Written by Alex M. Early, CEO of The Early Air Way on January 29th, 2016
So you’ve decided to book a private jet. If you’re a novice private jet passenger, asking your charter representative for his/her recommended airports for your departure and arrival cities might be more important than you’d think.
The airports best for private jets are not always the same as the airports best used by commercial flights. For example, people in Los Angeles who haven’t flown private before will generally ask for LAX, and people in San Francisco will generally ask for SFO. Neither of these airports are your best options for flights departing from Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively, however. With one exception of course, if you’re connecting to or from a commercial flight.
The reason for this is that you’ll generally pay quite the premium to use a major commercial airport when you’re near a large private jet airport. This isn’t only because of higher landing fees, but also because of the fact that basically NO planes are based at these major commercial airports such as LAX and SFO. You’ll pay the higher landing fees for the big airport, AND THEN the cost to reposition the plane to/from the main commercial airport, where it is based or will be most likely to pick up another flight. Furthermore, the major airports will be far more prone to air traffic related delays than the smaller private airports.
Long story short… You never want to use LGA or JFK in New York, BOS in Boston, etc. You’ll save money using the proper airports and also spend less time on the ground waiting for 15 commercial planes to depart ahead of you. If you don’t know which airport you should be using, always feel free to ask you The Early Air Way charter professional.
June 2nd, 2015 Written By: Alex M. Early, CEO of The Early Air Way
If you’ve chartered private jets in the past, then you’re probably familiar with the term “owner approval required.” For those of you who aren’t familiar however, “owner approval required” is a condition of booking for many (but not all) jet charters. What it means is that once you accept a quote that is proposed to you, the reservation is then sent directly to the owner of the aircraft you’re attempting to book who will either approve or decline your trip. If your trip is approved, then your reservation is confirmed. If your trip is declined however, the particular aircraft at hand will no longer be an option for your trip and you’ll have to move onto a different plane.
Which planes require owner approval?
Generally speaking, the newer and larger (or more valuable) planes are the ones that will require owner approval. I can’t think of a single Gulfstream G650 Heavy Jet that doesn’t require owner approval. On the other hand, there are very few Lear 35 Light Jets that do require owner approval. This is the standard, but not the rule. There are some heavy jets that don’t require approval while there are some light jets that do.
Why would an owner turn down my business?
Some charter clients can be surprised that an owner is turning down their money. There are several reasons this will happen, however:
The owner would like to keep his/her plane free for him/herself over the dates you’re attempting to book it for.
Your trip doesn’t bring in enough revenue to justify the aircraft being dispatched. (Generally seen only on newer/larger planes)
Your trip has too many short legs. Short legs are not profitable for late-model, large-cabin airplanes. The ratio of landings to flight hours affects the value of an aircraft on the pre-owned market. If a Gulfstream G550 has an average flight duration of 55 minutes for example, millions in value could be lost compared with one that has an average flight duration of three hours. As such, the short flights may be declined. Furthermore, expensive maintenance is required after a certain number of cycles. A G650 owner won’t want to rush to a six-figure maintenance appointment because he/she accepted a bunch of 50-minute trips.
What happens if an owner declines your trip?
It’s unfortunate when an owner declines a trip, but it happens. What you should do in this instance is let you jet charter coordinator provide you with the next best option available and then attempt to book this. Don’t see this is an indicator that you’re working with a sub-par charter company; owner approval effects everyone.
At the end of the day, owner approval is part of the US charter marketplace and isn’t going anywhere soon. When booking a flight, it’s important to know whether or not your plane needs owner approval or not to help you make the most educated decision possible about what you’re booking.
Written by: Alex Early, CEO of The Early Air Way June 26th, 2013
We get calls every day from people asking if we offer “shared rides” on private jets. Callers are generally not thrilled when we explain to them that we don’t.
What you should know however is why we don’t offer shared private jet rides, and that the concept of a shared private jet flight isn’t something you should rely on as a means of reducing the cost of your next private jet adventure. It will just be a waste of your valuable time.
