82% of personal assistants find booking private aviation flights on short notice is a major challenge
A new survey of personal assistants by on-demand charter broker Victor revealed 82% of survey respondents found that finding flights on tight turnarounds is a major challenge they face when coordinating private jet travel. To me, at first reading, the findings weren’t surprising: booking on-demand charters require vetting both jets, operators, and prices each trip, handling payments, which can be complicated in some companies, and often submitting passenger information, catering and so forth. It also means in the event of disruptions, you are at the mercy of your broker to figure out replacements and minimize extra expense.
A new study highlights Jet Card pricing and member benefits
PGA tour professional golfers who have been using private aviation to travel between tournaments have saved 119 hours of travel time so far this year – nearly five full days of extra productivity – according to an analysis put together by Private Jet Card Comparisons and Jet Linx Aviation. This coming week features the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. In addition to the time savings benefits of private jet travel, the comparison highlights some of the advantages of most jet cards, including guaranteed availability even during peak periods, guaranteed hourly rates, one-way pricing and not having to worry about ferry fees.
In another blow to the private jet share social network, JetSmarter lost its home rental partner and board member Bradley Stewart, the CEO of XOJET
So the news about JetSmarter this week is that its short-lived entry into enticing its members to also rent homes through ThirdHome, announced Feb. 27, is kaput. By the way, there’s more big news coming next week, but we’ll get to that later.
When chartering or buying jet card programs that include smaller jets and turboprops, make sure to ask if the lavatory is fully enclosed
While it’s not always possible to drive directly to your plane when flying privately due to rules at individual airports, at the end of the day, a stop at the FBO is generally recommended, particularly if you are flying smaller planes where toilet facilities vary from being fully enclosed to be nothing more than a curtain and in some cases nada. In fact, some of the separators are so flimsy, Janine K. Iannarelli, President at Par Avion Ltd. joked it would be better to provide other passengers with paper bags they could place over their heads.
The standards in the industry for a Fully enclosed lav require a bathroom to be enclosed with either a hardwood swinging door, hardwood bi-fold doors, hardwood sliding pocket doors that meet to create a solid door, or a hard-plastic accordion door.
Within a fully enclosed lav, you can expect the amenities to vary, however, most private planes will have a toilet, possibly a sink or wash basin, and a vanity mirror.
A very interesting factor, many private jets have a Certified Lav Seat. The certified lav seat is a legal way to add an additional passenger to your flight when there are no additional seats available. Although it may not be as comfortable as a regular seat, the certified lav seat should be cushioned with the same materials as all of the other seats within the cabin. In this case, the lav would have a safety belt.
Semi-Enclosed Private Jet Toilet:
The standards in the industry for a Semi-Enclosed Lav, which may also be referred to as a Partially Enclosed Lav, would not include any amenities. In most cases this would strictly be a seat within the plane that has a liftable seat cushion exposing an emergency chemical toilet.
Typically located between the cockpit and passenger cabin, these chemical toilets allow for emergency use, but offer much less privacy for passengers, and do not allow you to flush. There are no doors surrounding the seat, although it may include a removable privacy curtain.
Kevin O’Leary of Jet Advisors, a former sales executive for Flight Options, warns, “Basically you can’t urinate like a man in any of the light jets. You’ve got to sit like you were back in potty training (because) most cabins are less than five feet high at the apex (and) even shorter towards the side where the potty is.”
With the help of Iannerelli, Butler, O’Leary, Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly, Kevin Diemar, CEO of Unity Jets, Ricky Sitomer, CEO of StarJets International, Andrew Collins, CEO of Sentient Jet, and Joshua Hebert, CEO of Magellan Jets, we came up with a list of smaller private jets to avoid if you think you will need to go, as well as those that have relatively better toilet facilities.
Don’t Fly (Small Private Jets)
The below have either chemical toilets or only partially separated lavatories providing more exposure than you might like, although some vary based on how the owner outfitted the plane:
Cessna Citation Mustang
Cessna Citation Bravo
Cessna Citation CJ2
Eclipse 500 – no toilet
Learjet 31 (front of the cabin, curtain)
Learjet 35/35a (front of the cabin, curtain)
Do (Very Light Jets)
Embraer Phenom 100
“The Phenom 100 has a hard-side pocket door, on its lavatory, which gives it the edge over the Mustang for some passengers who are choosing between the two,” says Twidell
The HondaJet has a full lavatory at the rear of the aircraft with toilet, full sink, and closing door.
Do – Honorable Mention (Turboprops)
King Air 350i
“On a King Air, there is more privacy as the aft toilet is positioned on the other side of the entry door, further from the other passengers and crew. The 350i offers the most privacy, with a solid door and optional vanity,” says Twidell.
The Pilatus PC-12 has a forward lavatory between the cockpit and the cabin. There are hard doors in two positions, to give privacy from the cockpit and other passengers as required. “There are hard doors in two positions, to give privacy from the cockpit and other passengers as required,” Twidell adds.
XOJET has a different take on private jet membership
In an industry where salespeople are sometimes viewed as too aggressive, and where there are all sorts of independent contractor business models (for example bartenders and bottle hostesses) and other brokers who lack industry experience selling private jet services, there is often the perception that it’s all about closing the deal, and sometimes it is.