5 Tips to Make Booking a Private Jet Simple

Guest Contributor

Contributors are not employed, compensated or governed by TD, opinions and statements are from the contributor directly

When you think of booking a private jet, you probably think about an expensive, complicated process that only someone with a personal assistant and a famous name could manage. This might have been true in the past, but not anymore. 

Now, anyone can book a private jet without breaking the bank or jumping through a series of hoops. In the wake of COVID-19, private flights are even more popular and readily available to the general public. According to Forbes, private aviation will likely end up about 10 percent larger than it was pre-pandemic. They also predict that once people have been exposed to the comfort and convenience of private flights, they’re likely to be return customers.  

Private flights have also rebounded much more quickly than commercial airlines. The New York Times reported that private jet operators only saw a dramatic decrease in passenger counts for a couple of months before business picked back up. One expert they spoke with noted that most of the rebound flights were booked by people who were new to the idea of flying private. 

So, regardless of whether you’d feel safer in a private jet or you simply need to book a private flight out of necessity, here are five tips to make the booking process as smooth and straightforward as possible. 

 

  1. Research the airline as much as possible before booking.

First, don’t be afraid to poll your social media circles to get a list of recommendations from friends, colleagues and acquaintances who may have flown private jets before. This is a great place to start. 

Once you have a list of potential airlines to book with, it’s time to dive into research. Start with the obvious places like their official website and their social media accounts. From there, you can typically branch out into other resources with customer reviews and more detailed information.

In all cases, it’s essential to pay attention to the company’s overall footprint. Choosing brokers who are closely affiliated with the operators is usually best. Some brokers are also credentialed operators as well, and this is always a good sign. 

Be sure to verify the credibility of any company you’re considering booking a flight with, and don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as needed to feel secure in your choice. There are plenty of scammers and unrealistic websites out there, so you should always make sure that you’re getting a trusted, genuine quote when you’re searching for flights. 

 

  1. Pay close attention to how the communication process goes.

There will always be some back-and-forth communication between you and the private jet charter company. This is another opportunity for you to do a bit of research. For example, if the charter manager doesn’t ask for details about your flight or ensure that you’re comfortable with the booking process, that person is likely inexperienced. 

While this isn’t always a major red flag, it is a concern. After all, if the manager doesn’t have enough experience, then it’s possible that the company is a bit too new to handle your flight professionally. 

Remember that there are many processes that go into booking a private jet. These processes all take time, so an experienced charter company will know to immediately find out the purpose of your trip and be able to tell you approximately how long it will take to obtain the necessary permits for the flight. 

As an example, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to five business days to get an arrival permit, depending on the country. In more extreme cases, like flying to China or India, the process can take much longer. Veteran charter companies understand this and know how to take the necessary steps to expedite the process. Newer companies often don’t know these details and can overpromise. Asking additional questions and getting more clarification can tell you a lot about the professionalism and preparedness of the company. 

 

  1. Don’t forget to clarify your personal preferences in advance.

Anyone new to flying privately may not think about the fact that they would need to give the charter company their personal food and lounge preferences. This can lead to misunderstandings and a less enjoyable flight. 

To make the flight smooth and pleasant, be sure to communicate your personal preferences to the flight manager ahead of time. They will gladly accommodate your requests, but remember that these things take time. It’s best to make any requests (such as a fresh breakfast or a late dinner) at least 8-12 hours before departure. Even if the company does not have its own catering service, they will be able to make alternate arrangements if given enough time. 

Don’t forget to specify if you need WiFi accommodations, too. Not all private jets automatically have WiFi connectivity, so be sure to ask about this if you need it.

 

  1. Check and double-check all of your flight details.

It might feel a bit overwhelming to realize that you need to think about things like extra documentation and arrival permits. Still, a seasoned manager will be able to guide you through the process so that it becomes comfortable for future flights. 

It’s important to clarify all of the nuances of your flight with the charter manager before you agree to the booking. Things like flying with changes, bringing pets or landing in a new country all come with their own potential complications, so it’s necessary to be as thorough as possible. For instance, in the UK, some airports will not accept flights with animals, even if you have all of the documentation! Little details like these can make or break your trip. 

It’s also worth noting that private jets have access to significantly more airports than commercial airlines, so you should be as specific as possible about your start and end points during the booking process. You may not realize that you can get much closer to your destination via a private jet! 

Private jet bookings are not necessarily more complex than commercial airline bookings. They simply come with a different set of things to think about. Approaching it in this manner can help take some of the stress away from confirming all of your flight details. 

 

  1. Book as far in advance as possible.

There are several reasons to book a flight as far in advance as possible. First, waiting until the last minute makes it harder to find an available flight. During the busy season especially, it might prove impossible to find a flight that can arrive at the day and time that you require. 

Another reason it’s helpful to book in advance is flexibility. Just like with commercial airlines and hotel bookings, the more flexible your schedule is, the better your chances are of saving significant amounts of money. If you can give the broker a flexible range of departure dates and times, they have more opportunities to look for cost-saving alternatives. 

Finally, booking in advance gives you more peace of mind. You have more time to discuss flight details with your broker, and you have plenty of time to make sure all of the necessary paperwork and permits are in place. This also gives you a longer timeframe to get to know your broker, which is helpful for anyone who is planning to fly privately on a regular basis. Developing a good relationship with your broker is ideal for having the best possible experience on a private jet. 

 

You Can Experience the Luxury of Private Flights Anytime

Booking a private jet might feel a bit daunting the first time you do it. However, once an experienced broker has guided you through the process, it will become as easy as booking an Uber. 

There are so many potential benefits to flying privately, and the experience is much more personalized and convenient. As long as you follow the tips outlined above, you’re sure to have a comfortable, convenient and luxurious flight.

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