In the private jet business, it is difficult to generate buzz. We’re a niche industry that caters to a niche clientele. The media eats up press releases that offer private jet products at mass-market prices, however. After all, who wouldn’t be enticed by the possibility off flying on a private jet for less than the cost of a commercial airline ticket? This is the reason you read so much about shared private jets… because the media eats up the notion. This is also the reason some companies try to do it, because it is an easy way to get a lot of calls, very quickly and inexpensively; relatively speaking of course.
Unfortunately what we end up with as a result is buzz about a product that the marketplace just can’t deliver, and a lot of wasted time because of it. Here are the main reasons why per-seat private jet charters just don’t work:
There is such a strong alternative to per-seat private jet flights, with consistently low prices, a route network that is unbeatable, and a schedule frequency that is second to none…Commercial aviation! Yes, flying private has so many benefits to commercial aviation and is an invaluable travel tool, however not when all you’re looking for is one seat at a cheap rate.
Aircraft owners, and those who pay enough for a charter to justify the operating costs of the airplane spend the extra money for private planes for several reasons including privacy, and the notion of setting their own schedule and departing on their own time. These people for the most part are not interested in a little bit of money to take a stranger on their flights. There really is just no real inventory out there to justify these “shared ride” flights. To offer a plane cheap on a per-seat basis, there has to be someone else picking up the major tab of the aircraft’s operating costs, and that is nearly impossible to find.
Putting everything else aside, the notion of selling an individual seat on a private jet isn’t even a legal practice. Air charters are governed by the rules of FAR part 135, which are the rules and regulations for on-demand air carriers. It is illegal to sell individual seats on part 135 flights, which all private jet charters are. In order to sell individual seats, you need a part 121 operating certificate, which is the type of operating certificate that commercial airlines have.
Companies are attempting to sell individual seats on private jet charter flights though a loophole. The only companies you’ll see attempting to sell individual seats on planes are brokerage companies that do not hold any sort of FAA operating certificate. Said companies are chartering the entire aircraft themselves from the part 135 operator, and then attempting to sell the seats individually. For the time being, they’re getting away with this because the flight is still being booked as an on-demand charter through the part 135 carrier. This is a loophole that I don’t expect to last.
Those who attempt to sell individual seats on aircraft look to the same aircraft we utilize for their shares. In order to make the model work, they a) HAVE to get an empty leg, AND (not one or the other) b) HAVE to fill up the majority of the seats on the plane. We speak with our aircraft owners about these per-seat businesses all the time, and are told stories of literally being begged for empty-leg prices when empty legs aren’t available, because otherwise these passengers who booked a seat already will not be able to be given a ride altogether.
To make a long story short, as interesting as the concept sounds, it isn’t a viable business model. What you’ll find when looking for a per-seat shared ride on a private jet is that you just won’t get what you’re looking for 9 times out of 10 +, and that is simply because the market just doesn’t support it.
Written by: Alex Early, CEO of The Early Air Way
August 7th, 2013
I was recently flying on a Lear 35 up to Seattle, WA and was thinking to myself how much I enjoy them. Lear 35s can sometimes get a bad rep, but they certainly hold their weight against many much newer and more expensive aircraft.
Lear 35s are a true workhorse of the nation’s air charter fleet. Some people love them, and some people hate them. They’re great, and they’re not so great… it just depends how you look at them.
First things first… Lear 35s are getting old. Production of the Learjet 35 commenced in 1973 and ceased in 1994. By far the majority of the Lear 35s you’ll find on the charter marketplace are the 35A variants from the early to mid 1980s. Because of the age of these airplanes, good maintenance is very important, cabin quality varies vastly from plane to plane, and frankly… they will only be around so much longer before many more are retired. Many well maintained Lear 35s remain great, safe, reliable aircraft to date however, with plenty of usable life left in them.
It is hard to find a late model light jet that can match the Lear 35’s speed, range, and operating economy. Lear 35s fly at midsize jet speeds, have midsize jet range, and perform well in so many situations where some brand new planes just don’t. Simply put, the Lear 35 will fly fast and far, without breaking the bank. A Lear 35 is one of the only light jets that would make sense to send coast-to-coast (with one fuel stop). Other benefits include the large door that some [but not all] models have making the aircraft an exceptional cargo plane and air ambulance.
