How To Choose a Charter Broker For Your Private Flight

Business aviation is a huge (and growing) industry – and the on-demand private jet charter market is a key driving force.

This year it’s estimated that more than 1.5 million flying hours will be flown by on-demand charter clients in the US, using almost 2,000 FAA-licensed charter operators, and over 11,000 aircraft. So it’s no surprise that, in this large and fragmented market, most flights are arranged via a charter broker.

The role of the broker is to help you – the client – to filter and find the best option for you, from this overwhelming choice. That’s a position of great trust and responsibility – one that we take very seriously here at PrivateFly.

And while digital transformation in our industry has brought many advantages and a very definite shift towards online booking (as noted in our 2018 Review), it’s also made it easier for some less-reputable charter brokers to misrepresent themselves and what they offer – in the process leaving a bad taste in customers’ mouths.

Recognizing this, the United States Department of Transportation announced last year that new regulations regarding charter brokers would come into effect in February 2019. While self-regulation and voluntary accreditations already exist, these new rules, (called ‘Part 295’) are the first DoT regulations brought in specifically for charter brokers.

How Does Part 295 Regulate Charter Brokers?

The new changes stipulate that brokers must disclose:

  • Name and legal DBA of the operator used per flight
  • Capacity in which the broker is acting; meaning, is the broker an agent of the operator or an agent of the end-customer?
  • Any additional liability insurance the broker carries

If the customer so requests, the broker must also disclose:

  • Any corporate or business relationships with the operator that have a bearing on the selection, when acting as an agent of the end-customer
  • Total cost of the flight (though this does not have to be fully itemized)
  • Amount of any fees that end-customer would have to pay directly, including deicing, hangar fees, catering costs, etc.

Most reputable brokers (and certainly PrivateFly) have been following these practices all along – keeping close to these guidelines ensure safety, enhance transparency, customer satisfaction, and overall smooth sailing.

What Else Should You Look for in a Charter Broker?

These are the best practice attributes we recommend you look out for in a good charter broker.

Commitment to Safety

PrivateFly only uses experienced, licensed operators – and we continually vet these partners to ensure a continued level of quality.

For our part, we are an ARGUS rated and Wyvern accredited broker – these are third-party aviation bodies that regularly audit our business practices & ensure brokers adhere to best industry practices.

Time-tested Experience

PrivateFly has been in business for over 10 years – in fact, we celebrated our 10th birthday in 2018! We are also now part of Directional Aviation, a long-established group of business aviation providers that also includes Flexjet and Sentient Jet.

This means that we have amassed great relationships with operators and partners, and cemented ourselves in the industry as a leader and example of best practices.

A Passion for Aviation

Our expert Flight Team is not only knowledgeable about aviation – many are private pilots, aerospace engineers, or avid “plane-spotters”! Each Flight Adviser can readily assist with almost any aviation-related question you might have.

Personal Attention

When it comes to a good broker, detail counts. Our team is attentive to every last detail of a client’s private jet flight; from flying our furry friends to arranging special amenities and everything in between.

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We also know that last-minute changes can be inevitable, which is why we keep watch 24/7 to handle any and all requests at all hours.

Honesty & Trust

It sounds so simple, but making honesty a marker for good business practice creates a relationship of trust between broker and client.

At PrivateFly, we’re transparent and upfront about how we operate. We’ll always show all costs/fees/taxes associated with a quote (no nasty surprises later down the line), and stay in contact with you through the booking and flying process.

Active in the Industry

A good broker should be one that actively participates in industry bodies, events and debates.  At PrivateFly we’ve always immersed ourselves in business aviation and prioritised good industry relationships – by actively participating in the organizations that provide structure and communication across our industry.

In the US, we are members of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA); a preferred supplier to the Virtuoso travel network; and members of the Better Business Bureau, as a symbol of not only our commitment to better business practices in aviation, but in business writ large.

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In the UK and Europe, our CEO Adam Twidell chairs the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) sub-committee for Charter Brokers; and we are an active member of industry body BACA.

Have any additional questions or need a private jet charter quote? Contact us online or call us at (866) 726-1222.