So many advertisements (sometimes in the form of articles and press releases continue to surface suggesting you can fly privately for prices that are comparable to the cost to fly on airline (both first-class and coach). Reputable publications, including Forbes and The New York Times, have headlined articles suggesting this is something that is feasible.
These suggestions are certainly appealing but are they realistic? It happens occasionally but the truth of the matter is that it is extremely rare and not something you should expect to find. Certain circumstances with very particular routing might be able to accommodate comparable pricing but it doesn’t happen the way (as frequently) as charter companies try to make people believe (and they SOMEHOW sell the idea to major publications to republish).
So when and how does it happen?
CHARTER A SEAT:
If you are willing to travel with strangers then it could be a possibility. Even this is a difficult task to achieve because logistically and regulatory it is extremely complicated. The seat chartering and jet sharing concepts first began surfacing in 2008 and many charter companies have attempted to help this model take-off; however, most have failed horribly! The FAA and DOT requirements for a charter company to achieve this offering are challenging enough but to complicate things even further you are stuck marketing the idea. Those who can afford to charter likely prefer not to fly with strangers and those who aspire to travel privately are often more hopeful than they are reachable. From a regulatory standpoint this is something that would best be achieved by providing a platform for customers to communicate directly and book a flight together. If you can find a seat on a private jet that works for you then you should consider yourself lucky!
Ideally, using social media to interact with others looking to share the cost of traveling by private jet is similar to chartering a seat; however, the regulatory factors are minimized because the charter company is only bound to public charter regulations when selling seats. When one person charters the jet, despite receiving money from their partner, it is still a private charter. Here the challenge seems to be that many have tried to become the ‘go-to’ website for social flight sharing platforms but it doesn’t seem like any of the attempts have fully taken off.
VERY LIGHT JETS and/or TURBO PROPS
Very light jets (usually very small – seating only 4 passengers) and turbo props are a little less expensive and can prove cost-effective and perhaps comparable to airline pricing. However, these don’t come without challenges of their own. Such a small aircraft. These tiny little planes don’t carry enough fuel to travel cross country so they limit you to flights with shorter flight times and if you are tall – you might want to reconsider. For example, the Phenom 100 has a cabin height of only 4 feet 11 inches! With that being said, you can fly from Van Nuys to Oakland starting at $1500 but the company who advertises that route for as little as $1500 doesn’t usually meet that pricing structure. For example, we just requested a flight through their online portal (which offers guaranteed pricing) and were provided a price of $4,085.15; the equivalent of $1021.29 per person. Flying first-class on Alaska Airlines from Los Angeles to Oakland is only $686.90 and probably extremely more comfortable of a flight.
This is your best chance for great pricing without all the gimmicks and compromises! Empty legs previously were the same thing as a ‘deadhead’ but more and more charter operators are taking on the floating fleet method of operation. Deadheads were historically repositioning legs. Floating fleets are fleets that stay out and book flights from the area their previously flight ended. They schedule regular maintenance at their home base or the base of their preferred maintenance provider and work the aircraft back to that location for maintenance.
The biggest downfall of booking one-way flights (empty legs or on a floating fleet) is they are typically flights that impose a 100% cancellation clause from the time of booking. You should be absolutely certain of your travel plans prior to confirming a flight of this nature.
Another big downfall is the enormous trend in companies advertising empty legs that don’t exist. They wait for the customer to inquire on a requested empty leg and then set out to find an empty leg that will work. Not only is this lacking honesty but it is a waste of the charter customer’s time and certainly a disappointment when they come up empty handed. Furthermore, most empty legs don’t offer enough savings to make chartering competitive with commercial airlines.
