More than almost any other industry I can think of, private jet travel is absolutely centred around customer service. It’s a bespoke approach to aviation, designed around the needs of the end user.
The captain is in charge of the flight from a technical and safety perspective. But when it comes to the finer details, there is only one person calling the shots: the customer.
As part of the standard service, private jet travel offers a wider choice of airports; flight times to suit (which can be changed at short notice); rapid aircraft boarding; driving up to the aircraft steps and on board catering according to personal tastes.
But every customer is different and every private jet flight is unique.
At PrivateFly we’re used to sourcing a specific newspaper (sometimes not today’s); a particular brand of dog food for the pet travelling on board; or an unusual brand and colour of hire car to be waiting on arrival.
However here are a couple of our recent (more challenging) requests to make our customer’s flight perfect:
The Fresca run
One of our US-based customers who flies in Europe a few times each year had a special catering request. His flight the next day had a guest on board who liked to drink Fresca (a citrus fruit flavoured soft drink). Could we please arrange for a few cans to be on board for tomorrow’s flight.
The only slight problem is that you cannot buy Fresca in Europe. Similar drinks are available, but similar is not good enough. PrivateFly’s Operation team like a challenge and we were determined to source Fresca for the flight.
After an exhaustive search of every specialist American grocery in London it was clear: London does not do Fresca. The PrivateFly team was almost defeated, but an idea presented itself: We could fly in the Fresca.
A quick check of private jets leaving the USA for London in the next 12 hours was disappointing; nothing was going our way it seemed to get Fresca on board.
But like many times in my life, my military background proved invaluable. A quick Facebook alert and a number of ex-RAF pilots, including many British Airways pilots, were pulled into the challenge. Within 3 hours, two crates of Fresca was being whisked on-board the flight deck of BA Flight 178 from New York to Heathrow.
Head of PrivateFly (Special) Operations Algy Trotter was waiting in the LHR arrival hall. A quick handshake and the Fresca was in a taxi with Algy from Heathrow to London City Airport.
With London traffic unpredictable at the best of times, Algy knew he had only had a maximum of 30 minutes flexibility in the Fresca delivery schedule. And not one to overlook the finer details, he had an ice box waiting.
With 20 minutes before the passengers arrived, PrivateFly had a stock of chilled Fresca on board, ready for departure.
One of our regular business clients eschews any form of catering but when it comes to tea, he has very particular tastes. We ensure his favourite herbal blend (only available from a specialist tea shop in London’s Covent Garden) is on every flight, regardless of which aircraft he chooses.
And when it comes to special occasions, a specialist touch is often required. For another client’s 50th birthday, we arranged for her to fly 50 guests as a private charter to Florence (on a 70 seater aircraft).
She wanted a birthday cake with candles on board, which would usually be against fire regulations. But by extensively researching the problem we realised we could light the candles if certain conditions were met, including having a qualified fireman on board.
The guests had no idea what was involved in getting that birthday cake alight (and the fireman and his girlfriend enjoyed a free weekend in Florence). That’s the way we like it!
To discuss your bespoke needs for a private charter flight, contact us or speak to our Operations team (24 hours) on +44 (0)1747 642 777