09 Sep 15 Questions To Ask Before You Choose A Private Jet Company
There are so many reasons to choose a private jet company for your personal or business travel. Recently, concerns regarding public health may drive more and more customers into the private air travel market. No matter if it’s your first private flight or your 100th, it is always smart to check in on the latest resources and questions to ask before hiring a private jet carrier.
By knowing exactly what questions to ask, you can avoid confusion for you and your passengers and arrive at your destination safely and in style. See below a list of our most recommended questions to ask any carrier before you choose your private jet company.
- How long has the company been in business, and how experienced are the pilots?
This is crucially important background to have. You may learn that your budget-friendly private jet carrier is new to the industry or hires inexperienced pilots.
- Where is the fleet stored and the carrier located?
Unlike commercial air travel, private jet services can be heavily dependent on their home base. Using a local carrier can keep your costs down and assure you there is mechanical support or a backup plane available in case of delays or malfunctions. Similar to renting a car, flights are cheaper when they depart and return to their primary location.
- Does the carrier offer a membership or rewards program?
If you enjoy private jet travel (you will!), it’s likely that you or your business will return to this option in the future, and a rewards program or membership may be just the nudge you need to keep booking private service.
- What are the carrier’s policies on blackout dates, holiday travel, and other special dates?
Some carriers charge a premium for high-demand holidays and travel weeks. It’s important to know this before you start planning private travel during the holidays or spring break.
- What are the carrier’s customer support systems?
It’s important to remember that when traveling by private plane, you will not have the same guarantees of customer service availability and 24/7 hotlines or rescheduling mechanisms. If you’ve departed home and your travel plans change, who do you contact, and what are the parameters for making changes to your travel plans. While private jet service is a luxury, you’ll want to be sure to choose a carrier whose customer service matches the experience.
- How many aircraft does the company have in its fleet?
Just like any other equipment, different aircraft are designed for different purposes. It’s always recommended to use a carrier with a wide array of options, as your travel needs change.
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- What is the tail number, and who is the owner of the aircraft you’ll be flying on?
This answer may not seem critical, but it’s important to know if you’ll be flying on a plane owned by an individual or a business. If it is owned by a business, that business must have a valid FAA 135 Operating Certificate. Any reputable management company shouldn’t have a problem providing you with the certificate before your flight.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask to see a document called the D-085 to ensure that the plane you’re flying on is listed under the operator’s control. You can also confirm this information on the FAA website. Do your homework to make sure that all the information you are provided by the carrier is legitimate. See why flying with a FBO is beneficial.
- What is the condition of your aircraft? Has it been refurbished?
A refurbished aircraft is not a negative, necessarily. Using refurbished aircraft shows that your carrier or owner is paying attention to the quality and maintenance of the fleet. Common refurbishments include new interiors, seats, exterior paint, etc. However, refurbishment does not mean that the aircraft’s mechanical systems have been equally maintained. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding mechanical repairs and even ask for a tour of the plane if you’re uncertain. Learn more about the different type of jet craft available.
- How large is the crew that will be servicing your flight, and how have they been trained?
It’s not uncommon for private jet carriers to have relatively small crew sizes. However, these individuals should be highly trained in the specific model of aircraft on which you’ll be flying. Also, be sure to inquire about the flight schedule of your pilot and crew. Have they had a 10 hour rest period in the last 24 hours? This is required by law.
Additionally, consider any health concerns of your passengers. Be sure to inquire about the emergency response training of your in-flight crew, including access to an AED defibrillator, CPR training, and seizure response.
- Is the plane insured, and are you insured while onboard?
This seems simple enough, but it’s important to confirm and never assume. Ask for a certificate of insurance prior to your flight, and do not be afraid to ask for your passengers and organization (if applicable) to be added to the policy for the flight.
- What happens if your plane is delayed or there is a mechanical issue prior to takeoff?
Just like on commercial flights, delays, and maintenance can cause delays or cancellations of your arrival plans. Private jet carriers are not immune from delays and issues such as these – what’s important to understand before you reserve your flight is how the carrier accounts for these delays. What is their plan B to get their customers on their way in a safe and timely manner?
- Has the aircraft ever been involved in an accident?
Just as if you were buying a car, it’s important to get the facts on the aircraft in which you’ll be flying. You can easily look this information up on the National Transportation Safety Board’s website. It’s worth the extra step to feel comfortable with the aircraft’s safety history
- Has the aircraft been through a safety audit?
Many experienced operators conduct routine audits through a third-party organization. This information is helpful as it can show commitment to maintenance, training, and other best practices.
- Is the pilot or management company providing your services involved in any outstanding litigation?
While lawsuits do not confirm negligence, if you’re comparing operators, it may be a helpful decision point to choose the operator without a legal history or outstanding claims for negligence.
- Does the carrier fly internationally and if so will their staff assist you in any necessary paperwork?
This is a very specific need, and if you’re not traveling internationally, you may not be concerned. However, if you’re looking to develop a long-term relationship with a private jet carrier it could be helpful to determine early-on if they fly internationally and what services they provide in regards to paperwork. Your travel needs may change in the future, and it will provide peace of mind to know that your carrier flies internationally and is experienced in managing visa and customs forms.
No matter how far you’re traveling, private jet service can be an incredible and safe option for all of your travel needs. Building a relationship with an experienced, qualified private jet carrier such as Bitlux can take your experience to the next level – contact Bitlux today to discuss your travel needs and book your next trip for business or pleasure.
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As a leading private jet charter company, BitLux is dedicated to providing unparalleled safety, exceptional service, and an above and beyond experience on each of our private chartered jets. Call or message today and book your next trip with BitLux. Our experienced team is standing by and eager to help you book the perfect aircraft for your next family vacation, business trip or weekend getaway.