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How to Charter a Private Jet

Air travel is the quickest method of getting from point-A to point-B, but it doesn’t have to be a purely functional experience. Choosing to travel by private jet offers a wide spectrum of benefits. In short, a trip taken with a private jet can be enjoyable, relaxing, comfortable, and efficient. By flying on a private jet, you are ensuring your travel needs will be met at every turn. You will not need to navigate commercial airport traffic or hassle with security, and private jet services can also be personalized for your individual requirements.

The option of owning your own plane is certainly appealing and there are a few different ways you can pursue ownership. Fractional ownership, for example, is buying a share of a plane and does not require as much of a commitment as full ownership.

Chartering a plane is a great alternative to purchasing; it is simply making a reservation to use a jet for your private use. All of the same benefits of flying privately apply to private chartered flights and are quite attractive, but if you have never chartered your own jet before, it can seem a bit daunting. We will review here, in three steps, how to charter a private jet, hopefully simplifying the process for you.

01. DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS FOR FLYING

Determining your needs for flying is the first step. This will help to determine what type of company to reach out to, what type of plane you need, and the way you will want to charter (this is addressed in Step 03). Clarifying your private jet needs is easily accomplished by asking yourself a series of questions. You can then relay your specific travel needs to the charter company.

  • Are you going to be traveling frequently for business, and will your destinations often change, or will you be consistently flying to the same few places?
  • Are you looking for a last-minute flight?
  • Are you looking for an international flight?
  • How many people are you flying with?
  • How much luggage will you be bringing and will you have specialty luggage such as skis or golf clubs? (Keep in mind that the range is shortened with more weight, so it may be advantageous to ship larger luggage items to your destination ahead of time.)
  • Do you need a bed to rest in, Wi-Fi, or a larger cabin to fully stand up in?

After you have determined your needs for flying, ask for a detailed quote that includes additional fees (cancellation, overnight, de-icing, taxes, etc.).

02. UNDERSTAND THE LINGO

If you have never flown private before, it helps to know the lingo/keywords the industry frequently uses. Some general keywords to become familiar with are “prop planes,” “turboprop planes,” and “light jets.” Turboprop planes are roomy with seats arranged like commercial business class, while turbojets will be six to eight seaters, fly faster than prop planes, and feel more like a jet. Light jets are sleeker, more streamlined, and better for slightly longer trips.

Some more details to be aware of as you search for the charter jet that meets your needs will be the number of seats and the travel range. Now, instead of learning every single manufacturer and aircraft type out there, you can simply learn the different sizes of aircraft to get a good idea of what you’ll need. Important terms to learn are the frequently used aircraft categories:

Latitude 33 Aviation - Turboprop Jet Icon

Latitude 33 Aviation offers a wide variety of aircraft located throughout the nation. It is important to remember, though, that each jet can be decorated and set up to its owner’s specifications, so you should expect some variety as you do your research.

SAFETY RATINGS

Based on the type of aircraft that fits the needs of your trip, safety becomes your next determining factor. Private jet travel is extremely safe, but not all companies invest in the same level of standards. A key differentiator between charter companies is their safety rating. Wyvern Consulting and Aviation Research Group International, Inc. (ARGUS) are two independent aviation safety organizations. The more reliable charter operators hold the Wyvern Wingman and ARGUS Platinum certifications. Latitude 33 Aviation is part of the top five percent of U.S. private jet charter operators, and the only one in San Diego, to achieve the stringent ARGUS Platinum safety rating. To view the operator registry and their safety ratings, please visit the ARGUS website.

All private jets are regulated by the FAA, which sets minimum standards for maintenance as well as pilots’ experience and training. The best charter operators go above and beyond to exceed those minimum standards. As you are narrowing your search, ask for the operator’s FAA Air Carrier Certificate and D085. A current Air Carrier Certificate proves the company is authorized by the FAA to offer private jets for charter to the public. If they cannot provide this certificate, they are either an illegal charter company or a broker working as a middleman – as a travel agent does with an airline. The D085 is a page from the company’s FAA-approved scope of operations. It lists each aircraft the company operates, with registration (tail) number and serial number. If they quote an aircraft not listed on their D085, they are acting as a broker and another company operates that aircraft. This is normal within industry practice but should be disclosed with the client so the client is able to view the certificate holder.

