Are Non-public Jets Prepared For A Ranking System?
Sometimes it seems like review sites and product and service ratings have taken over the world. There are thousands of hotels on travel booking sites, each with reviews from people who have stayed there and plenty of pictures. The same applies to restaurant reservations and food deliveries. When I recently bought $ 25 filters for my air conditioner, I was able to read customer reviews on dozens of websites.
However, if you are booking a tens of thousands of dollars private jet charter and want to know what the inside of the plane looks like, you need pictures from brokers and operators.
How can you ensure that the quality of the private jets you have chartered will match the photos on the? … [+]
Let’s just say they’re not always new. Some of you might even say that there were times when the pictures you saw weren’t even of the same plane you got on! And yes, Argus, Wyvern, and IS-BAO offer safety assessments. However, they do not cover operational performance or when it is time to reupholster the seats.
Victor starts Client Preferred Operators
Earlier this month, UK-based charter broker Victor was the newest player to want to give you a bit more confidence that what you see is what you will get.
While this is not aircraft specific, the customer preferred operators must have a customer satisfaction rating of at least 90% for both aircraft quality and onboard service. Private jets from these operators are marked with a star symbol for every offer to the customer. In addition, operators are required to demonstrate a low level of technical and flight recovery issues.
Both elements are critical. While a worn cabin can be annoying, a last-minute mechanical cancellation can result in thousands of extra dollars being paid for a replacement aircraft. As you probably know, most on-demand charter flights have to pay the difference if your plane breaks down and the replacement jet costs more, at least if you want to fly right away.
Victor’s requirements to be a top notch operator include having operated at least 10 flights with feedback from at least five customers over a period of 48 months.
“Premium” charter from FXAIR
The move follows the introduction of the premium charter broker FXAIR by Directional Aviation in July via the OneSky Flight Group, which includes Flexjet, Sentient Jet and PrivateFly.
“Best plane at the best price, not the cheapest plane at the best price,” said Greg Slow, President of FXAIR, about how his approach will differ from the market as a whole.
While it is not uncommon for broker sites to have access to over 10,000 jets, Slow said he would sell planes from “the world’s safest and most trusted operators” from a pool of around 1,200 aircraft. These planes are being checked to make sure the cabin photos are real, the company said.
XO is refining its approach to evaluating private jets
Victor and FXAIR are not alone. Thomas Flohr, the founder and chairman of Vista Global Holdings, used a press conference during the largest trade fair in the industry last fall to introduce “quality levels” in his XO brokerage unit.
The labels Classic, Premium, and Luxe would help charter customers better understand the relationship between what they pay for and what they find when they show up at the FBO.
Classic planes have been described as “the cheapest and most practical way to get private”. The premium label would mean an “industry-leading collection of sought-after newer aircraft, ranging from light jets to extremely long-range aircraft, all with modern cabins and WiFi access.”
At the highest level, the Luxe label would offer “the pinnacle of charter … the latest in aircraft”, from mid-size jets to extremely long range options.
As I was writing this article, I could only find one reference to Luxe. When asked what happened to the lower tiers, a spokesperson told me, “Based on customer feedback, we focus on making our experience more detailed than just three tiers, evaluating specific aircraft options and operators rather than broad service categories for class-based ones Options. The only badge we’ve kept is for Luxe, which fits certain aircraft and operators that are exceptional. “
Rating of Private Jet Charter Brokers
It is often difficult to find a lot of third-party feedback on brokers and operators, let alone reviews on specific aircraft. Out of 86 leading private jet charter brokers that I researched, only 49 have Facebook reviews, mostly with just a few reviews. Only 10 were rated by Trustpilot and only 14 by the Better Business Bureau. About a quarter have Glassdoor reviews that might give you feedback on what it’s like to work there, but don’t say much about the cabin or the operational reliability of the aircraft sold.