Conclusion? We have seen charter for less than first-class travel a time or two but realistically, we suggest you don’t get your hopes up too high! You know how the old saying goes… when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
What is “sequestration?” Well, in case you haven’t heard… our nation deficit is a major issue and sequestration is essentially a fancy word of congress imposing across-the-board cuts at all federal agencies as a means for reducing the nation’s deficit. Sequestration was passed by congress in 2011 and was intended to indiscrimately cut spending amongst all federal programs. How does sequestration affect private aircraft charter? It would require the FAA to reduce their budget by millions of dollars for the remainder of the year! What would that mean to us?
Most of the FAA’s budget is actually exempt, by law, from the sequester. Funds for the airport improvement act, facilities and equipment and FAA research programs are almost completely ineligible for sequester cuts. That almost sounds good until you REALLY think about it! You see this would mean that the spending reductions of the FAA would fall upon their operation’s budget – personnel schedules including air traffic controllers, facility technicians, etc…
What will change? FAA would implement employee furloughs of one day out of each pay period (every two weeks), air traffic control towers with less than 150,000 total annual operations (or less than 10,000 commercial operations) annually will potentially be closed entirely and it is being suggested that NAVAIDs will not be properly maintained (longer intervals).
If smaller airports are not being utilized then we must consider what that will do to the larger airports… can anyone say ground delays? What about holds delaying a landing? Hold that delay a landing means more fuel burn and… GUESS WHAT? More fuel burn means higher prices; most likely in the form of fuel surcharges going into high density airports. What about international flight planning? With fewer FAA staff available we will likely have delays getting various approval from the FAA including customs inspections, paperwork, government waivers, and who knows what else?
If sequestration goes into effect then, at the very least, I think we should anticipate various cost increases – what do you think will happen?
We look forward to feedback regarding sequestration and its relation to private aircraft charter!
Boeing has apparently asked the FAA to fly a Boieng 787 to test fixes they had attempted to allow the aircraft to re-enter into regular service. As of yet, the FAA has not confirmed a response; however, industry experts have speculated that the possibility of the aircraft re-entering into service as early as this week is a possibility.
As of today, all 50 Boeing 787s currently being operated are under orders by the FAA to remain grounded. United States and Japanese aviation authorities are continuing their investigations into the incidents reported; currently being labeled “thermal runaways” and directly relate to lithium ion batteries which are used in the Boeing 787 model aircraft. The NTSB, together with an airplane battery contractor, is currently attempting to detect any short circuits. Authorities are also visiting the manufacturer of the battery in France.
Hopefully these issues will be resolved in a very timely manner and the Boeing 787 will be able to return to service; however, many commercial passengers continue to be inconvenienced with delay and/or cancelled commercial flights in the interim. If you are one of those passengers and being delayed, or even stranded, is not an option – Exquisite Air Charter can assist you with a chartered flight on private planes with as little as three hours notice.
I receive daily alerts for all things private jet charter related and just finished reading an article about a well-known jet charter / fractional operator who offers members a flat rate amount of $8500 per hour which includes all fees, taxes, and fuel. Ironically, I just got a quote 3 days ago for a trip from Van Nuys, California to Teterboro, NJ from this same operator. My customer’s flight is a one-way flight AND KEEP IN MIND A LOT OF THESE PROGRAMS SELL THEIR PROGRAMS BASED ON ONE-WAY ITINERARIES! These companies swear by not having to pay round-trip pricing for your one-way flights.
Let me explain what a rip-off jet charter cards truly are. My flight quote obtain from this carrier was for $21,000 even and based on 5.25 hours of flight time (according to their quote). As an aircraft charter broker, my quotes are sent net/net – meaning that they don’t include Federal Excise Taxes, my commission, passenger segment fees, etc… This particular aircraft seats 8 passengers and my “all-in” price to my customer would be $23,281.85. If you break that down to an “all-in” hourly rate… $23,281.85 divided by 5.25 flight hours, that becomes $4,434.64 hourly. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND HOW THESE PROGRAMS EVEN SELL? $4,434.64 PER HOUR VS. $8,500.00 PER HOUR??? This is not rocket science!