They’re not fancy. If you’re looking for a luxurious private jet, then you should not consider a Lear 35. I like to tell people that the light Learjets are a business tool to save you time, but are by no means luxurious. The Lear 35 is a pretty small airplane. The cabin is very narrow, and… most don’t have an enclosed lavatory! Most Lear 35s come equipped with an emergency potty seat that no charter passenger ever really wants to actually use. Because these planes are old, they would have had to be refurbished to look presentable. Different owners have different budgets when it comes to refurbishment; as such, there is a big difference in the aesthetic quality of Lear 35 interiors and exteriors. There are some pretty ratty looking Lear 35s available on the charter market, however there are also some that look brand new. Another complaint about the Lear 35 generally by owners as opposed to charter guests is the fact that there is no external entry-way into the baggage compartment, so interiors are quickly worn out by baggage passing through the cabin.
Perhaps the biggest drawback to the Lear 35s however are their age. Lear 35s are old airplanes that really need some TLC in order to be a great airplane. The fact of the matter is however that there are so many great Lear 35s flying out there still flying that might be a great fit for your upcoming charter.
If you’re looking for a spacious, late model, luxurious private jet, then the Lear 35 is not for you. If you’re looking for a cost effective airplane to move a few people a decent distance, quickly, without breaking the bank, then the Lear 35 might just be your best bet.
Flying Private With Pets Written by Alex M. Early, CEO of The Early Air Way
So you have a special bond with your furry friend, I understand. Unless your dog or cat can fit in a carrier under the seat in front of you on a commercial flight, he or she will have to be checked into the baggage compartment on the aircraft. You don’t want that for your canine or feline partner.
An incredibly large number of people charter private jets so that their pets can join them in the passenger cabin. We have pets on our flights very regularly, basically every day.
When you travel with a dog on a chartered jet, you can forget about cages altogether. You can have your dog on a leash and walk him/her right up the steps onboard the aircraft. Your dog can lie down on the couch and gaze out the window and with the high tech air purifiers for dander every one will be in comfort. You can travel with your furry friend worry free of what might be happening down below. We’ll even cater to your four-legged friend if desired.
Cats are allowed onboard aircraft as well, however cats will have to remain in carriers so they don’t hide in hard to reach places, as cats can be known to do. Regardless however, your cat’s carrier can stay with you right in the main passenger cabin.
Private flight is extremely pet friendly. If you travel with pets and haven’t yet flown private, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is. Generally speaking, there is no extra charge to bring your pets with you on private jets; charges would only be incurred if Fido happens to soil the carpets.
Written by Alex M. Early, CEO of The Early Air Way
January 9th, 2014
Just about every day, we get a call from someone in a panic hoping to book a private jet on what they believe to be very short notice. On average, that very short notice is about a three day lead-time prior to the desired travel date. When this comes up, we explain that in fact, our average lead-time prior to a trip is about three days.
What if you really need to charter a private jet last at the minute however? For, well, now… This can be done, and we do it every day. Within the industry, these trips that have to go “right now” are known as “ASAP trips.” As I sit here writing this blog article, I’m waiting for the phone to ring with an ASAP request. On average, at least 2 hours is needed to dispatch an aircraft after signed paperwork is received for your trip. If the plane is not currently sitting at your departure airport, a little more time would be needed to fly down to pick you up.
Many customers are impressed with the two-hour dispatch time, though on the flipside, many aren’t. People will often ask if they can be in the air within 15 minutes, wondering why pilots aren’t sitting in the cockpit ready to go at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning. The fact of the matter is however, that isn’t how [… I got a call for an ASAP flight right here …] it works. Pilots are not hanging out at the airport, sitting in the cockpit just waiting for a flight. There are a few reasons for this… a) the market doesn’t justify it, b) it’s a waste of the pilots’ time, and c) crews are regulated on how much they can work. Having sit around at the airport wastes their legal duty time and would reduce their odds of being able to legally fly the real trips that come up.
We’ve dispatched planes with as little as 30 minutes notice in the past, but you have to get lucky for that to happen. If a plane has just landed from another trip at the airport you’d like to depart from, you can get out “fast.”
