Mechanical issues are inevitable in aviation. Airplanes are extremely complex, and safety regulations are equally thorough.
- No matter how new, expensive or well-maintained a plane is, it will break from time to time.
- What distinguishes good charter companies from the bad is not how many mechanical issues they have, but by how they recover from them.
- Every charter flight should have at least one backup aircraft in place, should a mechanical issue threaten the primary aircraft.
When a plane suffers a last-minute mechanical issue, the charter provider should immediately get to work:
- Confirm availability of backup options and relay to client
- Formally define refund details for the original aircraft
- Source new aircraft for better backup options and relay to client
In difficult circumstances (holidays, small-dollar flights) some companies handle last minute problems like this:
- Passengers arrive at the airport; pilots advise them of a problem
- Passengers call their booking contact to discuss backup options
- Client is informed that no backup option is in place, and there are no resources available to source a replacement aircraft.
The client is usually offered a refund in these circumstances, and that’s great – but they’re at the airport and have no plane!
For the charter company, it’s easier to lose the client than deal with the headache or spend resources to fix the problem.
The general rule of thumb is that if a commercial plane can’t fly because of weather, neither can a charter plane.
- Safety standards for private flights often exceed commercial regulations.
- Especially with winter trips and mountain destinations, winds, storms and visibility are consistent factors in jet charter mission planning.
- Wind and visibility can change while a plane is in the air, leaving passengers helpless to plan around the inconvenience.
A good jet charter broker monitors trips in progress, tracking the aircraft in flight until the plane has landed safely at its destination.
Knowing about diversions in real time, your broker can help in a variety of ways.
- Arrange ground transportation to final destination
- Source alternate aircraft options, if required
- Get the ball rolling on a refund, if applicable
Make sure your charter provider has backup options in place in advance of your trips – don’t be one of the many clients who calls us stranded at the airport!
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