Chapman Freeborn blog

The alpha, bravo, Charlie’s of aviation

Have you ever spoken to a customer service representative repeating an order number or a confirmation number saying, “that’s D as in Delta, F as in Foxtrot…” and wondered where did that come from?  Good question!

You can thank the aviation industry. Helen Hollis, V.P. Passenger Charters – Americas at Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, says this method goes way back. “Before World War I, the two-way radios and low quality phone lines were not 100% reliable. Today, we deal with aircraft tail numbers, runway numbers, passport numbers and other critically important information that needs to be communicated quickly and understood properly the first time.”

There are plenty of details related to arranging a private jet. An experienced broker listens to all the requirements that the customer needs:

  • Departing city and arrival city
  • Number of passengers
  • Dates
  • Estimated amount of baggage, equipment, golf clubs, pets
  • Connecting scheduled flight details
  • Number of meals, ground transportation, other hospitality or amenities

This information is crucial to finding the perfect fit from a global network of available aircraft options. One name, number or detail out of place may change the trip from arriving at Chicago’s airport (ORD) at 9am to arriving at Orebro airport in Sweden  (ORB) at 5am. Using a professional broker makes booking a private air charter so easy. This kind of attention to detail comes naturally after so many years of experience.

There are thousands of aircraft types to consider; smaller, light aircraft for 4-6 passengers to wide body jets that can handle large groups, even hundreds of passengers. “Charter customers appreciate the time saved by our experienced brokers focusing on what exactly fits your needs and preference, said Hollis. We check aircraft records for each and every aircraft that we charter. We evaluate everything – performance, years of experience, and operating history, before considering them.” Once a match is identified, the broker delivers all the relevant details to the customer for their consideration.

Aviation is a very precise business and there is no time to lose. That’s exactly why this special alphabet has been adopted from the aviation industry to so many other industries. The last official iteration was ratified in 1956 and today it’s known as the NATO phonetic alphabet. Although it’s made up of English words – the phonetic sounds are common to all languages and so they can be spoken and pronounced internationally by any nationality. Its use has also transformed to become a normal part of life. Outside of aviation, it’s also used by law enforcement, financial sectors and of course, many customer service operations associated with online shopping. So now you know.