Flying has been impacted most by the current state of the globe. Not only are there health concerns, greater regulation but also financial and economic issues. Business travel may still feel essential to the running of your company but you have to acknowledge that it has undergone a massive shift in the past months. Not only are people thinking more about whether they need to travel, but they are also wondering if the commercially scheduled flights will ever be safe. Therefore, more people than ever before are turning to corporate jet rentals.
There is a note of caution for those looking to book through a charter jet broker and for charter jet brokers themselves. Many in the sector up are not up to the demand of the new conditions we live in. So, if you are new to corporate jet rentals, you will need to be sure that your broker is the safest choice for your business travel.
Here is our list of the top five questions you should ask before booking with an on-demand jet charter broker.
How will you keep me safe?
Safety has always been a concern when booking a flight. You will pay attention to the credentials and training of the pilot and the safety record of the plane. It is not just your physical safety you should be concerned with, you will also want to know that your finances will be unaffected. However, these are concerns for normal times. Now, you also want to know that they have responded appropriately to a world hit by a pandemic.
When checking out your charter jet broker, look for the following in their literature or ask the agent.
- What are the bio-security protocols being implemented? You need to be sure that the company adheres to the safety standards set by the FAA and the CDC in the US and similar bodies across the world. Let’s not beat about the bush here, they should present this to you without asking. You should be offered all the reassurances possible that they are doing everything they can. If they don’t give this information upfront, ask yourself why.
- Check that your broker is accredited by a third-party auditor such as ARGUS or Wyvern. If they are happy to be independently held to account, then you can be sure they are doing most things right.
- The broker should also evaluate the carriers in their network. You should be clear on their criteria for the use of a carrier. If you are unsure what should be involved in being an approved carrier for a broker, go back to the basics. Do they check that the carrier has a maintenance record beyond reproach and do they adhere to the highest pilot safety standards?
How will you keep me informed?
The more information you have, the better your private flight will be. You should feel fully updated on all the latest news and issues via the broker’s website. There should be transparent pricing tools for each aircraft and carrier. You should not need to search for the answers you need, as they will be laid out in a clear FAQ section.
Yet, if you do have a question, you should have access to an agent with an answer immediately. Your broker should appreciate that private jet flight is often done when there is something crucial on the line. Therefore, when you call there should be an experienced operator ready to offer you the best advice and response. If they have limited office hours and no dedicated agents available to speak with you, question if these are the brokers for you.
Are you able to handle the ground arrangements?
Some companies will only handle the flights. However, you will need onward travel when you arrive at your destination. You will need ground transportation to move you to your end destination, whether this is a private car hire or chauffeured limousine travel.
You also need someone who offers a complete package. For instance, you may need accommodation at your point of destination. There are the hotel room, the meeting spaces and the restaurant bookings. Ask your broker if they can handle these arrangements too, as it will be a significant convenience for you if they do.
If you are happy to make these onward preparations for more reasonable pricing, you should still ask about in-flight preparations. For instance, are they able to cater for special dietary requirements, your mobility issues or anything else that makes bespoke travel essential – why else would you be booking a private jet?
Are you good enough to fly my family and my most important clients?
While asking the questions about the cost-effectiveness of using a certain broker is reasonable, you also need to be sure of the quality of the experience. If you are taking your family on holiday, then you want the flight on the private jet to be the most wonderful part of the experience. If you are hiring the jet to fly your most important client to a meeting, then the experience needs to be exceptional. The private jet carrier becomes an extension of your business and so all the choices they make reflects on you.
If you were happy with a model that worked on quantity, where the carrier made money because they carried lots of passengers in moderate conditions, you would have chosen commercial flight. If you are paying for a private jet you want comfortable face-to-face seating for your business passengers, so they can meet as they fly. You want wifi and seat-side comfort controls and so many other amenities that the plane can offer.
In short, you should also ask the broker how they will offer the quality that makes private jet hire preferable over commercial flight?