Often in our business it’s not the actual private jet passenger that we communicate with for the majority of the time. The personal assistant or executive assistant (let’s call them a PA for ease, although Chief of Staff can often feel more appropriate) is often the customer in our eyes.
The role of the PA has changed significantly over the last decade. No longer someone who takes instructions from the boss, he or she is now an absolutely key component in the commercial success of any business – often looking after more than one senior executive. It’s a complex and responsible role that makes everything happen as it should, when it should.
When it comes to booking travel, the PA will often be totally in charge of the research and booking process – and can be the ultimate decision maker. It’s a responsible role that can save a business a huge amount of money, by making the right supplier decisions. In our experience, PAs are commercially astute people who completely understand private jet pricing.
Then when the boss is on the move, the PA is the logistical Control Centre. A senior executive’s time is a highly priced commodity – every minute counts and efficient time management is absolutely critical. So we know that regular and timely communication with the PA is essential.
If a meeting overruns or traffic delays on the way to the airport delay a departure, the knock on effect on the rest of the schedule will need to be taken into account – and adjustments made quickly. This might mean the next meeting needs to be put back, a restaurant booking cancelled or changed, a scheduled phone call moved to the following day…etc. Luckily private jet travel can accommodate schedule changes easily, but we know it is absolutely critical to keep in regular contact with the PA and to inform them of every detail.
PrivateFly & PA Life magazine Business Travel Research
Finding out how the PA’s role is evolving when it comes to business travel is hugely interesting. That’s why we’ve teamed up with PA Life magazine to conduct some research into PAs and booking travel. Which forms of travel are the most problematic to arrange? How do you do your research? Do you use phone or tablet apps? How many people’s travel needs do you look after?
The results will be completely anonymous but PAs who take part can opt in to receive a copy of the results as a white paper – and to enter a prize draw to win a (well-deserved) magnum of champagne. The closing date is Friday 5th April. Take part in the survey here.
PrivateFly also offers a PA reward programme, with rapid response service tailored to meet their specific needs, and rewards for each flight booked. Find out more or for private jet or helicopter charter prices, contact our Operations team (24 hours) on +44 (0)1747 642 777.