Instructions for organizing a flight on a private plane
It is quite possible to make an ideal flight – you just have to follow certain rules, pay attention to the most difficult moments at the stage of its preparation and implementation, and also organize timely feedback with the broker serving you. We have compiled accessible and understandable instruction for everyone on the organization of an ideal flight on a private plane, taking into account all the subtleties and nuances of this process.
Stage 1: Preparation
At the stage of flight preparation, the foundations are laid for the successful implementation of the flight. This process includes the preparation of a request for a flight, the selection of suppliers, the selection of the most suitable offers, the settlement of security issues and the legal subtleties of the registration of the service.
Step 1. Flight Request
Components of the request
- Date and time of departure. It is necessary to clearly indicate the date and time of departure to the broker, as well as ещ inform timely about their changes. Any inaccuracies may lead to an increase in the cost of the flight.
- Route: Departure and arrival airport. If there are several airports in the city of departure/arrival, then it is necessary to specify either a specific port or options for places that can be considered. If the aircraft is based at the wrong airport from where the departure is planned, then there is a high risk of additional costs for the approach.
- Type of aircraft. Inform about possible alternatives to the preferred types of aircraft. It is not uncommon for a passenger to receive an interesting offer about the possibility of choosing a smaller aircraft, but the broker simply did not consider alternatives because he was not notified of such options in advance.
- The number of passengers and the layout of the cabin. Sometimes the layout of the selected aircraft does not provide for comfortable accommodation of additional passengers, although the number of specified seats suggests this possibility. Specify the final number of passengers so that the broker can compare the data with the layout of the aircraft and its real capabilities.
- Years of production and renovation of the interior. The year of manufacture of the aircraft often tells the passenger about the "freshness" of the cabin, so they do not consider older planes. However, when evaluating the board, it is worth taking into account the degree of its operation. The interior of a new business jet may be often in a more worn-out condition than that of aged aircraft that has undergone a recent upgrade. That is why, it is worth paying attention not only to the year of production of the plane but also to the date of renewal of the cabin.
- Smoking on board. It is extremely important to clarify the possibility of smoking on the selected aircraft in order to correctly set the task for the broker to search for aircraft options. Even if you are confident in the habits of the main passenger and know that he does not smoke, there may be a smoking person among his guests on board. An unpleasant surprise for a passenger who has violated the rules of the "non-smoking" board may be a dry cleaning bill for the cabin, which he will receive after the flight.
- The deadline for making a decision. The best flight offers, as a rule, need instant confirmation. If you want to avoid a situation where, the passenger has finally confirmed one of the options, and that one has already been sold, it is necessary to set the timing of making a decision on the offer and indicate it to the customer.
Step 2. Consideration of the proposed options
After you send an application for the organization of a flight to several brokers, you will receive a number of selections with different options. However, not all of the boards can optimally meet your requirements. Moreover, some may have an inflated cost or hidden disadvantages. How can you make the right choice?
Factors affecting the price difference
- Year of manufacture. This characteristic of the aircraft may affect its cost. However, only a professional broker who has complete information on the fleet of aircraft on the market will be able to tell you how to choose a less expensive aged aircraft without loss of comfort and safety.
- Aircraft registration. Registration of an aircraft in a particular country and the material and non-material costs associated with this fact affect the final cost of the board. For example, this may explain the difference in price for the same modification of the aircraft of airlines from the EU and countries outside this association.
- Interior condition. The deterioration of the interior, as well as its renewal, significantly affect the cost. Relatively new salons can often be in much worse condition than the recently updated interiors of more aged aircraft.
- Total flight hours. A professional broker has detailed information about the total flight hours, the number of take-off and landing cycles for each of the proposed boards. Aircraft of the same year of manufacture at different operating frequencies may differ markedly in the state of wear. This affects not only the cost of the flight but also the likelihood of a breakdown.
- Management company. Aircraft are serviced by various management companies and the price of their services is often included in the cost of operating the aircraft. All this can also affect the total amount that the flight will cost.
- Reputation of the supplier. Sometimes a rather dubious supplier hides behind a too low price. He is forced to dump significantly in order to earn money, but he can let you down at the most inappropriate moment.
- Subjective factors. The business aviation market is also slightly influenced by subjective factors. The final cost, for example, maybe influenced by the desire of the owner of the aircraft to sell his board for rent. The same can be said about the pricing policy of the brokerage services.
Step 3. Execution of the flight contract
Points of the contract that you should pay special attention to
1) Settlements with third parties. The broker's responsibility for settlements with third parties should be spelt out in the contract. This is necessary so that the customer is not sent invoices for the services of other companies involved in the organization of the flight.
3) Force majeure and breakdowns. One of the most serious problems is the breakdown of the aircraft. In this case, the airline must provide a backup aircraft, water, hot meals and a hotel.
According to the contract for a business flight, the supplier undertakes:
- to provide another plane in a few hours after the breakdown;
- to provide a backup board, pay compensation or make a refund in case of a prolonged delay or in case of failure.
4) Weather conditions. Weather conditions often change the plans of pilots and passengers. So, if the weather is bad in the city where you are flying, then the plane can go to a spare airfield in a neighbouring locality. In such cases, the additional costs are often calculated in a 50:50 ratio between the supplier and the customer.
5) Payments and VAT. All flights are divided into international and domestic. International, unlike domestic flights, are not subject to VAT. Since the partners are mostly located abroad, the settlement with them is made in foreign currency. This entails additional conversion costs. The amount of costs depends on whether you pay personally or through a brokerage company. In the second case, the amount of expenses will be slightly higher. Anyway, you will need professional and competent advice from an accountant when making such a contract and studying issues related to VAT.
