10 Things You Need to Know Before Your First Private Flight

Flying on a private jet is now easier than ever. There is no need to invest in your own plane or deal with the gigantic maintenance and running costs. Thanks to services like Jet Car Membership Program, private jets are just a few clicks away. You get to enjoy all the benefits of having a private jet without dealing with the excessive costs and other hassles.

Booking a private flight for the first time is both exciting and daunting. You have set your departure airport and time; you are ready to enjoy your first experience flying private. Before your first flight, here are the 10 things you need to know about flying on a private jet.

1. Limit Your Luggage

While you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to baggage, it is still necessary to limit the number of bags you carry when plying on a private jet. Most private jets available through services such as the Jet Card Program are small. They can accommodate up to 20 people, but they are not designed for big bags.

Aside from limiting the number of bags you carry, it is also better to use soft bags rather than hard cases or luggage. Soft bags are easier to fit into the limited baggage space. You are helping the aircrew prepare the plane for departure faster too.

You should also consider the number of people traveling with you. The weight limit of smaller airplanes means they cannot carry as many people as the bigger planes.

2. Don’t Worry About Drinks and Snacks

You don’t have to sneak snacks or drinks onto a private jet; they will be provided for you in most cases. As mentioned before, services such as a Private Jet Card Program gives you the benefits of a private jet – including your drinks of choice – without the hassle.

You can ask for specific drinks and meals to be prepared if you like, but make sure you notify the service provider or aircrew beforehand. Simply wait for the crew to offer you drinks and meals once the airplane reaches a safe cruising altitude.

3. Check the Parking Arrangement

Whether you can drive up to the plane depends on a number of things. First of all, some airports give private flyers access to the runway, so you can drive all the way to where the airplane is parked and board the plane right away; you won’t even have to worry about going through security and checks.

Other airports offer a special gate or line in the terminal, but you still need to go through security checks and the terminal itself. At a certain point, you will be taken to the airplane using a special car or other means of transport.

The service provider you use has the information you need. Be sure to ask for the parking arrangements before your departure day, so you know exactly what to do.

4. Don’t Forget Your Documents

Not having to go through security at the airport doesn’t mean you can fly without proper identification. You still need a valid ID or a passport depending on where you are flying. A valid ID is used to verify your identity; the aircrew or the pilot will ask for such identification.

You can also present your Private Jet card to confirm that you are the one flying, but make sure you carry a valid photo ID just in case. For international flights, a passport along with a valid visa (if one is required) is essential.

5. About Tipping the Crew and Pilot

One of the most common concerns about flying on a private jet for the first time is tipping. Should you tip the aircrew and the pilots? Tipping is not required, but it is a nice gesture that is highly recommended. According to private jet pilots, tips of $20 to more than $500 are quite common.

It’s the gesture that counts. If you love the flying experience and you get exemplary services throughout the journey, be sure to tip and show appreciation.

6. Notify the Crew

Your airplane will be ready to depart at the predetermined time. It is a good idea to notify the crew when you’re on your way to the airport so that they can start preparing for the flight right away. Even when you’re on time, telling the crew that you’re on your way to the airport is a good idea.

You can also depart earlier than scheduled. Once again, all you need to do is notify the crew of the change in schedule and they will get the airplane ready for you.

7. Understand the Policies

Different service providers have different policies regarding departure time and delays. Some private jet companies limit delays to a maximum of two hours, after which you are charged with extra fees. Other services like the Private Jet Card Membership mentioned earlier have a more relaxed policy in place.

Make sure you understand the policy for schedule changes before you make a reservation. This will help you deal with emergencies – when you need to stay for another meeting, for example – without a problem.

8. Dress for the Flight

Since you and your travel companions are the only ones using the airplane, you can choose to dress for comfort. That said, make sure you bear in mind the kudos of flying in a private jet when choosing what to wear for the flight.

You want to dress for the occasion that you’re traveling to when you’re on a tight schedule. This way, you can get off the plane and quickly get to the business meeting or your hotel, without having to change or make other preparations.

9. The Cruising Altitude

Wait until the plane reaches its cruising altitude before doing certain things. If you want to have some drinks, talk to the pilot, or go to the bathroom, you will be notified when the plane reaches the cruising altitude. You can feel the change in ambience too; smaller planes tend to be agiler (jumpy) during take-off and landing.

With smaller private jets, you also have the option to fly at a lower altitude. If you want to enjoy the scenery, for instance, you can ask the pilot to take a more scenic route to the destination.

10. Ask and You Shall Receive

The most important thing to keep in mind when flying private is, well, you’re flying private. The entire flying experience is meant to be tailored to your personal taste and requirements. If you want things done a certain way, if you need a particular red wine that you would like to be served during the flight, or if you have other specific requests, simply ask and the crew will accommodate them for you.

That’s part of the beauty of flying on a private jet. You can choose the airplane you want, the departure time, and airport that best suits your trip, and customize the entire flying experience to your liking. Services such as the Jet Card membership program offer immense customization options too. Once you have the Jet Card membership in force, you can have an airplane standing by at any airport, fully customized to your liking, without spending too much.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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