Frequently Asked Questions

The Cessna Conquest II in the bright Florida sun

Jet Card Programs

THEY ARE A HORRIBLE GIMMICK!   Here is why you are WAY too smart for that non-sense…A jet card is a way to sell you an ‘Easy’ way to travel at a predictable rate.  It is ‘Easy’ for everyone… at your expense and risk.

Brokers (and Operators) who sell “Jet Cards” have figured out what the worst case price scenario is and have used that as the basis for their rate.  A Broker (one who shops for an Operator for you) has ZERO control over the actual price he or she will have to pay to ‘buy’ your flight.

The true hourly price of a Charter flight (what your Broker pays to an Operator for the plane you are going to use to redeem your flight hours) is predominately determined by two simple but highly variable forces.

01. Supply and Demand

In peak times the cost of a flight from the actual Operator will naturally go up. A flight to Kentucky timed for the Kentucky Derby will cost more than a flight to Kentucky in the middle of August.  A flight to Florida during spring break will cost substantially more than a flight to Florida during September.  Realistically, a flight to anywhere during the Kentucky Derby (or other major event) will cost substantially more.  There are a relatively few planes available for hire on any given day.  These peak times and events are often exactly when you want to travel too.  During peak national events and peak travel dates, the strain on the supply is a powerful market force.   Do you really think your Jet Card issuer is willing to take a loss?

02. Jet Fuel Prices

They adjust nationally every Tuesday. Fuel cost is the biggest variable in the total cost equation.  The actual cost of Jet Fuel from location to location can vary by over 100%.  As an example, the retail cost of a gallon of Jet fuel in August 2014 is $8.41 in Milwaukee and only $3.99 per gallon at another airport only 24 miles away.  This may seem like an extreme example but it is much more common than you would guess.  The jet you are going to fly burns hundreds of gallons per hour.  If you buy a Jet Card that never expires then you are partners in the gamble that Jet fuel prices are steady, consistent and predictable.  This is a HORRIBLE BET!

If you are looking at buying an ‘Easy’ set price for your Private Air Travel needs, consider if the company selling that to you is taking you for a sucker or might not be around long enough for you to use all of your time.  The cost to fly from point A to point B is in constant flux.  You are entitled to take advantage of cheaper travel during the non-peak times and events.

One of the best Jet Card programs (sounds funny for me to even say that) actually talks about your money being in escrow at a well-known international bank for your safety in the event that they (the Jet Card provider) goes out of business.

You don’t really think you are getting the best option when the Jet Card provider needs the cheapest option to maximize his margin especially since you are guaranteed to be his customer until your hours are up!

You are way too smart to be fooled by an ‘easy’ gimmick!

Brokers vs. Operators

Ask if your private air travel contact has an Air Carrier Certificate or is associated with a company that has one.  FAA Licensed Air Carriers understand the Private Air Travel industry the way a Doctor understands medicine.

It is a very expensive and time intensive (years) process to become licensed by the Federal Government’s FAA to fly passengers for hire… and for good reason – YOU!

An Air Carrier owns or has an exclusive lease on aircraft that they operate under very careful oversight of the US government.  Read all of the small print in your contracts carefully to fully understand each party’s limitations and where you and your private air travel contact fit into the system.

It takes years to get the FAA to authorize a person or a company like Great Flight to Operate and control an aircraft used for hire.  There is more to safe air travel than having a nice website and a list of companies operating aircraft.

The standard that the FAA sets for an Operator like Great Flight is rigorous and thorough.  They check and verify the Operator’s company, records, aircraft, logs, maintenance practices, crew and company management, and drug testing.  Only after careful and complete examination that is done initially, periodically as well as randomly can an Operator like Great Flight get into and stay in the business of private air travel for hire.

An Operator like Great Flight does not just see your travel as a commodity.  Great Flight does not just look for the cheapest price from anybody who is available.  An Operator like Great Flight will naturally look for the best fit for you within its own fleet and if there is not an excellent match for your travel need, then Great Flight will reach out to other Operators directly who have the best match for your needs.  Because Great Flight is an Operator and the other party that they reach out to is an Operator, there is an inside knowledge of all of the factors that contribute to a safe, comfortable and economical flight.  Great Flight is an FAA approved Air Carrier and we strongly believe that you and your travel need boutique service.  We feel this way even when we have to shop on the market for the best aircraft to meet your latest travel request and we know that sometimes the cheapest option is not the best value when measured in safety, comfort and convenience.

Because Great Flight is an Operator (FAA Air Carrier), we also sell some of our flights to other Operators.  When we need to buy a flight for a travel itinerary we get a healthy discount because we offer a discount to those other Operators when they buy a flight from us.  This means that when you contact Great Flight, we are able to find the best match for your flight request and if it happens to be with another Operator, we get you a final price that is typically lower than you would get if you contacted the other Operator directly and we save you the time of shopping dozens of Operators and reading dozens of contracts.

Our Great Flight clients like the idea of working with a US Government licensed FAA Air Carrier (Operator).  Operators typically only have operational control over a handful of aircraft but when it comes to shopping for your travel needs, they have excellent knowledge of which other Operators provide the safest and best service.

Great Flight is an FAA Licensed Air Carrier that is owned by a Pilot and Aircraft Manager.  We are pleased and honored to be involved in helping you with safe, comfortable and convenient private air travel needs.

The Great Flight team preparing for a flight

What are the Advantages of a Charter Flight?

  • In the plane within a few minutes of arrival
  • In the air within a few minutes of boarding
  • On your schedule
  • Flexibility to wait for you to be ready – no need to rush the meeting or cut the fun short
  • Flexibility to get you much closer to the actual destination
  • Flexibility to change the passenger(s) with minimal notice
  • In your prearranged ground transportation (often wing side) upon arrival
  • There are well over a hundred additional airports in Florida alone that we can service
  • No TSA headaches
  • Complete privacy and discretion
  • Bose Headsets on the plane allow you to hear the action between us and Air Traffic Control
  • The view is better on our plane than a commercial airliner

What are the Advantages to Private Aviation?

Private aviation will soon become your favorite way to travel if it isn’t already. This fantastic way to fly means you can typically depart within minutes of your arrival, you never wait for the plane – it waits for you (on your schedule), and there are no delays (except the ones you ask for).Should we encounter bad weather, we have options:

  • We can leave early to arrive before the bad weather
  • We can wait for the weather to improve
  • We can use another airport nearby that has better conditions

If the weather is safe but not great, you have options – it is your Great Flight. Compare this to airlines that only care about the bottom line.  If the airport is open, they will go even at the expense of a nice ride.  They don’t care about you getting a Great Flight.

Your Experience. Your Great Flight

You are sure to know everyone on the flight with you by first name… including the pilot.You wouldn’t put strangers in your car so you shouldn’t travel with them for hours in tight quarters with no way to pull over and let them out.

You don’t take the public bus to get around town; you shouldn’t feel forced to do it with air travel either.

Imagine your car pulls right up to the wing; people greet you with a warm smile, dignity and the red carpet treatment (often literally).  All security checks were done transparently, ahead of time and behind the scenes.  You step right into the plane and are in the air within minutes.  Onboard is exactly the fresh catering you enjoy.  On the other end of the flight, your ground transportation pulls right to the wing and you are on your way without delay or detour.

With Great Flight, you travel from where you are to where you want to go at a time that is convenient for you.  You will travel with whoever you invite – no strangers on your flight.  We value you, your family, your guests, your comfort and your time.

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