15 Sep First time private jet travellers
If you’re looking to hire a private jet for the first time, it’s imperative that you make an informed decision before booking your charter flight. With the surge in demand for private jet travel, there are a lot of first time fliers booking flights.
For most first-time flyers the internet is the most logical place to look or speaking to a friend who has flown before.
How you book and who you can trust is vital in deciding whether your travels will fulfill your expectations.
Falcona has noticed that a lot of first timers are arriving too early for their flight and unsure of the process when they get to the airport. This is where a good charter broker is invaluable to make sure your flight goes as planned.
You need an expert to help guide you through the acquisition process, but how to select an aircraft broker?
There is no formal accreditation or licensing process to be a broker unfortunately. This can mean that you are exposed to fake websites and scams posing as genuine charter brokers.
Here are just some of the questions we receive from first time travellers on private aircraft.
Do I pass through a terminal building?
Private flights operate from private facilities and favour smaller and less congested airports that are often more convenient to you.
When you arrive, you will commonly be shown to the lounge at the private jet terminal. Here you can relax until the pilot comes to get you and escort you to your aircraft. At some airports you can drive right up to your aircraft and board.
How close to departure time should I arrive?
Private aviation affords a degree of flexibility you may have never experienced before when flying. Please arrive 45 minutes prior to departure at the airport (General Aviation Terminal) for security screening flights on larger aircraft.
Your handling agent and crew will meet you at the GAT and accompany you through security. Please bring your passports and print off any forms for entry requirements to your destination. As a rule, you may arrive up to 20 minutes prior to departure.
This allows sufficient time for the crew to load baggage, finish final checks, and get the aircraft ready for takeoff. Please let us know if you may be running a bit behind and we will inform the crew.
What’s the cabin like?
While it is difficult to compare the two, the typical private aircraft cabin will be smaller depending on which aircraft and experience you prefer. Some of the smaller aircraft are just sit down with leg and head room, a toilet and standard catering.
Seats are typically arranged in a “club style” layout with groups of facing seats on either side of the aisle.
Cabin seating is flexible depending on whether you want to work, relax, eat. Most seats leather and generously sized with fold out tables for eating or working .
Newer aircraft types will also feature amenities such as Wi-Fi, power outlets, and entertainment.
Larger aircraft have a stand up cabin with space to move around the cabin, you can relax on three seat divans, watch tv or on overnight flights sleep peacefully on full size beds from converted seats.
What size and type of plane do I need?
Every aircraft is different — we offer multiple private jets featuring varying ranges, speeds, seats, and luggage capacities, so each of our customers can choose the right charter for their unique needs. Luggage: For smaller aircraft we recommend 15-20kg per person, soft bags/cases are preferred. Let us know in advance the amount of luggage you intend to bring.
Choose from a wide selection of popular aircraft, including super light jets, mid jets, super mid jets, heavy jets and ultra long range jets. Simply put, each aircraft features increasing degrees of size and the range to take you farther.
A light jet, so called due to its smaller size, will typically seat up to 7 people.
As a smaller aircraft they have a lower cabin height, however they all have various amenities including a lavatory and are adequate for shorter trips up to a few hours’ duration.
A midsize jet is often chosen for flights longer than 3-hours to avoid an unnecessary stop for fuel. If you are a tall person you will want a midsize jet or larger.
A midsize, super-mid, or heavy jet will provide varying degrees of flexibility to stand, socialize, and move about comfortably on longer trips.
Is there catering onboard?
There will always be catering onboard your flight. Standard catering for aircraft without a flight attendant usually consists of mixed sandwiches, canapes, wraps, fruit platters and snacks. You may also bring food with you or order a McDonalds or Nandos, whatever you feel like eating.
Your aircraft will be typically stocked with beverages and snacks. Alcoholic beverages are always available onboard.
Standard cold meal catering which might consist of the following, depending on the number of passengers and the flight time: open bar (soft drinks, beer, wine, champagne in small bottles, liquors in small bottles, coffee, tea), canapes, mixed sandwiches mixed fruit platter, sweets mixed cold breakfast trays, cold meal trays, trays with ham, cheese, cold fish or antipasti
All other kinds of catering or presents have to be ordered separately and might lead to extra costs depending on amount, quality, brand and effort.
During Covid-19 some aircraft operators have elected to remove or modify the onboard selection.
Is there a flight attendant on board?
A cabin attendant is commonly included when chartering larger heavy jets and ultra-long-range jets.
On smaller cabins through super-midsize jets an attendant is typically not offered.
However we have noticed that some European operators do offer this service and the feedback we have had has been good.
To ensure passengers enjoy unrivalled service as standard, every flight on a large cabin aircraft will have has at least one flight attendant onboard as two crew in the flight deck.
