With the “Polar Vortex” making its way back to the United States this week, air travel passengers begin to prepare for the inevitable – winter travel disruptions, delays, and cancellations. Last winter, heavy snowfall, ice and freezing temperatures wreaked havoc for thousands of airline passengers who were left stranded after major airports closed and airlines cancelled flights.
Obviously, such extreme winter conditions impact private aviation too – but certainly not to the same extent and private jet charter is still able to keep passengers moving when airlines are frozen.
To help you survive the upcoming winter weather, here are some winter flight facts for you to be aware of.
Private Jets Can Still Fly While Others Are Grounded
We’re often asked at PrivateFly why so many private jet flights can still fly when many commercial flights are grounded due to weather. While safety is always the primary consideration when flying by private jet, and there will inevitably be times when extreme winter conditions will affect some private flights, most of the time, private jets can still fly while commercial airlines can’t.
This is due to two reasons: more airport options and flexibility
Private jets can fly to and from ten times more airports than commercial flights can around the world, due to their ability to take off and land on shorter runways. Snowfall and temperatures can vary considerably even over a relatively small area of the country, allowing a pilot to switch to an airport that is less affected than the original destination – an option not open to inflexible airlines. Additionally, at smaller airports, snow clearing and de-icing can actually happen quicker, as there is a much smaller area of taxiway and fewer aircraft to keep clear, making it easier to take off or land.
Private Jets and De-Icing
Just like a car in winter, a private jet left outside will be exposed to the weather and will become covered in ice and snow. Unlike a car, it is a legal requirement to remove all ice and snow from an aircraft before it takes off. This is because snow and ice can put extra weight on the aircraft and ultimately reducing its performance. Additionally, the aircraft’s controls can sometimes be blocked by ice and full movement may not be possible if not removed.
For your safety, aircraft de-icing is often required during icy and snowy conditions and in severe winter weather, multiple de-icings may be required.
While it cannot be predicted if and how much de-icing fluid is required prior to a private jet flight, the aircraft charterer is liable after the flight for the cost of any ground de-icing required and those de-icing charges are usually invoiced at cost price after the flight is completed.
To avoid these costs, PrivateFly offers a De-Icing Waiver as an insurance against potential charges. Learn more about De-Icing Private Jets and our De-Icing Waiver here, to prepare yourself before your next winter private jet flight.
Private Jets Can Help If You’re Stranded
The agility of private jet charter is a huge advantage when conditions begin to thaw after a bad winter storm. While many airlines and airports can take days to return to normal after closures, private jet flights are able to start operating almost immediately.
If you find yourself stranded with a commercial airline, even after the snow has cleared, booking your flight by private jet, either through the PrivateFly app or website, can help you find an aircraft that’s ready to go at the closest airport to you, in as little as 90 minutes.
To book your private jet charter this winter, contact us or call our 24/7 Flight Team at (866) 726-1222.