If it is your first time flying private, you are likely very excited and possibly just a little unnerved about what rules (both written and unwritten) you should be following. Since you don’t have to worry about a whole plane full of other passengers, there are changes in etiquette, but that doesn’t mean that etiquette goes out the window. Heed the following tips and board your first private flight with confidence and poise.
Flying private means that you aren’t subject to the same kind of strict rules surrounding baggage that you are on commercial planes. However, there may be luggage restrictions because of the size of the storage compartment and there may be weight restrictions because the plane is so much smaller. Avoid unnecessary headaches like having to leave luggage behind or ship it to your destination and pack only what you really need.
Don’t Be Late
Private jet charters will wait for you if you are a few minutes late. Trying to avoid this eventuality is courteous, however, as the pilot and staff are expecting to leave and return at a certain time. Don’t worry about arriving at the airport hours early like you would need to for a commercial flight, but try to be just a few minutes earlier than your scheduled departure time out of consideration for the staff.
Alert Crew When En Route
To make things move along even more swiftly, send an update to the flight crew when you are en route to the airport. This will allow the staff to set everything up to your specifications just in time for your arrival. The captain will also be able to communicate with air traffic control and get you off the ground that much sooner.
Make Requests Beforehand
If you have specific requests, let the crew know beforehand, preferably at the time when you book your flight. When flying private, it is perfectly acceptable to request food from a specific restaurant, ask to have particular music available, work out seating arrangements and set-up, and even request a certain brand of toilet paper. However, trying to ask for these things just hours in advance or demanding them while already in flight will either leave you disappointed or force your crew to scramble.
Be Patient and Courteous
When you are on the plane, you are welcome to chat with the crew and pilots. They hope to make your flight as comfortable and enjoyable as possible, but their first concern is your safety. Be aware of what the pilot and staff are doing before speaking to them or worrying about how long they are taking to fulfill a request. Taking off, making sure the plane is flying properly, addressing concerns regarding safety, and landing must take priority over your requests. Since there is limited staff, each staff member may be in charge of certain important tasks.
Let the Crew Do Their Jobs
When flying private, you are not expected to handle your own bags or bring your own lunch. Private charters cater to your requests so that you don’t have to worry about handling every little detail on the day of your trip. Allowing the crew to handle the tasks that they expect to handle is actually more polite, as the crew can go through the routines that they are used to. Don’t try to take over for crew members when they are cleaning up or serving, either, as there may be specific protocols in place.
Tip Your Pilot and Crew
Private pilots and crew generally take care of every aspect of your flight. Unlike with large commercial airplanes, just a few staff members take care of making sure the plane is well maintained, cleaning the plane, loading your luggage, fulfilling catering requests, and making sure that your flight is safe and comfortable. While tipping is not expected, the crew will appreciate it. There is no set customary amount to tip, so tipping is highly flexible when flying private.
If you are considering booking your first private flight, call today so that we can answer any questions you may have and get you started.