Chartering a private jet is much more than getting quotes for the hourly rate
Not all private aviation operators are the same. Before you charter a private aircraft, the National Business Aviation Association suggests you ask these questions. Keep in mind that one advantage of jet cards is your provider has set specific sourcing standards, so you only have to go through this once as opposed to every trip or each time there is a switch in the operator. You can compare over 100 jet cards by 65 variables by becoming a subscriber to Private Jet Card Comparisons. There’s more information here. Before chartering a private jet, the questions below will help you find an operator that you are comfortable with.
Background and Experience
- Who is the FAA-certificated charter operator that will
conduct our charter flights? What experience does the
operator have? How long has the operator been in business:
In aviation? As an air charter operator?
- What type of aircraft is on the charter certificate? What
year(s) were the aircraft manufactured? What, if any, major
refurbishments (interior, flight equipment, paint, etc.)
were completed on the aircraft, and when?
- How many aircraft and crew does the charter operator
have? Has the FAA ever taken enforcement action against
the operator or one of its flight crew members?
- What experience does the crew have? How many flight
hours total time? How many hours in make/model of
- If special operations (e.g., mountain airports, extended
over water) will be conducted, what experience (initial
and recurrent) does the crew have with these operations?
Safety and Security
- What is the operator’s safety record? Has the charter
operator had any aircraft accidents or incidents? If so,
what measures has the operator implemented to ensure
- Has the charter operator been audited by an independent
third-party organization? What were the audit findings,
and how does the charter operator compare to other charter
- What security screening procedures are in-place (e.g., to
identify passengers)? (Note: Appropriately, charter operators
will be hesitant to describe their security procedures/
plans; your questions should focus on what passengers
need to do to comply with the operator’s security program.)
- How often is training provided to the crew and what is
covered in the training? (e.g., does the charter operator
provide training above and beyond the minimum training
requirements established by the FAA)?
- Where is the training conducted? Is the initial and recurrent
training provided in a simulator or the aircraft?
- What is the charter operator’s policy on crew flight time
and duty limits? If a possible customer trip goes beyond
the crew flight/duty times, how would the charter operator
conduct the mission and maintain their policies?
- Will there be a flight attendant on board the flight? Is the
flight attendant assigned to your flight egress trained for
the specific make/model of aircraft you are flying on?
- Is the aircraft equipped with a defibrillator and are the
crew trained in its use? Does the aircraft have a subscription
to an in-flight medical assistance program in case of
- Who maintains the aircraft? If it is not maintained by a
factory service center, how often is/are the maintenance
technician(s) sent for training specific to that make/model
- How does the operator handle maintenance situations
that, on a rare occasion, might arise during a trip you have
- If you are planning an international flight, what experience
does the operator have flying to/from/within the countries
you wish to visit?
- What specific safety and security measures does the
operator implement when conducting operations in that
- Will the charter operator assist with immigration and
customs logistics, such as visas and customs forms?
- Do the pilots, flight attendants and other employees
receive customer service training? Are service standards
in place; what are they and how are they measured?
- What is the customer satisfaction rating: low, average,
good, excellent? What documentation does the operator
have to support that?
- How soon prior to the scheduled flight will the aircraft be
at the airport, ready for departure?
- To whom should concerns/complaints regarding flight
irregularities, safety, or customer service be directed?
Is there someone available 24/7 in case you have any of
- What company issues the aviation insurance policy? What
are the charter operator’s insurance coverage and limits?
- Will the charter operator name you as an additional
- Will the charter operator provide you with a waiver of
subrogation and a certificate of insurance confirming the
coverage and aircraft that will be used for the flight?
- How will the charter company accommodate you if there
is a problem encountered with the flight arrangements?
(E.g., charter operator’s aircraft is unavailable either prior
to booking the trip or the aircraft becomes unavailable
after the trip is booked.) Will the operator find another
charter operator to conduct the flight?
If a problem is encountered and a substitute charter operator is to be used, who is that operator and what are the substitute’s answers to the above questions?