to 50% of current charters are illegal or “grey market” charters, which deliberately violates government safety and commerce regulations.
So why would the owners of the aircraft give out flights for extreme discounts you may ask?
Instead of sucking up loses, owners will offer their jet at a very low price to reduce costs, negate expenses, or even make their lease or loan payments.
This type of transaction is not only desperate but very dangerous because if the aircraft owner is willing to cut corners when it comes to charter, the chances of them not following other safety standards such as aircraft maintenance, crew training, and pilot duty time limits is greatly increased.
Something else to keep in mind is that grey market chartering nulls out insurance coverage on the jet. Yes, you read that correctly. This means that in the event the aircraft insurance would need to be used, they will not cover anything if the flight was illegally chartered.
Also, the owners, operators, and crew are subject to heavy fines. If the IRS and FAA caught wind of this, they will go after this type of activity because it not only goes against safety standards, it is tax evasion. Pilots are also at risk for their licenses to be suspended or even revoked.
Wouldn’t you know if you are on a grey market charter?
More than likely, no – unless the FAA does a ground check, or worse – your safety is compromised.
How and why? Money. Some private jet charter companies will give you a rate just below market value to win your business, then pocket the larger discount for themselves.
Unfortunately, if the company you’re working with isn’t ARGUS rated, you are much more likely to be placed on one of these charters. You can avoid this by doing one of two things – fly and book with an ARGUS registered broker, or spend countless hours auditing safety paperwork, legal filings, and insurance documents for each and every trip.
For simplicity sake and safety, it is best to go with an ARGUS registered broker.
Check the CHEQ Registry
The ARGUS rating uses the same standardization specification to evaluate each and every aviation company. This process is called CHEQ, which is an acronym for Charter Evaluation and Qualification. Once this process is reviewed, the rating can be placed under four different categories.
These categories for operators include:
For operators, the Platinum rating is optimal and the most difficult to receive. Carrying platinum means all of the flight data, operations, business documentation, insurances, and ethical practices are flawless and far above what is typically required.
For Brokers they include:
BitLux is happily registered and prioritizes operator and network partners who have at a minimum, ARGUS Gold across nearly every aircraft available on the market.
Keep an eye out for the following seals of accomplishment:
Next time you find yourself shopping for your next destination in a private jet, you may want to consider doing a little background check on the aviation broker you are working with.
You can always ask them what kind of certifications they have, what their safety rating is and if they have an ARGUS rating. Or you can look them up here.
These questions will not only help you get to know the company you are working with but give you a better idea of what you can really expect when flying privately, nothing but the best!
For a quote, please feel free to give us a call at +1(954)399-3214 or request a quote.