Your flight attendant is there to keep you safe and to enhance your travel experience.
Is there a lavatory onboard?
Almost always, yes. Unless you charter a Citation Mustang a very light jet. On smaller aircraft such as light jets, most private aircraft feature at very least a small lavatory.
Falcona would always recommend that you nip to the bathroom before you board. On larger aircraft you will have access to a stand up bathroom, with all the facilities needed to ensure you arrive at your destination refreshed.
How much baggage can I bring with me?
This is an important part of your quote and selecting the correct type of jet. The more luggage you have, the larger the jet you will need to carry them. For smaller aircraft we recommend 15-20kg per person, soft bags/cases are preferred. Let us know in advance the amount of luggage you intend to bring.
There are certain aircraft that do not accommodate more than the 1 or 2 pieces of carry-on luggage.in the hold such as the Hawker 400XP. We would recommend this type of jet if you’re travelling light.
So please make a note of the number and size of the pieces of luggage you are going to carry along with other equipment, and decide accordingly.
The best way is to inform us at the time of booking about the luggage quantity.
It will help you to avoid any inconvenience in the long run. Such as having to leave a suitcase behind or have it shipped to your destination.
Larger aircraft such as the Embraer Legacy 650 (15-20 suitcases) will have much bigger baggage holds that are even accessible during the flight.
Can I bring my pets?
Not all aircraft are pet friendly, so as a charter broker we have access to aircraft that are ‘pet friendly’. These airlines transport pets in the carriage of the plane.
Pets need not remain in their carrier/ crate or the duration of the flight.
They can move around the cabin, which allows them to relax and also stretch out for added comfort and reduce their stress.
Some aircraft may have an additional pet fee for cleaning post-flight if there are any accidents!.
You can only use these carriers and routes approved by the Animal and Plant Health Agency to bring your pet to England or Scotland. There are no approved routes to Wales.
These rules apply to Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland). Check the rules on pet travel into Northern Ireland.
You can enter or return to Great Britain with your pet cat, dog or ferret if it:
- has been microchipped
- has a pet passport or health certificate
- has been vaccinated against rabies – it will also need a blood test if you’re travelling from an country that is not ‘listed’
Dogs must also usually have a tapeworm treatment.
Your pet may be put into quarantine for up to 4 months if you do not follow these rules – or refused entry if you travelled by sea. You’re responsible for any fees or charges.
There’s different guidance if you’re taking your pet dog, cat or ferret abroad.
You must follow extra rules if the animals will be sold or rehomed in Great Britain. See the section on ‘Goods Subject to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Controls’.
If you bring a banned breed of dog into Great Britain it can be taken away from you by the police or local authorities and could be destroyed.
Bringing your pet to Great Britain
Your pet must arrive in Great Britain no more than 5 days before or after you, or you’ll have to follow different rules.
You must use an approved route unless you’re travelling within the UK or from Ireland.
You need to fill in a declaration confirming that you are not going to sell or transfer the ownership of your pet.
What is included in the price of the flight?
Price Includes, all aircraft fees as per the above schedule, applicable passenger taxes and charges, handling agent charges, standard catering and bar requests, snacks and drinks.
What is ‘not’ included in the price of the flight?
Nobody likes surprises so we are always up-front on costs and will never try to hide things from you.
Price Does Not Include, things such as WI-fI, passenger ground transportation, additional insurance premium if required, de-icing and hangarage, Italian Luxury Tax.
Controllable costs such as catering that you have, ground transfers and Wi-Fi or inflight phone charges are not included unless in writing.
Uncontrollable costs are mainly de-icing or hangar fees which are common in the winter months or colder climates. These are often unknowns at time of booking as they are weather-dependent.
During peak season slots at popular destinations such as Ibiza and Mykonos are hard to get, so we recommend that you book early. Travelling to remote areas usually comes with some constraints.
There may not be a customs & immigration, meaning you will have to stop off at a main airport to complete customs before flying to your final destination.
A disadvantage is that small airports usually have much shorter runways. Consequently, the choice of private jets you can charter may also vary depending upon the final destination.
AOG (Aircarft On Ground)
Unfortunately these things do happen even with private jets! In case of any technical or mechanical fault in a jet, brokers usually have a Plan B.
While an operator is stuck with his grounded fleet, a good brokers’ ability to source a suitable private jet on the market for you can be helpful when it comes to finding a backup private jet.
It’s also essential that your operator helps you on this too, as we only work with operators that work together in order for you flight to go ahead.
Not all operators are created equally.
For other questions you may have please see our FAQs page or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: Prices shown are estimated prices for charter of whole aircraft – alternative routes, aircraft and airports are also available upon request. This estimated price is subject to availability, slots, traffic rights and schedule.