As an air charter broker, I get this question almost every day.
People who do not have experience in booking a private air charter are often confused and sometimes intimidated by the process. There is a lack of information online to help them find available flights and pricing.
Private Aircraft Charter flights are different from an airline because it is a non-scheduled flight. Because there is no schedule, it means the following:
- Each flight is planned specifically to your schedule,
- The aircraft allocated is based on your needs and so varies every flight,
- There are different “classes” of plane with different sizes (seats), comfort, speed and number of engines.
This means that every quote is different and that explains why it is very hard to find published prices. It is hard to display a price when so many of the variables are not yet known.
What this means is that for every charter, the customer needs to have a conversation with the Operator of the aircraft. That means if you are shopping around for say 3 different quotes then you will need to have the same conversation and engagement 3 times over with 3 different Operators!
As a charter flight broker, FlightCharter.com.au does all that work on behalf of the client. We source the aircraft and pilots and present the client a shortlist of options. It doesn’t mean that we avoid the process described earlier but because of our strong aviation knowledge and existing relationships, we can do it much more quickly and effectively.
But even as a Broker, we cannot avoid doing the leg work and so making sure that your requirements are well understood is critical.
The key items that will be required for anyone to provide you with a charter flight quote include:
- Departure & Destination (distance)
- Duration of the itinerary (same day to return, overnight, etc)
- Number passengers (pax)
- Desired comfort level (economy, business or VIP)
- Type of catering desired
- Ground transfers at each end
What you may see are sites that will send back an automated quote without any human intervention. These can often provide a reasonable guide but to do the best job, a conversation with a knowledgeable human being is best. We often end up suggesting alternatives to our clients that help them refine their requirements leading to better outcomes.
Once the requirements are understood then the charter can be priced taking into account the variables. What many people don’t realise is that Charter Regulations do not allow individual seats to be sold. Therefore, a charter price will always be for the cost of the whole plane and is similar to a limousine. You are hiring the car and driver for the duration of your journey.
Charter Flights are a convenient, flexible and effective way to travel. Finding a good relationship with an operator or broker can make it easy to plan and book your non-scheduled, private aviation trips.
(Also published on Medium at https://firstname.lastname@example.org/how-does-chartering-a-private-plane-work-67e20490a84b)