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How To Book A Private Jet in 2019: A Detailed Guide

Booking a private jet can be an arduous task. We've put together this guide to help you navigate the complex private aviation landscape.

The Private Aviation Market

The private aviation market is made up of 2,500+ charter operators with 10,000 aircraft.

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These operators are the equivalent of airlines-- they're the companies that actually employ the pilots, handle maintenance, and maintain operational control over the flight.

Ultimately, every single private flight will be flown by one of these charter operators. It doesn't matter whether you're flying on NetJets, FlexJet, Wheels Up, SentientJet, or one of the many brokers. All flights must be operated by a charter operator.

Knowing if the flight is safe

In this heavily regulated market, the FAA or foreign equivalent oversees all charter activities and has stringent requirements to ensure your safety.

The FAA regulates all of it-- from pilot training, currency, aircraft maintenance, operating limitations, and more.

But there are also many third-party safety auditing companies that go above and beyond the FAA to ensure you and your fellow passengers are safe. We've written about our partner ARGUS international and how their program works here.

How to get pricing

The most challenging part of booking your flight is actually getting and comparing quotes.

We've found that it takes the average customer over 14 hours of work with 42 emails just to book a private flight.

The private aviation market is entirely predicated on email. All of the flights are booked via email and typically booked through a broker.

The best way to find a company to work with is to search Google with a highly targeted keyword. We recommend using the following format: "Private Jet Charter {your city/airport}" where you replace {your city/airport} with your ideal departure location. For example

"Private jet charter KBOS" or "Private jet charter KCHS"

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Writing a quote request

The average customer reaches out to a 4 different companies with their quote requests. Be sure to include any important information, such as number of passengers, estimated luggage, pets, etc.

Check out an example email below: 

Hi,
I'm looking for the following flight. Would you please provide a quote on a midsize or large cabin jet?  
BOS to CHS on July 2 (2pm) 6 passengers
CHS to BOS on July 5 (6pm) 6 passengers
We'll be 4 adults with 2 children and about 20lbs of luggage per person, with two sets of golf clubs. We do not need a flight attendant. 
Thanks!

How to compare quotes

Once you've received your quotes, it's time to make sure you're comparing apples-to-apples. Quotes will often employ some less than pleasant tactics to confuse the customer.

Use our helpful list to ensure your private jet quote has everything included and nothing is left to surprise:

  • Are taxes included?
  • Are landing fees included?
  • Are there additional fees for pilots?
  • Are there two pilots?
  • Are there fuel surcharges?
  • What is the cancelation policy?
  • What is the safety rating of the aircraft?
  • What happens if the aircraft has unexpected maintenance?
  • What FBO are we going to use? 

Finally, booking your flight

99% of the quotes you received will be in PDF format. Booking your flight at this stage is relatively easy but unfortunately not the most secure.

For security purposes, always print your quote and fill it out by hand.

Most quotes will ask you to include your credit card number in its entirety, and often a photocopy of the physical card. Be sure to use a card that you can easily monitored in case of a security breach at the company.

How we make it easier

SimpleCharters exists to make your life 10x easier when booking a flight.

We've automated this entire process and condensed it down into a delightful user experience and one stop shop. It's better, faster, and less expensive. 

Here's what SimpleCharters looks like in action: 

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Simply enter your itinerary on SimpleCharters.com and you can book your flight in minutes.

To learn more about SimpleCharters, check out the following:

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