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How to Book a Private Jet

Private jet bookings are expected to increase significantly after the covid-19 pandemic passes. As people look to maintain precautionary health measures like social distancing, the exclusivity of flying private is likely to become more appealing in the coming months. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re one of many people trying to navigate the world of private travel for the first time.

The process of booking a private jet is typically easy for those that have done it before. However, for newcomers, it can be a little confusing.

For starters, private jets have access to over 5000 airports compared to the 500 available to commercial airlines. On the one hand, it’s a plus for travelers as they can often arrive at a landing strip closer to their destination and avoid a long drive. On the flip side, travelers who are not familiar with their location can get confused by the unorthodox options.

There are two types of companies a traveler can book a private jet from: operators and brokerages. Operators are companies that maintain and fly aircraft while brokerages are intermediaries between customers and operators. Typically, you can simply check out your local airport for private jet operators and book a flight. That way, you avoid dealing with a middle man.

However, brokerages can also be quite useful. Operators may not have a plane available for short notice due to their schedule, which can leave travelers stranded. Brokers usually have access to an extensive network of operators and might find you a flight faster. An operator can also act as a broker for a client if they don’t have any plane available.

Choosing the Right Aircraft

Although flying private is expected to become more popular, it remains a luxury of sorts. On average, flights on private jets cost between $1000 to $10,000 per hour to charter.

If you’re looking to save any money on the trip, the aircraft’s model is probably the most essential thing to consider. The factors that affect the kind of private plane you can use are:

  • The number of passengers that will be traveling
  • The budget
  • The amount of luggage you are carrying
  • The size of the aircraft you’re looking for.
  • Your destination.

The passengers and luggage on the flight determine the minimum class of the aircraft you can use. However, your budget, destination, and preferred size can give you some wiggle room to make a choice.

There are eight private jets classes that you will have to choose from, depending on your needs.

Private Jet Class

Examples

Passengers (PAX)

Range (km)

Very Light Jet

Citation Mustang, Honda Jet, Phenom 100

4-7

2000 – 28000km

Light Jet

Citation V, Hawker 400, Learjet 35

4-11

2400 – 3900

Super Light Jet

Citation Excel, Falcon 100, Phenom 300

4 – 9

2800 – 3900

Midsize jet

Citation VII, Gulfstream G150, Hawker 850XP

9 – 10

2800 – 5750

Super Midsize Jet

Citation X, Dornier 328, Hawker 4000, Challenger 300

8 – 32

1850 – 6650

Heavy Jet

Challenger 850, Legacy 650, Falcon 900LX

8 – 18

5350 – 8300

Ultra-Long Range

Falcon 7X, Global 6000, Gulfstream G550

10 – 18

8900 – 13000

VIP airliner

Airbus A320 Corporate Jet, Boeing 767-200 VIP, Embraer 135 Business Jet,

10 – 100

2950 – 14800

You can use a private jet cost calculator to know your best options before reaching out to a brokerage. Other factors like Wi-Fi connectivity, catering, the presence of a hostess, and ground transportation can add to your cost but can also be negotiated with the operator.

Verify the Safety of The Flight.

Apart from the cost, the aircraft’s safety is the most important thing to look out for. Clients can request the safety ratings of the aircraft, crew, and operators they’re flying on. Argus and Wyvern are the two organizations responsible for performing safety audits on private aircraft. A rating from either company signifies that the flight is safe.

You should also request two pilots for your flights, even after the operator has shown Argus or Wyvern certifications.

Paying for Your Flight

Once you’ve exchanged all the needed information with your preferred operator, you’ll be set a contract to fill. The agreement should detail the terms and conditions of the flight, including cancellation or change policies.

After the contract has been signed, you’ll be required to make payment via wire transfer, credit card, or check. The option you’ll have available will primarily be dependent on what the client is comfortable with.

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