There are many reasons why people desire to fly privately. Whether it’s for convenience, accessibility to unique destinations, comfort and luxury, or time-savings, our charter customers feel the premium cost is well justified.
While flying charter offers conveniences that far surpass the headaches of commercial aviation, there are still some essential preparation steps we recommend that every charter customer take.
Whether flying with Schubach Aviation or any other operator, here are some essential questions to ask:
What are the passenger and baggage limitations for this aircraft and my flight?
Many passengers mistakenly assume that because they are flying on a private jet, that they can show up with unlimited baggage. Sometimes this works, but other times it does not. Often, the trade-off involves either making an extra fuel stop or shipping luggage in advance of flight.
Believe it or not, passenger and baggage limitations may be impacted by several variables. These include physical space on board, the distance of the flight and fuel requirements, air density, airport runway lengths, and more.
Some of the most common circumstances during which we encounter load issues involve golf and skiing trips. If the nature of your flight involves these or other similar sports, find out if the aircraft has external baggage compartments or ski tubes. If not, make sure that the operator is aware of what you plan to bring so that proper accommodations can be made.
The Bottom Line: In advance of any flight, make sure to communicate with the operator and confirm that your aircraft will be able to handle your desired passenger count and luggage.
Can I bring a pet on board?
At Schubach Aviation, we are openly pet friendly and welcome pets aboard at no charge. Be aware that some operators have different policies and may charge a $500-$1000 pet cleaning fee. In general, it is best to clear your intentions to bring a pet on board with your charter operator in advance of a flight. If you are flying internationally you will want to provide your pet’s international papers a day or two in advance so the operator can submit to the country of arrival.
What standard onboard amenities are provided on my flight?
When chartering a private jet you are entitled to your preferred beverages, meals and snacks. Keep in mind that what is made available varies by operator and aircraft. Before arriving, you may want to ask the following questions:
- What are standard snacks and drinks?
- Is alcohol commonly on board? If you want a glass of wine on board, make sure they are aware of your preferences.
- What catering, if any, is standard? Catering can be quite expensive. We can provide anything your heart desires at a pass-through price. Many people opt to pick something up on their own to bring onboard which is perfectly fine.
When do I need to show up for my flight?
At many airports you can drive directly on to the ramp and up to the aircraft that is waiting for you and your passengers. We still recommend that you arrive 15 minutes before departure so that we can load all passengers and luggage on board in a timely manner. Otherwise, we run the risk of delaying the scheduled arrival time at your intended airport.
What do I need to know about International Flights?
Once again, the convenience of flying privately far surpasses that of flying commercially. This is particularly true when traveling internationally. You still will have to go through customs, but one that is more private and typically meets you at the plane, taking a fraction of the time it would if you flew commercially.
Keep in mind that every country has different rules and regulations. Make sure to communicate with your charter operator who is aware of what will be needed for your flight.
Common information and paperwork you will need to send for all passengers:
- First and last names
- Dates of birth
- Passport copies
For international flights, make sure you have all passenger information sent to the operator at least 1 hour prior to arrival, including any changes to passengers originally scheduled on the itinerary. Anything delivered after that will cause at least 1 hour delay with customs. The sooner you can deliver information, the better.
A competent operator will have copies of passports and paperwork sent over in advance so that upon arrival you will only need to provide your signatures and customs will essentially just double check your information. If your charter operator does not follow this protocol, you may be in for a more frantic situation when you land. Feel free to ask your operator if they are planning to use an international handler- if the answer is no you could be delayed on arrival.
What onboard entertainment and facilities are available?
If desired, ask the charter company what kind of entertainment systems are onboard. Is the aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi? Entertainment equipment varies by aircraft so make sure that your flight has what you will need.
One final essential that many passengers assume is onboard is a fully enclosed lavatory. Depending on the length of the flight, this may or may not be an issue. Regardless, it is best to ask first so you set flight with the proper expectations.
Will you or other passengers need additional assistance boarding flights?
Many elderly passengers or those with disabilities need extra assistance boarding a flight. Make sure to inquire about how a charter operator will handle this. At Schubach Aviation, we offer a motorized wheelchair in larger jets for precisely this purpose.
Schubach Aviation understands that time is money. Confirming these details and asking any additional questions ahead of your flight guarantee a seamless charter experience.
If you have any other questions that we have missed, please feel free to add them to the comments section of this blog post.