Flying on a private jet has many perks, such as skipping long airport lines. Plus, many jets also offer luxury conveniences like catered meals. But, like any form of travel, there are a few considerations. Keep these things in mind before chartering a private jet.
1. Get To Know the Management Team
When booking your flight, know who is taking care of the maintenance and staffing of the aircraft. Find a team that prioritizes comfort, convenience, and safety. Learn more about their experience and certifications. Ensure they have an Air Carrier Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. In addition, ask about their safety management systems.
2. Understand the Parking Protocol
The benefit of flying private is you don’t have to deal with a busy lot. Instead, you can park your car close to the aircraft. That way you can quickly board the plane while the crew loads your luggage. Have your wheels turned away from the jet and set your parking brake.
3. Be Aware of Luggage Limitations
Just because you’re on a private jet doesn’t mean you can bring an endless supply of luggage. There are often limits due to available storage compartments and weight considerations. For example, a light jet has a baggage capacity of about 0.75 cubic meters. If you’re flying alone this is less of an issue, but if you’re traveling with a group plan ahead.
While there are restrictions, you have more flexibility than on a commercial flight. You can bring items, such as pets or skis. Pack in soft bags, which are easier to fit inside tight compartments.
4. Practice Alcohol Etiquette
When on a private jet you don’t have to wait for the drink cart to roll by. You’re also allowed to bring alcohol on the flight. Just be sure to let your pilot know you have it. Consider staying away from red wine. It can stain the seats if turbulence causes accidental spills.
As you’re drinking, don’t go overboard. If you’re traveling with co-workers this is especially important. Suppose they invited you onto the airplane, bring a bottle of wine as a thank you gift.
5. Have the Proper Identification
When you fly private you can avoid the long security lines. Although, you still need to show proper identification. That usually includes a driver’s license for domestic travel. Suppose you’re flying internationally a current passport is also required. If you have a pet check to see if you need to supply information about their vaccine history.
6. Know the Seating Expectations
On a private airplane, there are no assigned seats. However, it’s proper etiquette to let the owner or person paying for the flight pick their seat first. If you’re not either of these people, be patient when selecting a seat. This rule may be more relaxed if you’re traveling with close friends.
7. Book Your Trip in Advance
Multiple private jets can be booked for travel on the same day. So, secure your flight as early as possible. Plus, the more notice you give the pilot, the more personalized your experience will be. For example, you then have a choice in the aircraft. You can book your travel through companies, such as Blade, XO, and JSX. You can also go through a charter broker.
8. Consider Tipping Your Pilot
Jet pilots make less than you think and have many behind-the-scenes jobs. For example, they load your bags, clean the aircraft, and plan the trip. So, if you received exceptional customer service, offer a tip. It will go a long way in showing your appreciation. If you’re not sure how much to tip, $50 is a good starting point. You should tip the crew as well.
9. Know Departure Times Are Flexible
One of the perks of flying privately is the jet waits for you. So, if you’re running a little late it’s not an issue. Just give your pilot a heads up. Also, some companies start preparing the aircraft well in advance, so you can arrive early.
10. Dress Appropriately
While there is no dress code, you still want to dress nicely. What to wear depends on the situation. For those traveling with friends, jeans and a nice top is acceptable. However, if you’re traveling with a colleague you want to look professional. So, a suit for men and a skirt and blouse for women. If the event is more casual, you may be able to wear sneakers and a suit for comfort. Although, avoid wearing sweat pants or gym clothes.
11. Be Mindful of the Higher Cost
The downside of traveling privately is the price. The average cost is about $1,300 and $3,000 per hour. Although, the price will vary depending on factors, such as length of stay and the type of airplane.
If you fly frequently, look for companies that offer subscription or loyalty plans. For example, VistaJet launched a short-term leasing program. Some fees like fuel, crew, and handling are included. Additional costs may include things like de-icing. Plus, if you ask for specific food items this could increase catering costs.
12. Learn the Terminology
There are certain terms used in the private jet industry. Becoming familiar with these can make your flight experience more enjoyable.
Here are a few of the common terms and their meaning:
- YOM: Year of Manufacture
- BizAV: Business Aviation
- FBO: Fixed base operator
- PAX: The number of passengers
- Seating config: The seating arrangement on-board
Tips for Flying on a Private Plane
Suppose you’re looking for convenience and luxury. Private jets are excellent transportation options. You just want to factor in the higher expenses. When flying, follow these tips to have the most enjoyable experience.