Stage 2: Implementation
The main stages of the flight implementation by the broker: important points where the participation of customers is extremely important.
Step 1. Preparatory work
First of all, the broker must:
1. Get information from the customer:
- passenger data;
- food/alcohol preferences, restrictions (medical, religious);
- additional requests: interior design, entertainment;
- additional information: transportation of weapons, animals, the need for Tax-Free registration.
2. Get a passenger profile - a special form containing the characteristics, habits and preferences of the passenger; it allows preparing for the service in the best way.
Then, the following data are exchanged between the broker and the operator:
Information from the operator:
1) flight briefing:
- a) tail number and flight number
- b) crew data
- c) data of handling companies and terminals
2) the schedule of the aircraft on the route
Information to the operator:
- food order
- requirements for the aircraft: interior design, additional wishes
- passenger data
After collecting data from the operator, the broker forms the necessary information package and transmits it to the customer.
Information to the passengers:
- flight briefing
- additional data: driving directions, instructions on paperwork and procedures (certificates, registration of weapons, Tax-Free, etc.)
Step 2. Securing the flight
There won’t be any problems during the flight if the broker once again checks the main applications aimed at organizing the flight and passenger service:
- requests for take-off, landing and parking of the aircraft;
- refuelling and processing;
- getting slots;
- requests to the aviation authorities for permission to fly along the route;
- requests to VIP terminals or VIP halls along the route;
- request for food;
- crew work schedule.
At this stage, you should get involved in the process and check important organizational information with the broker:
- the movement of the aircraft according to the declared schedule;
- obtaining the necessary permissions and slots.
This will allow the customer to make sure that everything is going according to the plan and preparations for the flight are going well.
Step 3. Preflight work
An important stage of work is pre-flight preparation. It is necessary to double-check all the main parameters and monitor the readiness of the aircraft and crew for flight. The broker is obliged to:
- check the readiness of the aircraft;
- instruct the crew on passenger service issues.
At this stage, you should also get involved in the process and perform several important actions:
- remind the passenger about timely departure to the airport;
- notify the broker in advance about cases of delay.
This will avoid a number of overlaps that may occur due to the fault of the passenger.
Step 4. Procedures before departure
The broker is obliged to actively engage in the process of sending passengers, simplifying all procedures as much as possible, and personally monitor the departure. Broker's tasks are:
- to register passengers in advance;
- to meet passengers at the airport;
- to monitor all the procedures;
- to record the actual departure time and inform all interested persons (who meet you or see you off) about it.
Step 5. Completion of the flight
After landing, the broker carries out the final work, which provides for the control of all processes related to the arrival of passengers. The main thing at this stage is to collect information that allows you to draw conclusions about the quality of the services provided and work on errors. Broker's tasks are:
- to inform about the correct arrival time for the greeters;
- to inform about boarding;
- to personally find out the impressions of passengers;
- to chat with the crew in order to listen to the feedback and suggestions.
Thus, the broker's careful and precise work on the flight, which was ordered, designed and prepared to take into account all the key nuances, will eventually make it possible to conduct an ideal flight.
Ways to optimize your flight budget
Besides selecting the most suitable option in terms of cost, there are a number of ways, tricks and actions that will allow you to minimize the costs of the flight.
- Be frank with the broker when booking a flight: clearly defined budget constraints, cost expectations, clarification of alternatives and readiness for them will facilitate the work of finding the most profitable options.
- Price comparison. Request a flight from at least several companies. It will allow you to compare prices and choose the best deals.
- A rational, not an image-based approach. When choosing an airplane, be guided by practical considerations, not fashion and prestige issues. So, you can order a less expensive plane, but capable of performing tasks and meeting all your comfort requirements.
- Using the Empty Leg system. Empty Leg is a kind of lottery that benefits only in case of he skilful use. You can find the optimal flight without being tied to dates, but by getting the most profitable round-trip flight for yourself. Otherwise, if you continue waiting for free planes, you risk getting into a situation where the deadlines are out and you need to fly. Act wisely, otherwise, you will have to overpay for a flight booked at the last moment.
- Refusal of a large amount of food. Do not order a large amount of food - according to statistics, up to 70% of onboard meals remain unclaimed. This is due to the fact that people do not eat as much as on earth when they are at altitude, under the influence of pressure.
- Giving up very expensive and rare alcohol. Do not order the most expensive alcohol available. The standard onboard bar always contains a range of drinks of a sufficiently high level. Your passengers may well be satisfied with this, and you will be able to save money.
- Hangar storage of the aircraft. You should provide for such aircraft storage in order to save on de-icing treatment in the winter season. In conditions of ice formation, an aircraft standing in the open air will be subjected to a lengthy and expensive processing procedure. The aircraft from the hangar does not need such careful processing. At the same time, the cost of hangar storage can be several times less than the cost of processing.
- Departure from the home airport of your aircraft. Choose the airport where your plane is based for departure. Sometimes you can get to another airport, but at the same time save several thousand euros on the approach of the plane to the nearest air harbour.
- Advance preparation of the flight on "high dates". People usually fly for 2-3 weeks on holidays. For example, in May, many people want to leave on the 1st and return on the 9th. At the same time, there are very few people who want to fly, say, on the 8th. There are two ways to benefit financially from this situation: book a flight on holidays within at least one and a half to two months before the trip; take off not on holidays, but at the end of "high dates" when the main flow of people returns back.
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