If you are like most people, you have never flown in a private jet – let alone chartered your own. However, times are changing, and this option is becoming more and more accessible to everyone, especially with the help of a jet charter broker.
Whether it is due to frustration with hidden commercial airline fees, concern over safety, or just a more convenient private airport, deciding to charter a private jet can take your travel experiences to a whole new height. And, you know that you need someone on your side.
But, who? Where do you even start? How do you know what to look for? What questions should you ask?
To help you maneuver your way into the world of private air travel, we have decided to fill you in on all the secrets on how to find the perfect jet charter broker.
What is a jet charter broker?
Similar to that of a travel agent, a real estate agent, or a yacht broker, a jet charter broker is someone who works between the passenger and the private jet company or owner. Everything that you don’t know about chartering a private jet – the broker will know. He or she has a network of jets available and knows the ins and outs of them. For instance:
- Brokers know that traveling to a destination of great distance is going to require more fuel which, in turn, may require a larger jet. Or, of course, additional stops.
- Brokers are aware of the capacity for each type of jet so that they may only present you the options that will fit your party.
- Brokers understand the weight load allowed on each flight – which includes a combination of passengers and luggage.
In other words, brokers are there to help guide you in the world of private air travel. They have the connections and the knowledge. So, you can just sit back and let your jet charter broker handle your booking while you pack your bags.
Where do I find one?
Just as you could look up a travel agent online, in the old yellow pages of the phone book, or by remembering a piece of marketing or advertising material, so you can with private jet charter brokers. However, why would you just randomly choose a broker you don’t know?
Because you are talking about putting your life – and potentially the lives of your loved ones – onto a private jet, you want to make sure you find a broker that you can trust and that has your best interest in mind. Therefore, when looking for a broker, ask around. Word of mouth can be a great tool for charter services.
If you do choose to pick a random broker, be sure to do your research. Read reviews and ask questions. The more you feel comfortable with what you hear, read, and see, the better.
Should I visit before I fly?
To make sure everything seems legitimate, you may want to visit the charter broker at his or her office. Of course, this may not be possible for everyone and varies by location, but it is definitely something to keep in mind.
If you like what you see – and it appears reputable – then great. If you get an odd feeling and want to run, then – by all means find – another broker.
How important is a broker’s experience?
Experience is incredibly important. The more experienced your jet charter broker, the more properly thought out your air travel will be. You want an efficient flight – from the size and type of the plane to the most convenient airport locations. Your broker should be able to provide you with the ins and outs of the private flight world.
Depending on when and where you are traveling, you will have the choice of one-way, round trip, and empty leg flights. Your pricing and convenience options may vary – and an experienced broker will know the best options.
What about safety?
While your jet charter broker will know what to be on the lookout for when it comes to FAA regulations and jet safety and maintenance, you will want to educate yourself, as well. After all, you are putting your life in someone else’s hands.
Each private charter company should be able to provide you with:
- Proof that it is documented with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If they are, then they will be granted a Part 135 air taxi certificate. This Air Carrier Certificate means they can fly chartered flights and must abide by restrictions and guidelines put into place by the FAA. Always ask to see the certificate. If they cannot provide it, they may not be an FAA-approved.
- The name of the third-party auditor used. Third-party auditors are outside safety experts that come in and check the private jets. They review any and all documentation of the aircraft, maintenance records and certifications. They even perform background checks on pilots and crew. These safety checks are handled and monitored both onsite and offsite. The most popular third-party companies are Wyvern and Aviation Research Group (ARGUS).
- Proof of insurance. Just as with any service you use, such as contractors, mechanics, or even the operation of your own vehicle, you must have insurance. This is what protects those who are traveling should an issue arise. Plus, as a safety precaution, the higher the amount of the policy, the more likely the insurance company is to make additional checks to the safety and care of the aircraft – and the operators.
All of these methods are available to protect the passengers, the aircraft, and the crew. If you choose a good broker, he or she will know exactly what to look for and will be able to provide you this information.
There is a definite benefit to seeking out a jet charter broker. Doing so can save you time, hassle, and even money. Do your research and find someone you can trust. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt to do your own investigating – just to make sure your flight has been checked for safety before you board.