In the past few months, our industry has seen a surge of first-time flyers. No longer reserved for the rich and famous, jet charter is now the choice of many who had been sitting on the fence about wanting to try flying privately and recently decided that now was the time. Happily, we welcome them aboard and this blog is dedicated to them all.
For first-time flyers, a memorable experience awaits their first jet charter flight. However, it’s always nice to know what to expect, so in this blog we are giving our best tips for the first-time flyer. If you are looking to book a jet charter but are intimidated by the process, rest easy. These tips will give you some ideas for planning the best flight possible.
1. Booking Your Flight
While movies and television lead us to believe you can charter a jet within the hour, that is not always the case. Yes, spontaneity is definitely an advantage of flying privately, but these days we recommend reserving a flight as soon as you have plans, and at least 1-2 months out if at all possible. Booking that far out will ensure the best first-time flying experience possible.
2. Parking Your Car
One of the biggest benefits to flying jet charter is hassle-less parking. But that does not mean there are no rules. Check with your FBO for directions on where to park. Typically, you may drop off right on the tarmac and have a valet park your car at the airport.
3. Arriving on Time
This is especially important if you are a guest, because you do not want to delay the group from taking off. However, if you are running late for a private flight, one advantage is that the flight will wait for you. Just make sure to notify the charter company ahead of time. If you know hours in advance you will be late, contact the company immediately. The sooner they know when you will arrive for the flight, the sooner the flight crew can make all necessary preparations at the destination.
Unlike commercial flights, there are no assigned seats on private flights. However, if you are a guest, think of the person paying for the flight as the one who sits “shotgun.” Let them board and be seated first.
5. Dress Code
It’s your flight so it is your dress code! Dress in coordination with the nature of the flight. If it’s for business, wear business attire. When traveling for pleasure, dress casual. Anything socially acceptable is allowed.
Do not overpack! Most first-time flyers make the mistake of bringing too much luggage aboard since there is no baggage check. There is space for luggage, however there are no roomy overhead bins on private jets like you see in commercial flights. There are also weight limits for takeoff as well, and a heavier plane also burns more fuel during flight. We recommend one suitcase and one carry-on. Another wonderful thing about charter is that pets are welcome to travel with you. Talk to your charter company about their policies regarding pets aboard the flight.
7. Alcohol Consumption
If you want to bring your own drinks, simply hand them over to the flight crew to serve you. Per FAA rules, alcohol on your flight must be served to you by your air carrier. Please do not sneak alcohol on board and to truly enjoy your flight, do not drink to the point of intoxication. And out of courtesy for your aircraft, try to keep the red wine in your glass and off the carpeting!
8. Identification/Travel Documents
Unlike commercial flights, there are no TSA lines or restrictions when boarding your flight, however, you do need identification. Depending on your destination, either a passport or driver’s license is needed, and is always good to have in case of an emergency reroute or change in schedule.
9. Tipping the Crew
In any hospitality industry it is always courteous to tip employees. On private jets, pilots often load the luggage, clean the plane, and are responsible for all aspects of the flight. Your gratuity shows your appreciation. Be as generous as you like, depending on your experience.
10. RELAX and ENJOY YOURSELF
When any nerves you have about flying are finally quelled, sit back and enjoy the flight. Flying on a private jet is about the experience itself. Take it all in and create a wonderful memory!
If you are ready to take your maiden voyage on a jet charter flight, RAI Jets is ready and willing to assist you. Our promise is to be there for the passenger and treat our clients like family. The unwritten rules in this blog are helpful, but there is truly no right or wrong to fly RAI Jets! Give us a call today and let us book your first of many flights at 800-247-2834.