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Time for an Upgrade? Part 1: Private Charter Basics

airplane at night

Time for an Upgrade? Part 1: Private Charter Basics

Time for an Upgrade? Part 1: Private Charter Basics 768 320 sashadmin

One of my favorite parts of my job as a private charter broker is working with flyers that are considering transitioning from First-Class commercial travel to private charter.

Providing these clients information on the ins and outs of private charter gives me a chance to share all the knowledge I’ve accrued over the years of facilitating private flights, which in turn helps them feel more at ease with navigating the unfamiliar territory of flying private.  With the influx of first-time flyers as a result of COVID, I’ve been having more of these conversations than ever and thought an overview of private charter might be useful.m

There are a number of different options for private charter, but most people start out with on-demand charter.  On what?! As with any industry, the private charter has its own lingo which can be confusing to the newcomer.  Some unfamiliar terms you may hear thrown around might include: broker, on-demand, operator, repositioning, Owner Approval, tail number, and FBO. Let’s clarify them.

ClickJetz is an on-demand private charter broker. This means that we don’t own or operate any of the aircraft we use for charter, but rather locate and secure charter aircraft for our clients. We do this on-demand, meaning there is no membership fee or commitment necessary and that our clients use and pay for our service if and when they need it.  Operators are in charge of all the aircraft’s operations – scheduling pilots, maintaining the aircraft, filing flight plans, etc.  Sometimes the operators own the aircraft but often they just manage them for the owners.

As a newcomer, you might ask, why should I go through a broker rather than reach out to operators directly? Time, money and safety. Over 70% of operators have five or fewer aircraft in their fleet. Some might have a fleet composed entirely of 4-person very light jets, which won’t be of much help if you have 6 people that need to go on a 3-hour flight.  Another might have all their aircraft booked. Still another might have an available aircraft, however, a repositioning fee will be added to your trip to move the aircraft to your departure location. As brokers, we have tools to geo-target available aircraft from the vast inventory available for charter.  This allows us to match the plane you need or want with those available and close-by.  Most importantly, good brokers know the certifications and reputations of the operators.  ClickJetz strictly uses FAA Part-135 certified charters, can specifically supply aircraft that maintain ARGUS, Wyvern, or IS-BAO certifications, and steers away from operators with a less-than-stellar track record.

Now that we’ve cleared up some of the players in the private charter industry, next we will examine the booking process.

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