Private Aviation Authority, James Butler, Explains How to Find the Best Private Charter

Bethesda, Maryland • March 2011

In his most recent contribution to Owners Perspective magazine, Shaircraft CEO, James Butler, explains that, with no long-term commitments or large capital outlays, charter is often an attractive option for his clients. He writes, “If you’re trying private air travel for the first time, traditional charter is likely to be the best way to dip your toe in the water.”

That said, with at least 1,000 charter companies flying in the United States, how can you identify a solid operator? Here are a few of the key questions you should ask before you take off:

  • How long has the operator been in business?
  • Has the operator been approved by a reputable rating service such as ARG/US or Wyvern?
  • What is the seating layout of the aircraft? What is its luggage capacity? Is the cabin height and width such that you’ll be comfortable?
  • What back-up aircraft will be available in the event of mechanical or other problems with the scheduled aircraft?
  • Is the price quote firm and, if so, for how long? What, if any, additional charges will there be?
  • What is the cancellation policy?

Butler advises travelers to carefully read and negotiate charter agreements and cautions against accepting what a provider may call its “boilerplate” terms and conditions. “Our goal is to find our clients the best price for their flight with an experienced operator on a well maintained and appropriately equipped aircraft flown by top notch pilots, all with a spotless safety record,” he writes. “That should be your goal as well.”

To read Butler’s complete analysis, download the full text version of this article below.

Owners Perspective: “How to Find the Right Air Charter”

Download in PDF format (16kb)

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