How long does a fuel stop for a private jet flight take?
The average fuel stop takes 45 – 60 minutes. To speed up fuel stops, the operator or pilots may call ahead. This way there will be a fuel truck waiting for the aircraft on arrival. For smaller jets, a fuel stop can take as little as 30 minutes.
Is there a difference between the amount of time it takes for domestic versus international fuel stops?
No. It takes the same amount of time for a domestic or international fuel stop.
For international flights, passengers may choose to do customs at the fuel stop if the service is available at that airport. If the airport does not have customs of if the passengers choose not to they’ll simply fuel up and continue their journey.
To make flights as fast as possible, incoming international charter flights are often planned so that passengers can go through customs during the fuel stop. For example, when flying from London to Miami, the aircraft may stop in Bangor, Maine for a fuel stop. This allows passengers to complete their custom checks in the US. This saves time as they will not have to perform said checks in Miami.
Fresh catering can be provided during fuel stops, too. Customs in most countries will remove all catering for international flights. Making these changes during a fuel stop saves even more time and gives you a chance to receive fresh catering.
Do passengers have to stay inside the airplane during the fuel stop?
It depends on the refueling company. Some companies will require the passengers to deplane, while some can refuel with passengers on board. When passengers deplane, they can’t leave the airport if they are on an international flight – unless they go through customs.
For domestic flights in the US, passengers can go into the fixed base operator (FBO). Here, they can use the restroom, grab some refreshments, and relax until it’s time to depart.
For air ambulances, if the fire department is at the aircraft, passengers are allowed to be on board.
Do pilots sit in the airplane during the fuel stop, or do they also get out?
Usually the captain will go inside, and the co-pilot will stay with the aircraft, unless they need to use the FBO restroom, snack machine etc.
Is a fuel stop worthwhile on a private jet flight?
If you are flying less than 4,000 miles, a fuel stop will usually offer bad value for money. Bear in mind that passengers will still pay for the private jet rental whilst refueling. If you’re on an hourly rate, this can quickly add up.
A more pragmatic way to travel on journeys of less than 4,000 miles would be to use a super-midsize jet or a large cabin jet. This allows you to fly non-stop, save time, and save money.