Availability at the very last minute can be extremely scarce, especially when your request is during the after-hours. In some cases [but not all], you’ll end up paying a noticeably premium for an ASAP trip because of required re-positioning. As such, booking flights at the very last minute isn’t recommended if you’re looking for the best value. This will be the case with any charter company of course.
As always, we’ll be available if you need to charter a jet right now, no matter where in the country you’re departing from. We know how to get you moving quickly.
Written by Alex M. Early, CEO of The Early Air Way
The Gulfstream G650, it’s the hottest thing on the market since the GV back in 1997. Bigger, faster, and with further reach, the G650 is the true pinnacle of business jet evolution.
The Gulfstream G650 is now the fastest civilian airliner in the world reaching Mach 0.925, nearly the speed of sound! Prior to the G650, the Citation X was the fastest civilian airliner.
Before its launch, the G650 was introduced to pop culture in Far East Movement’s song “Like a G6.” It is because of this song that The Early Air Way has been receiving late-night calls from partiers asking for a “G6 or better” to go to Las Vegas on a moments notice; years before the plane’s actual certification. I’ll tell you right now… we can not send a G650 to Las Vegas on a moment’s notice.
Want to buy a Gulfstream G650? Well, a new one will set you back about $65 million, and the waiting list is several years deep. Naturally however, we’re an air charter company, and yes… YOU CAN NOW CHARTER A G650!
Chartering a G650
If you want to fly the latest and greatest, we have a select few Gulfstream G650s available for charter. No, they will not be close to the most economical options for your flight. Yes, owners will be quick to decline them for short distance trips. If you truly want the best private jet you can find however, a G650 charter through The Early Air Way is the way to go.
We currently offer three Gulfstream G650s based in the locations below. Remember, we can reposition the plane from its home base to pick you up wherever you may be. Amazingly, these are the only G650s in the world that can be chartered at this point in time; the plane is that new.
If budget isn’t your primary concern, and you want to fly the best of the best, call The Early Air Way for a quote on a Gulfstream G650 charter today. See what the billionaires are waiting years to get. The plane is truly second to none.
Written by Alex M. Early, CEO of The Early Air Way
December 14th, 2013
If you’ve ever read though an aircraft charter agreement from start to finish, whether it be The Early Air Way’s or any other charter company’s, you’ll most likely notice a hangaring and deicing clause.
By law, for your safety, aircraft may not take-off with ice and snow buildup on their exterior moving surfaces. Airports use a deicing solution to quickly melt the ice on aircraft and make an icy plane airworthy. This de-icing solution is surprisingly expensive, average $10.00 to $20.00 USD per gallon. Generally, a lot of de-icing solution is required to prepare an aircraft for flight. Both the size of the effected aircraft as well as the severity of the snow and ice buildup will dictate the quantity of de-icing solution to be used.
Unfortunately for charter consumers and aircraft owners alike, aircraft deicing will be billed to you. The Early Air Way bills deicing to its clients as does every other charter company you’ll find. This is very important to know as we enter the winter travel season as your flight could require deicing. If your aircraft is snowed on while on a trip for you, the odds that you’ll require deicing services are pretty good. Deicing an aircraft will generally start at about $500.00 for a light jet with mild icing, however it can go all the way up to about $8,000.00 for a heavy jet with significant ice buildup. Receiving such a bill at the end of a charter may come as an unwelcome surprise, however it is par for the course when it comes to flying private jets.
An alternative to deicing an aircraft for many (but not all) situations is to hangar your aircraft during a snow storm. When available, hangaring an aircraft averages about $350.00 per night and can protect your plane from ice buildup. When available, hangaring your aircraft will often save quite a bit of money when compared to deicing.
Just because you’re flying into a cold place during the winter however does not mean that your plane will require hangaring and deicing. In fact, the majority of our winter flights do not require hangaring and de-icing altogether. The risk for these incidentals is there when flying into cold places, however. No private jet traveler wants to deal with deicing, however its just part of the game of private aviation. Whether you’re flying with The Early Air Way or are with another charter company this winter, knowing about hangaring and de-icing before your trip can save you from any unexpected surprises after you return home from the snow.
Have fun chartering a jet to Aspen, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Lake Tahoe, Vail, and all other winter destinations this winter! Chartering a jet to these winter destinations is fantastic; its just good to know about whats involved in doing it.