Can I have a flexible departure time for my private jet flight?
It is possible to have a flexible departure when flying private. Typically, operators offer a two-hour window. You can request a longer window as long as it doesn’t interfere with the maximum crew duty day or their next scheduled flight.
Private charter aircraft should generally be available one hour before scheduled departure and wait for up to two hours after your scheduled departure time. That’s a standard window for an aircraft awaiting the passenger. If you show up early by an hour or less, you should be able to board the plane and depart as long as slots are not an issue.
If you’re late, the aircraft and pilots should wait for you. If you’re chartering a jet to attend a meeting and returning the same day, and you’re unsure when the meeting will finish, the pilots will wait at the airport for you.
Often, pilots will give the passengers or the lead passenger their phone number. The client can then inform the pilots when their meeting has finished to let them know they’re on their way to the airport. The pilots will warm up the aircraft and be ready when the passengers arrive.
What if the private jet clients arrive late or later than two hours than the expected departure time, what happens?
Private jet clients would have to let the operator, or their broker know that they are running late. It is possible to depart later provided the delay does not cause a delay in another flight the operator may have scheduled later in the day. In these cases, the operator has to leave by a particular time to make their next flight on time.
There are exceptions to rule. Some operators such as JetSuite allow only a 20-minute window before taking off without passengers. Industry standard is for the aircraft to wait for up to 2 hours if the client is running late.
If clients are delayed and miss the agreed upon window for departure, it is known as a no-show, and they will have to pay the cancellation fees.
When there is a private jet charter restriction on the departure time, does the operator or the broker let the client know in advance?
The broker or the operator should let the client know if there are any restrictions on the time of departure. Several factors could affect the flexibility in departure time. Restrictions could arise due to:
- Airport operational hours
- Availability of slots
- The operator’s next scheduled trip that they have to leave for
- Delays that cause pilots to exceed the maximum allowable crew duty day