Let’s consider customer service… Exquisite Air Charter guarantees we rank better than most! We are a boutique charter brokerage firm who gets to know each and every customer and their needs/likes personally. How can a huge company compete with that? We know the industry like the backs of our hands – those big companies hire people and attempt to train them to do something ( A JOB TO THAT PERSON) that we are passionate about. Life never ceases to amaze me… someone (ANYONE) is willing to waste an extra $4,065 per hour (or in this case more than $21,000 extra) to get less quality customer service than what we provide.
Jet Charter Cards… sometimes you just have to laugh! That’s all you can do!!!
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified some concerns regarding the TSA’s performance and how they are maintaining security regarding flight schools who train foreign citizens in the United States. On July 18th, the NBAA’s Vice President of Safety, Security, Operations and Regulation (Doug Carr) will testify at a congressional hearing regarding the process used by TSA to screen student pilots who are looking to attend pilot schools in the United States. Mr. Carr is expected to address concerns of the business aviation community in an effort to educate the committee lawmakers and (hopefully) guide them in protecting the community from potential terrorist threats.
Did you know that the Citation X Is the world’s fastest production civil aircraft? Once upon a time there were plenty of jokes about the “slow-tation” Cessna but not anymore. The Citation X was originally announced at the 1990 NBAA (National Business Administration Association) convention. The CE 750 (Citation X) was announced with the ability to cruise as fast as Mach 0.90 (basically it could fly 6 passengers from New York to LA in about 4.5 hours).
Many aircraft charter customers have stated that they love the Citation X’s look as much as they love the performance after deliveries began in January of 1997. In 15 years of production total deliveries have not met expectations. Some customers have expressed concern regarding the lean cabin cross-section that is shared with the Citation III, VI, VII, XLS, and Sovereign and that the aircraft is narrower than some comparable aircraft; however, the cabin’s double club main seating section is 19.7 feet long.
The Citation X is equipped with both slats and flaps and has amazing runway performance; something that customers who travel in and out of airports with compromising weather and runway issues are thankful for. The Citation X is also equipped with the Primus 2000 avionics suite including five CRTs up front and is offered a $600,000 Primus Elite upgrade that will prepare the aircraft for FAA’s NexGen. The aircraft is priced between $12-15 million and not usually much more. The Hawker 800XP and 900XP are big competitors because of their wider cabin cross sections. Super-mids (such as the Hawker 4000, Gulfstream G200, and the Challenger 300) also compete but have larger cabins and better range but if you have a need for speed then you’d certainly enjoy chartering a Citation X aircraft.
Whether you are traveling by private jet or any other means these iPhone apps may come in handy:
This app from the American Heart Association is a literal lifesaver. When Dan Woolley of Colorado Springs was caught in the collapse of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince after the Haiti earthquake, he used the app to diagnose and treat injuries to his foot and head.
Even at your sickest, most embarrassing tourist moments there’s an app that will come to your rescue. The mPassport will find the local brand equivalent of any medicine that you need, so you can wash down that weird Cambodian cart food with some weird Cambodian Pepto. The app will also translate medical terms and phrases, help you find a doctor, schedule a medical appointment, and locate a nearby dentist, hospital, or pharmacy.
If you’re planning on taking a bus, you should download the Department of Transportation‘s SaferBus app. The app will let you look up safety ratings and records for hundreds of bus companies.
When you’re traveling, sometimes you can lose track of what is going on in the rest of the world. But that information can be crucial to your safety. This app will keep you in the loop about travel alerts and warnings no matter where you are. It also has a “Know Before You Go” section that will show you where the nearest U.S. embassy is located, local laws to be aware of and list the the entry/exit requirements for every country.
This app is a virtual encyclopedia of information that could be vital to your survival in a travel emergency. ICE 4 Travel stores information on your immunizations, allergies, medications, emergency contacts and translates it all into seven different languages.