03. CHOOSE YOUR COMPANY

Once you’ve determined your needs for flying and understand a little more about the industry, you can start looking into different companies that specialize in various types of private jet charters. Here are five different ways you can charter a private jet:

Private jet brokers have a great understanding of the industry and can use their connections to outsource the right plane to fit your needs. Brokers reach out to charter operators and do most of the work for you, in regard to finding an aircraft and arranging the contract details for your trip. (It should be noted that brokers are not required to hold any formal licenses, so it is important to ask about their background and ensure they have qualified knowledge of the industry. Many do belong to professional organizations; however, such as the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) or the Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA), all of which act to elevate professional standards.) Once hired, a broker is able to walk you through the process and tell you what to expect while booking your chartered flight. Brokers do not own or operate any aircraft; they are essentially just a middleman resource who locate aircraft from operators all over the country or globe.
Like Latitude 33 Aviation, many companies are fixed-fleet operators, which means that the company either owns or manages/operates a fleet of planes that they charter out to people. Charter operators have full control over the aircraft and are the ones that will actually fly the passengers. You can reach out directly to the company and they will help you schedule your flight from their own fleet of planes. The personalized service will often include help scheduling your transportation to and from the airport, as well as any catering or special requests you have while onboard. This is when familiarity with the lingo of the industry comes in handy. Chartering a jet through a fixed-fleet operator is a great option for getaway weekends to exotic locations for the family and won’t tie up any capital or leave you to fret over logistics. In that way, it is very much like renting a car. There may be a repositioning charge, though, which is the cost of paying for the jet to return to its home base. The price you pay will be to charter the entire aircraft, not per passenger, and charged hourly. Ask plenty of questions to ascertain the fees involved, such as daily minimums and taxi fees. Don’t forget to ask about safety: any reputable private jet operator will have safety information readily available (perhaps even featured on their website), and they can also tell you about the possible incident history of their jets and experience of their pilots.
Jet cards are great for high-volume flyers who have repetitive traveling needs. This option allows you to buy a set number of hours (generally starting at 25 hours) from a company and then use those hours towards a specified selection of planes. Essentially, this is similar to receiving a “bulk” discount – purchasing a large number of flight hours upfront in exchange for slightly lower rates. If you travel often for business and need consistent flights, having a jet card would be great for you. Often, you don’t get to choose from a large variety of aircraft, so jet cards work better for consistently similar trips using the same aircraft type. This option for chartering can be a great way to “test run” a few different types of jets, though, to help you discern which you prefer and can be valuable if you are considering private jet ownership.
Another option for those who travel by air regularly is a flight membership. This opportunity will require an initiation fee along with annual dues. Membership benefits range widely by company and program, with some providing access to book aircraft at reduced rates and other memberships providing an unlimited number of flights on pre-determined routes and schedules. A wonderful benefit of having a membership is that you are guaranteed access to a certain fleet of aircraft. Flight memberships, like jet cards, are best for frequent flyers who usually have consistently similar traveling needs.
If you are looking for a last-minute flight, you can check to see if any company has an empty leg/one-way flight for you. One-way flights occur when an aircraft needs to be repositioned, which means they plan to fly empty to a certain location. Most companies will sell these flights at a discount and, although these flights are pre-determined on set days, there could be a flight that works perfectly for your schedule. Some companies offer email notification lists, which you can join to be notified about their upcoming one-way flights. These flights can provide significant discounts when compared to traditional charter flights. For those who are pre-existing members, some companies will even offer unlimited, free access to their empty-leg repositioning flights once you’ve paid your initiation and annual membership fees. One significant drawback to this option is that, if the trip is canceled or changed, you no longer have a way to get to your destination; but if your schedule allows for last-minute flexibility then this is a great bargain, with the bonus of lessening your carbon footprint!

CHARTER A PRIVATE JET WITH LATITUDE 33 AVIATION

Overall, chartering a private jet for pleasure or corporate travel can be a gratifying experience! Your enjoyment of air travel will certainly increase and through chartering a jet you have the opportunity to try various aircraft models, increasing both your familiarity with your preferences, as well as your confidence for future charter bookings. Latitude 33 Aviation’s charter department is available 24/7 for your custom flights and trips. Contact our concierge charter department at 1-800-840-0310 or email Charter@L33Jets.com.

