Waukesha County

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Beginner's Guide to Booking Charter Flights

 Whether you’ve been tasked with scheduling a last-minute trip for several members from your management team to deal with an issue in a remote location, bringing a prospective customer to your facility for a product demonstration, or minimizing the inconveniences felt by your business travelers due to the inflexible schedules and mounting delays experienced via commercial travel, leveraging corporate aviation may be just the ticket to help you and your business. But if your organization has never flown privately before, it’s often difficult to know where to begin.

That’s why we’ve created the following list of important information and elements to consider, to ensure you and your team get the most out of your first charter flight experience from planning and departure, in-flight, arrival and returning home.

Essential Information – Before you begin contacting local charter aircraft companies, it’s important to gather the following information, including:

  • Departure/Arrival Airport(s)
  • Departure/Arrival Date(s) and Time(s)
  • Number of Passengers
  • Legal Names of Each Passenger
  • Individual Passenger Weights (in pounds)
  • Dates of Birth for Each Passenger
  • Expected Luggage (number of bags and weight in pounds)
  • Lead Passenger Email Address and Day of Flight Phone Number

While departure and arrival airports, dates and times, and even passenger names and birthdates seems like fairly obvious information needed by a charter flight company, information regarding passenger weight and an overview of luggage is important to not only determine the type of aircraft that will be required to meet your needs, but it is mandated by the FAA to ensure safe and efficient flight.

Amenities – One of the many advantages offered by charter aircraft travel is access to several amenities to help make the most out of your travel experience, whether that means providing a productive atmosphere to conduct a business meeting or the opportunity for your team to rest and recharge during their trip home from a national sales event. However, it’s important to clearly articulate any of the following needs or requirements to your charter travel representative as early as possible when making your travel arrangements.

- Restrooms – While the majority of charter aircraft feature a lavatory, restrooms are not available on all aircraft. If having a restroom on board is essential for your trip, be sure to mention it.
- Workspace – If you are planning a working flight for your executives and managers, many aircraft are equipped with extended tray tables and credenzas, providing ample workspace for laptops, paperwork or a daily newspaper. Additionally, electrical outlets allowing for the charging of computers and other mobile devices are also available.
- Entertainment – If rest and relaxation are on the agenda, be sure to inquire about music, television, movies and gaming options that may be available during your flight.
- Beverages & Snacks – While most charter flights are stocked with an assortment of beverages (soda, juice, water, coffee and tea) and snacks (trail mix, cookies, crackers, pretzels, peanuts, granola bars), be sure to ask for specific items that your travelers prefer and alert the staff to any allergy concerns.
- Additional Catering – If you require full meals to be served during the flight, additional catering is typically available and best accommodated when discussed early in your travel planning.

Luggage and Additional Cargo – Since baggage capacity varies greatly depending on the type of aircraft, it is always advised to provide the charter company with your anticipated luggage weight and volume as far in advance as possible to determine whether or not all of your items can be transported on the aircraft or if other arrangements will need to be made.

Arriving for Departure – There’s no need to worry about long lines at the check-in counter or in security when flying on a chartered aircraft. As a result, travelers are typically encouraged to arrive approximately 15 minutes before your scheduled departure time. However, it’s always recommended to verify this with your carrier. Upon your arrival, your flight crew will be ready to handle and load any luggage or equipment you may have and get you safely on your way.

Ground Transportation – Charter flight companies will gladly arrange chauffeured transportation and rental cars for their guests. If you or a member of your team would like a rental car and have a preferred rental company or loyalty program membership, please discuss this with your representative, as arrangements can often be made to have the vehicle waiting plane-side, allowing you to skip the paperwork at the counter.

Pets – Most charter flights allow for pets not only to be on board, but they can enjoy the main cabin with other travelers. However, for safety reasons, pets must be restrained in accordance with FAA regulations for taxi, takeoff and landing. Additionally, smaller pets or anxious fliers are encouraged to be kept in a pet carrier for the duration of the flight. Finally, some companies may require a cleaning charge for pet travel, so it’s important to discuss this with your representative.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards chartering an aircraft for your next business trip or event, we can connect you with a consultant to help you evaluate all options available and plan a premier travel experience.

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