As the private aviation industry sees a surge in jet cards, memberships, and fractional ownership programs, the traditional private jet charter broker still plays a crucial role in meeting many customer needs. Although finding a reliable broker can be challenging, they offer unique benefits that cater to specific requirements.
An on-demand broker using dynamic pricing, assesses each trip request individually, ensuring that clients receive customized solutions. However, specific fees, such as deicing, WiFi, and catering, may not be included in the quoted price. If the original provider cancels, clients may have to pay extra on the requote unless they have a strong relationship with the broker, who may cover the difference to maintain loyalty.
There are several reasons why using a broker can be advantageous:
Access to specific aircraft types and configurations:
Using a private jet charter broker enables clients to request specific aircraft types, unlike jet cards offering only broad categories like light and midsize jets. Additionally, brokers can help clients find aircraft with their desired configurations, such as the number of seats or specific seat arrangements, which can significantly impact the flight experience.
Ability to exclude undesirable aircraft types:
Clients may have preferences or oppose specific aircraft types due to cabin dimensions, range, or baggage capacity. A broker can tailor their search to exclude any aircraft types that do not meet the client’s requirements, ensuring a more satisfying flying experience.
Filtering based on the aircraft’s age range and refurbishment period:
Clients with preferences for newer or recently refurbished aircraft can rely on brokers to find suitable options. Brokers can filter their searches based on specific manufacturing dates or refurbishment timeframes, helping clients find aircraft that meet their age or interior quality criteria.
Requesting specific safety rankings, such as Argus, Wyvern, or IS-BAO:
Jet cards may only specify that they provide aircraft operated under Part 135 regulations, but brokers can cater to clients with more specific safety requirements. A broker can eliminate providers that don’t meet higher safety standards, such as Argus Platinum, Wyvern Wingman, or IS-BAO Stage 3, ensuring a higher level of safety and peace of mind for clients.
Excluding operators with unsatisfactory past experiences:
In private aviation, client satisfaction is paramount. Suppose a client has had a negative experience with an operator. In that case, brokers can exclude those operators from their search, focusing on finding alternative providers that better align with the client’s preferences and expectations.
Saving on multi-leg trips with the same aircraft and flight crew:
Jet cards are often best suited for one-way flights, but brokers can offer significant savings for clients with multi-leg trips or itineraries spanning several days. By ensuring the same aircraft and flight crew handle all legs of the journey, brokers can provide a more cost-effective and efficient solution for clients with complex travel needs.
Securing short-notice bookings with desired specifications:
A good broker can book a jet on short notice, such as four or five hours, or even early the following day when clients call late at night. This is particularly valuable when clients have specific requirements, like high-speed WiFi or a particular aircraft type, which may require more work to accommodate last-minute bookings.
Flexibility in altering or canceling bookings:
While on-demand bookings may not always allow for changes or cancellations after booking, some brokers can offer more flexibility in this regard. This is especially beneficial for clients with unpredictable schedules who may need to make last-minute adjustments to their travel plans.
Receiving the best price and flexibility in using alternate airports, adjusting dates, or accepting older aircraft:
Experienced brokers know how to secure the best deals for their clients. They can identify operators with flexible pricing, work with smaller operators that might not be listed in online directories, and help clients navigate offers that may be too good to be true. Clients can often find lower prices without sacrificing quality by being open to alternate airports, date changes, or older aircraft.
Expert guidance on suitable aircraft types for varying needs:
A knowledgeable broker can provide invaluable advice on choosing the right aircraft to meet your requirements. Their expertise enables them to recommend the best aircraft based on the number of passengers, luggage capacity, flight range, and cabin configuration.
For instance, if you require a spacious cabin for oversized luggage without necessarily needing a large or super-midsize jet, a broker can suggest alternatives like the Pilatus PC-24 or PC-12. This personalized guidance ensures an optimal private aviation experience tailored to your needs.
Benefiting from brokers’ strong relationships with operators:
Established brokers have built solid relationships with aircraft operators over time, translating into numerous advantages for their clients. These relationships give brokers leverage when negotiating prices, requesting specific aircraft or configurations, or addressing any issues that may arise during a trip. A good broker’s connections within the industry can help secure preferential treatment and ensure clients receive the best possible service on their private aviation journey.
Relying on brokers as educators and advocates in the private aviation industry:
An experienced broker not only assists you in finding the perfect aircraft but also educates you on the intricacies of private aviation. They can explain the costs of charter flights, such as WiFi and deicing charges, cancellation policies, and recovery flight expenses.
Furthermore, they act as your advocate, addressing any concerns or problems that may arise with the operator on your behalf. This added support allows clients to focus on enjoying their private aviation experience while trusting their broker to manage the behind-the-scenes complexities.
Keeping money on an account without mandatory commitments:
One of the benefits of working with a reputable broker is the option to save money on an account. This feature allows clients to deposit funds in advance, eliminating the need for wire transfers, credit card fees, and the hassle of last-minute money transfers.
Additionally, brokers can set up escrow accounts if clients desire extra security. Unlike jet card programs or fractional ownership, there is no obligation to commit to a specific number of flight hours, offering clients maximum flexibility and convenience.
Committing to trips on a case-by-case basis without long-term obligations:
With an on-demand broker, clients can enjoy the freedom of booking trips individually without being locked into long-term contracts. This flexibility contrasts with fractional ownership programs that usually require a five-year commitment or jet cards with a minimum purchase of 25 hours.
By working with a broker, clients can make decisions on a trip-by-trip basis, allowing them to evaluate their needs and preferences each time they charter a private jet. This tailored approach to private aviation ensures clients receive the most suitable solution for every journey.
Brokers appreciate clients who are loyal and value their expertise. It’s essential to treat them with respect and avoid pitting them against other professionals. To find a reliable charter broker, seek recommendations from friends who frequently charter flights, as they have likely experienced the full spectrum of service quality.
Ultimately, while various solutions, such as full ownership, jet cards, fractional ownership, and on-demand brokers like FlyUSA, offer unique benefits, it’s crucial to understand the pros and cons of each to make the most informed decision for your private aviation needs.