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Request a quote for a flight with Latitude 33 Aviation.
Keep up-to-date with Latitude 33 Aviation news, fleet additions, and one-way empty leg flights.
Read our latest blog posts ranging from private aviation trends to tips on how to reduce your jet ownership costs.
Top 5 Tips for Private Jet Travel this Summer

The desire to travel this summer is at an all-time high. People all over the world have spent over a year adjusting to a fully digital life that lacked the joy of traveling. The world is ready to get back out there and make up for lost time spent at home. Summer 2021 is predicted to be full of travelers setting their sights on destinations they’ve been dreaming about for the past year. There is already a spike in travel bookings, which might make it difficult to book your travel plans this summer. Here are the top five tips to help you navigate through your travels this summer on a private jet.

01. BOOK EARLY FOR YOUR PREFERRED DATES

This season so far, there is a higher-than-normal volume of private jet charters booking each month and this trend seems to be continuing. To lock in your preferred dates of travel, it’s best to book as early as possible. In some cases, a 30-day booking window is preferred. It is also important to be aware of your arrival times as some higher elevation summer destinations, hot spots, and remote locations have limited access times due to weather, air temperatures, and runway lengths. Connecting early with the Latitude 33 Aviation charter team allows for more time to ensure your trip is locked in with the right aircraft type and crew for your flight.

02. AVOID OVERPRICED RENTAL CARS

It’s predicted to be a busy summer full of travelers hitting the road for long driving vacations. Rental car prices are soaring due to a series of pandemic issues that plagued the rental car market. With the drop in demand for travel, rental car companies were forced to downsize their inventory. However, as the demand for travel quickly grew, rental car companies were unable to replace their inventory to full capacity, greatly impacting their ability to meet the high travel demand. Due to the shortage of vehicles, prices for rental cars have increased four times the normal amount in some locations and the availability of the more popular makes and models are hard to lock in.

Avoid the hassle of booking an overpriced rental car by exploring other options. Car-sharing apps like Turo provide you with a more unique travel experience. Choose from a wider range of vehicles that will enhance your vacation – a vintage car, off-road Jeep, all-electric pet-friendly sedan, and more. Let Latitude 33 Aviation complete your luxury experience by booking a private limousine, sprinter van, SUV, or luxury sedan from a preferred ground transportation partner so you can fully relax on the road to your destination.

03. FLY DIRECTLY INTO YOUR DESIRED DESTINATION 

 

Unlike commercial airlines, private jets are able to fly into smaller airports with shorter runways, getting you closer than ever to your desired location. With strict travel restrictions through commercial airlines, traveling international has become more challenging than ever before. Private jet travel makes it easier than ever to fly into smaller, less crowded airports, avoiding long security check lines. International travel to popular destinations like Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands is seamless from start to end with Latitude 33 Aviation.

Photo Credits: IG @pilotdreww

04. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF A ONE-WAY FLIGHT

 

Every so often, one of Latitude 33 Aviation’s private charter jets flies without passengers. These are called “empty leg flights” and they may occur because:

  • The jet is returning to its home base after a charter leg or service
  • The aircraft is flying to another destination to prepare for its next charter flight
  • It is more cost-effective for the jet and crew to return to their home base rather than wait for the return leg

These empty leg flights are already scheduled to depart on a certain date to fly to a certain location, which leaves little to no room for flexibility to dates, aircraft type, and location. This can make it difficult to book an empty leg flight that aligns with your schedule, but it can also make for a fun and spontaneous adventure. You could also get lucky and an empty leg flight could line up perfectly with your schedule. One-way flights are usually presented at a discounted rate, so if you’re looking to take on a spontaneous adventure and fly into a new destination, you can check our website daily for the most up-to-date list of one-ways flights, or subscribe to our weekly email update. One of these flights might be just the spark you need to try something new this summer vacation.

05. BRING YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND PETS

Now is the time to shake off the travel blues, go and explore, and take away the worry by avoiding crowded commercial flights. When flying private with Latitude 33 Aviation, you have the entire aircraft to yourself meaning you will never share a flight with strangers. Fill your private flight with your family and closest friends. Let our charter team know how many guests you will be traveling with and we will find the perfect aircraft to accommodate every passenger and make your travel safe and comfortable. Bring along your furry friends, as well! Almost all of Latitude 33 Aviation’s charter aircraft are pet-friendly allowing them to ride alongside you in comfort.

Celebrate this Fourth of July by taking a trip on a private jet with Latitude 33 Aviation.
Keep up-to-date with Latitude 33 Aviation news, fleet additions, and one-way empty leg flights.
Read our latest blog posts ranging from the private jet onboard experience to the top 5 tips for private jet summer travel.