Flexible Departure Times
Can I have a flexible departure time for my private jet flight?
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- What is a charter flight?
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- How much rest does the crew need before they can depart again?
It is possible to have a flexible departure when flying privately. Operators typically offer a two-hour window, but 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 at least one hour prior to the scheduled departure time and wait for up to two hours after that time. 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 then have the aircraft 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?
Ideally, private jet clients would have advised the operator or their broker that they are running late. It is possible to depart later provided the delay does not adversely affect another flight the operator may have scheduled later in the day; in such 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, although the industry standard is for the aircraft to wait for up to two 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 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, and 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