When you’re in the United States, you know to call 911 in an emergency. But what if you’re abroad? Who do you call and how do you communicate with them if you don’t speak the language? The Help Call app will automatically detect your location and you can press one easy button to be connected to local fire, police or an ambulance crews.
This article is from Fox News
We posted an article today on our Facebook Fan Page regarding Frontier Airlines ending direct flights to Milwaukee and a user mentioned that they have also stopped their service to Boise, Idaho as well. We explained on Facebook that a lot of regional jets are being parked because of rising fuel costs and the fuel burn of operating regional jets on shorter flights/flying at a lower altitude. This prompted a question from a current customer that we thought might be some great information to share on our blog. The question was in regards to why the regional jets fly at a lower altitude. There are a few contributing factors. The aerodynamics of the aircraft structure can contribute; the altitude at which a particular aircraft is capable of flying is certainly a consideration. In addition, there are factors of aircraft performance and the rate at which the aircraft is capable of flying. On a shorter flight, depending on the rate of climb, it wouldn’t make sense for an aircraft to try to fly at a higher altitude because as soon as the aircraft reached altitude it would be time to begin their decent for landing. Finally, a major contributing factor is ATC (Air Traffic Control) and the requirement for pilots to follow their directives for use of air space. The second part of this question was why is fuel burn higher at lower altitudes? The answer to that is because of air density.
It seems there is a lot of confusion from time to time regarding the restrictions placed on crew duty times. These restrictions are placed by the FAA; not the charter company. These regulations are FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) Part 135 (which is the part that governs most charter flights). These particular regulations are from FAR Section 135.267.
2 Man Crew: 10 Hours on Flight Deck /10 Hours Flight Time / 14 Hours Duty Time
3 Man Crew: 8 Hours Flight Deck / 12 Hours Flight Time / 18 Hours Duty Time
4 Man Crew: 8 Hours Flight Deck / 16 Hours Flight Time / 20 Hours Duty Time
Additionally – 10 hours of consecutive rest during the 24-hour period that precedes the planned completion time of the assignment.
It is important to remember is that a crew’s duty time does not begin when the passenger’s show up to the aircraft or when they deplane. Standard is for crew to duty on 1 hour prior to the scheduled departure and 30 minutes after the passengers deplane. This is for pre and post-flight duties that are required. Sometimes it is possible to duty a crew on only 30 minutes prior to the flight.
Crew duty restrictions also limit assignments as follows:
- Not more than 500 hours in any calendar quarter
- Not more than 800 hours in any two consecutive calendar quarters
- Not more than 1,400 hours in any calendar year
If you would like additional information regarding crew duty time limitation, please contact your charter representative to explain this further.
When you charter an aircraft do you have any knowledge about the operator’s safety record? Have you checked to see if they have any accidents or incidents on their record? Do you have any idea how to check to see? Has the operator been through an independent, third-party, safety audit? What was the outcome of the third-party safety audit? What is their pilot recurrent training policy? Where do they get their training?
These are all very valid questions that should be asked each and every time you charter! Who is checking these things for you? This is one of the many times when a GOOD broker is your greatest asset! Who doesn’t want to make sure of these types of things? Everyone should! The challenge is that most charter customers aren’t charter professionals. Your best option is to hire a professional to represent YOU! The aircraft owners are represented by the charter operators. Sure you can go direct with the charter operators but is that really in your best interest? Think twice if you think it is!
Don’t get me wrong… many charter brokers don’t care about your safety or disclosing the safety record of the aircraft they are placing you, your loved ones, your employees or associates on because they are just worried about when you are going to pay for your trip and how much commission they are making off of you/your trip! Exquisite Air Charter is truly different. We genuinely care and would (and have) pass up on a great commission to know you are on the best aircraft – one that has an impeccable crew and safety record – because we know we will earn your repetitive business in the long run and that is worth more to us than a one time hefty commission.
Let us know if you have questions or would like additional information!