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How to book and plan a private jet charter flight - the ultimate guide


13th April 2023

Business jet how to book a flight

Welcome to the Chapman Freeborn Private Jet Charter Guide. In this blog, we’re going to show you everything you need to know about private air travel before you speak to an air charter broker. We’ll tell you everything from what to look out for when working with a broker, what to expect on the day, and how to ensure a seamless experience from planning to arrival. After all, with our 50 years of experience in aircraft charters, we’re perfectly placed to give you an accurate rundown and make you aware of elements to double check ahead of booking.

So without further ado, let’s get into the action…

What is a private jet charter?

Private jet ‘charter’ is when a person or company charters (hires / rents) an entire aircraft for a specific trip or period. When you charter a private jet, you have exclusive use of the aircraft, meaning that you can choose your own itinerary, travel with just the passengers you select, and have greater control over your travel experience, compared to commercial air travel.

This type of travel can be arranged through private jet charter companies (or brokers), who will work with you to determine your travel needs and find the right aircraft and deliverables for your trip. The cost of private jet charters can vary widely depending on factors such as the size of the aircraft, the length of the trip, and the level of luxury and amenities and in-flight options provided on board.

Private jet charters are popular among business executives, celebrities, and high-net-worth individuals who value the flexibility, privacy, and convenience of travelling on a private aircraft. Due to the impact of COVID, demand for private services has risen drastically, and since the global recovery, pricing has become more flexible and more accessible than ever. The business jet market grew from $22.38 billion dollars in 2022 to $22.58 billion in 2023 with an annual growth rate of 2.3%, demonstrating a steady industry increase.

What are the main reasons for choosing private charter over commercial air travel?

Experience Luxury private jet flight

There are many reasons why people and companies choose to travel privately with some being more obvious than others. Here’s a short breakdown of the key reasons to fly private.

  • Convenience: Private air charter offers flexibility in terms of scheduling, as you can choose the departure time and airport of your choice. This eliminates the need to spend time in long security lines and waiting for connecting flights.
  • Timesaving: By eliminating layovers, reducing travel time, and reducing the time needed to get to and from the airport, private air charter simply saves time. This is especially important for business travellers or sports teams for example, who need to get to their destination quickly and without stress.
  • Comfort and privacy: Flying private offers a more comfortable and personalised flying experience. The cabin is designed to suit your preferences, providing you with more legroom, comfortable seating, and a quieter atmosphere. Private charters also offer complete privacy, allowing you to conduct meetings or engage in private conversations without interruption.
  • Safety and security: Private air charters provide increased safety and security compared to commercial flights. Private jets undergo rigorous safety inspections and maintenance, while charter companies conduct extensive background checks on pilots and crew members. Additionally, private air charter allows travellers to avoid crowded airports and reduce the risk of exposure to viruses and other illnesses.
  • Furry friends: Many private travellers opt for the service if they need to fly with pets, which is far less complex and less stressful to organize and accommodate, with pets being able to roam free in the cabin and away from passengers that are unfamiliar.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Believe it or not but private air charter can be cost-effective for group travel or for those who need to travel frequently or travel in a larger group. Additionally, private air charters can help you avoid the cost of overnight stays in hotels or rental cars, which can add up quickly.

How to select the right charter broker?

Businessman flying private

Choosing a private jet charter broker is an extremely important decision as they will be responsible for finding the right aircraft and managing all aspects of your trip. Here are some key factors to consider when choosing a private charter broker.

  • Safety: Safety should be your top priority when choosing a private charter broker. Make sure the broker and the aircraft operators they work with have a good safety record and are certified by the relevant aviation authorities.
  • Experience: Look for a broker with years of experience in the private jet charter industry. Experienced brokers will have established relationships with a wide range of operators and can offer insights and recommendations to help you make informed decisions and reduce costs.
  • Reputation: Research the broker’s reputation by reading online reviews, testimonials, and industry publications. Search for brokers with a good reputation for professionalism, customer service, and attention to detail.
  • Range of services: Consider the range of services offered by the broker, such as trip planning, in-flight catering, ground transportation, and other concierge services. A broker who can handle all aspects of your trip can save you time and energy.
  • Pricing: Pricing is an important consideration, but it should not be the only factor you consider. Look for brokers who offer transparent pricing and can provide a detailed breakdown of all costs associated with your trip.
  • Communication: Good communication is essential for a successful private jet charter experience. Choose a broker who is responsive, communicative, and keeps you informed throughout the entire process.

