06 Apr Why You Should Use A Charter Broker
If you have never chartered a private jet, picking the right private jet company can be extremely daunting proposition. You want to know that the people you book the flight for are safe, and that you receive a fair price, and the service and overall experience are excellent.
Falcona generally work with PAs of entrepreneurs and companies that want to charter a flight for business or leisure. We guide you through the whole process and make it as simple as possible for you.
Take the stress and hassle out of travelling so from the moment you arrive at your chosen airport, all you have to do is sit back and relax. Save precious time.
A charter broker will save you time searching for what you think you need on the internet or phone calls. You’re busy so leave the work to a qualified and competent charter broker.
A good private jet charter broker will ask the right questions to establish which aircraft and operator is best suited to your flight. With the rise in private jet charter and people wanting to use the benefits of private charter flights, quiet a few unregulated brokers have popped up in the hope of cashing in on the increasing demand.
Is It Legitimate Business?
A charter broker has access to a larger fleet of aircraft than an operator, ranging from the Citation Mustang that seats four people to the large ultra long range Gulfstream G650 seating up to sixteen passengers. All our charter planes that are sourced are manufactured in 2000 or newer.
Falcona has a pool of over 2, 000 private jets around the globe. A charter broker has certain operators that they like to use, but as they are independent a charter broker can source the best aircraft for your journey.
How does your broker source aircraft? Do they pick the aircraft that is the oldest and cheapest available or do they perform a full and thorough safety check of the aircraft, crew and operator?
All operators must possess a valid Air Operators Certificate (AOC) which enables them fly passengers for charter. Some operators will go a step further and become Wyvern Wingman operators, which means that they have a third party audit once a year. The standards of safety are set higher than that by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Some operators have a large fleet, others have one aircraft, others have four or five aircraft. Operators will obviously try to sell their aircraft first, in order to get the job which is to be expected. However this is not always the best solution for your flight.
If they don’t have a specific type of aircraft available, they may put you on a bigger or smaller plane than would be reasonable. A charter broker would be able to locate a plane for you, from their database that is more suitable.
Falcona is focused on providing you with the safest and best option for your flight. Only a few charter brokers focus on the safety, quality and client experience, many are focused on just putting passengers on planes that are either not suitable for the flight or with operators who do not adhere to the industry best practices.
Now you have concierge companies, holiday firms claiming to be able to book a private jet flight for you. Most of these companies have a limited understanding of the best practices or are dedicated to considering safety above everything else.
With some they won’t even check on pilots or aircraft before taking a booking. Fortunately travelling from Manchester, where we’re based allows us to meet the pilots, discuss the flight with them, view the aircraft and get to know them on a personal level.
The best private jet charter companies go beyond the level of just sourcing the most suitable aircraft for your flight. They focus on the overall experience and higher degree of service.
Not all private jet operators are created equal. The CAA regulations do establish a baseline, however industry best practices for pilot experience a company’s policies and procedures, and the experience of its operations team make a huge impact on reducing any risks, therefore improving safety.
A good charter broker will be able to organise a last minute replacement aircraft in case of any technical issues. Even the best operator planes can have mechanical issues. What matters is how they respond should things not go as planned.
At a minimum, you should never be left stranded. The company whether it be the operator or the charter broker company should provide a replacement plane at no additional cost to complete your trip, though there may be a departure delay.
The best companies can even provide an upgrade in size, with little or even no extra charge.
Adie says that when something of this nature occurs, “Most charter operator companies do not guarantee a replacement aircraft at the same cost. You basically sign a non-refundable agreement and take on that risk yourself. We had an aircraft in Faro that went tech for clients return home and the operators sourced an upgraded aircraft for their return. Not every operator would do this, so it’s about working with the best charter operators available”
A charter broker is there to prevent things from going wrong with your flight – by checking with the operators and making sure, for example, that the aircraft will be at the airport at the right time for departure, the right catering is on board or that all the services needed are included so that you’re not having to pay more.
We often see customers who have booked a flight with another charter broker, having to remove luggage from the plane as it all won’t fit in the hold, due to the broker not finding the right size aircraft for the flight.
When a potential client enquires about a flight, we take into consideration, where they’re flying, the amount of passengers and how much luggage will be coming with them. For instance we had a client that was travelling from Manchester to Faro, six passengers with four extremely large suitcases. They had wanted to travel on a Citation Bravo which unfortunately couldn’t accommodate that amount of luggage.
When flying private customers don’t realise that on the smaller aircraft you can’t take a lot of luggage. Although the jet could take the six of them direct, the issue was the luggage, so we recommended a slightly larger aircraft as an option. We felt that a Citation CJ3, Citation XLS or the Learjet 75 would be more suitable for the flight.
This type of experience and knowledge is essential for booking a private jet flight. The cheapest option is not always the best option, it’s usually the most costly option in the long term.
People do buy on price all the time, even for private jet charter flights. While many aviation industry experts do recommend that you shop around for the best price by cutting out the middle man (i.e. charter broker) this can actually lead to more issues.
Good charter brokers will do their due diligence prior to booking an aircraft for you and make sure that your aircraft and crew are of the highest standard.
All private jet aircraft are regulated by the CAA, which sets the minimum standards for maintenance as well as pilot experience and training.
The best charter companies go above and beyond to exceed those minimum standards. Falcona will use aircraft that are Wyvern Wingman Rated operators, so that we know that our clients are on aircraft that meets their expectations.
If a company is anything less than Wyvern Registered then you as a customer has to rely solely on the operator to report the truthful and correct information.
As a charter broker we always try to explain to clients that it’s not always right to buy just on price. The aircraft has to be fit for the purpose.
There are a lot of PAs that unfortunately will just book the cheapest aircraft option, instead of looking at the bigger picture.
We all want a great deal. However, there is more to value than price alone. Sometimes the option with the lowest price may not be your ideal choice. When you’re looking for a charter broker,it’s important that you do your research to make sure they possess the relevant knowledge and are a legitimate company.
If you decide to ring around or contact lots of brokers (more than three) then the same enquiry will be going to similar operators, basically flooding the market. In some instances the operator will let a charter broker know that this has been requested by other brokers.
This method of searching for aircraft can actually defeat the object, it takes you longer than if you went to one provider and the aircraft may get booked in that time. With some charter brokers sourcing the oldest, and usually the cheapest aircraft available. The operator may then actually increase the price knowing that it’s a popular request or not even provide a quote based on this.
Simply looking for the cheapest flight, based on a fancy website or misleading information can only lead to problems for you down the line. While price is always one factor, we’re now seeing that many travellers are increasingly searching for the best-quality aircraft and a better customer experience.
The option that’s best for you is dependent on a set complex equation of factors, such as how soon you need to fly, where you’re going, how often you need to travel, how many people are travelling and what you need on-board the aircraft.
“You Get What You Pay For”