Commercial air travel has become hectic and less appealing. Hence, it’s no wonder more people prefer to book a private jet charter for their pleasure and business trips. Although expensive, private air travel is safer, more reliable, and faster than commercial flights. It can help you reach places on time when you have a tight schedule and cannot afford delays.
If you are flying by private jet for the first time, it is always helpful to know a few things beforehand. Here is a checklist of questions you need to ask before booking a private jet.
Who Owns the Aircraft?
Before you take a private flight, it is good to know who owns the aircraft. In most cases, the aircraft is owned by an individual owner, but the flight operations are managed by a company that operates several private jets. If a management company owns the aircraft, it should have an FAA 135 Operating Certificate.
Is the Private Jet Listed Under the Operator’s Control?
As per Federal Aviation Administration rules, all aircraft available for chartered service must be listed under the operator’s control. You can ask the operator D-085 listing of the aircraft. The D-085 listing can help you get the tail number of the private jet. If the operator of the private jet is legitimate, there is nothing to worry about.
After you get the tail number, visit the FAA website to find the following details.
- Registered owner
- Aircraft type
- Manufactured date
Is the Private Jet Insured?
You need to ensure the aircraft has been insured. This would be helpful if anything goes wrong. If the aircraft is insured, the operator will have the Certificate of Insurance and tail number mentioned in the certificate.
Does the Operator Insure Passengers?
Most private jet operators insure passengers flying in their aircraft. The passengers’ names are added to the additional insured list. It is a straightforward process and does not take much time.
Does the Company Operate International Chartered Flights?
Depending on your destination, you need to know whether the company operates international chartered flights. If you want to fly internationally, make sure the operator has the necessary operating licenses and good experience organizing chartered flights to international destinations. It is crucial as every flight entering or leaving the US is subject to international and custom laws.
Can the Operator Help You With Visas?
Although you are flying in a private jet charter, you still need visas. However, the US offers a US Visa Waiver Program to private jet travelers of specific countries. If you’re a citizen of one of the participating countries in the program, you can enter the US and stay up to 90 days, provided you meet qualifying requirements.
In that case, you need to have Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval before boarding the private jet.
The operator is more likely to have more information about obtaining ESTA approval and help you.
Do Pets Need Passports?
Many people flying in private jets like to take their pets along. If you are flying to international destinations, you need to have proper pet documentation as per the destination country’s requirements. Most countries need a pet passport, and you will need one even if you are taking your pet on a chartered jet.
You can research the country’s requirements for pet entry and seek more information from the operator. The aircraft operator might have ferried pets to international destinations earlier and may tell you about the forms to fill and the documentation you need.
Is the Company Audited?
The aircraft operators must undergo a compliance audit to ensure the company follows the proper procedures while operating the aircraft. Besides aircraft maintenance history, the audit covers many areas like aircraft performance, all-weather operations, flight and duty time limitations, security, training, communication and navigational equipment, operational procedures, operator certification, and many more.
How Long Has the Company Been Providing Chartered Service?
In the airline travel business, there is no substitute for experience. The business model of private flying is so complicated that you need to focus on several things simultaneously.
Some new operators offer competitive prices to get customers, but experienced travelers always go for companies with decades of experience managing chartered flights. You can look for positive and negative reviews for the operator to give you an idea of what to expect.
Is there Any Surcharge for the Holiday Season?
Many people choose to fly by private jets during the holiday season to avoid the rush in commercial airlines. Since there is a higher demand for private jets during the holiday season, some operators charge extra for booking during the holiday season.
To sum up, these are few things you need to check before booking a private jet charter.