Overall, choosing the right private jet charter broker is crucial for a successful and stress-free trip. Take the time to research and compare different brokers to find the one that best meets your needs and budget.

What to consider when booking a private charter flight?

When booking a charter flight, your agent or broker will run through a list of requirements with you to ensure your flight is set up to deliver exactly what you need from the service.

  • Aircraft type: Brokers need to determine the type of aircraft that best suits their traveller’s needs, such as the size of the aircraft, luggage capacity, flight range, the number of passengers it can carry, and the amenities on board. These can include catering, fine dining, entertainment, audio-visual, or any other special requirements. A sportsperson, for example, might want to book an in-flight massage in preparation for their match as they fly to the location of their game.
  • Flight duration: The length of your flight can affect the cost of your charter, and it can also determine the type of aircraft you need. Longer flights require larger aircraft with a longer-range capability as they need to carry more fuel.
  • Departure & arrival airports: The location of your departure and arrival airports can also impact the cost of your charter. Some airports have higher fees than others, so it’s important to choose the most cost-effective options with your broker.
  • Cost: It’s important to set a budget early and stick to it where possible. You should also be aware of any additional fees, such as landing fees, catering fees, and overnight fees before you sign any agreement.
  • Flexibility: Private jet charter flights offer greater flexibility than commercial flights, but you should still be prepared for unexpected changes. Look for private jet charter brokers that offer transparent cancellation policies and are willing to accommodate last-minute changes.
  • Level of service: The level of service you receive can vary from one charter company to another. Look for companies that offer personalized services and are willing to go above and beyond to meet your requirements, particularly if there are any specific pressures on your itinerary.

What to expect on the day of the flight?

Business-class service on private flight

Once the flight is booked and an aircraft is assigned, the charter broker will provide you with an itinerary. The departure facility will often be a private terminal at an airport known as a Fixed Base Operator or FBO. This means it’s far less busy and hassle-free.

Unlike commercial terminals, FBOs are typically small and act as waiting rooms with lounges, chairs, bathrooms, and often additional amenities for entertainment and relaxation.

Upon arrival, an agent will already be waiting at the aircraft to transport you and your luggage to the private jet terminal. As far as luggage collection is concerned, there is no need to wait for it to appear on the rail. Passengers travelling by private jet have exclusive entry points and the process of luggage screening and pickup is quite seamless and smooth compared to that of commercial flights where you have to wait much longer for luggage clearance.

Usually, your private jet broker has arranged a private chauffeur service ahead of your arrival time to maximize your convenience.

If you charter a jet for a return flight as well, the crew will give you their contact details and will agree with you on a meeting point and time. If you need to make any changes to the trip, instead of contacting the pilot, you need to communicate it to your private jet charter representative who will organize all the operational aspects of your new flight itinerary.

Tips for a seamless private jet charter experience.

  • Itinerary: Receive a full itinerary from your broker so that any questions can be answered, or any issues can be resolved in good time.
  • Transfers: Ensure that you work with your broker to confirm airport transfers ahead of the flight at both the departure and arrival destinations.
  • Documentation: Confirm with your broker that all documentation has been confirmed and is in place ahead of flying.
  • Key requests: Communicate any special requests and requirements well in advance of travel and let them know in good time with any changes or updates.
  • Open dialogue: Maintaining a good relationship with your broker will ensure a two-way conversation that’s positive and productive.

A streamlined experience

Whether you’re planning a solo trip or a group event, flying privately will give you access to a much more enjoyable flight experience. No matter what your priorities, the flexibility, customisation, and personal services on offer will enhance the process from the planning process to arriving at your final destination.

Are you ready to change your air travel experience?

Get in touch with the dedicated private air charter team at Chapman Freeborn and we’ll be happy to talk you through the process and any finer details.

Contact us today to arrange your next private jet charter [email protected]



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