Most of us non-celebrities don’t get the chance to fly private whenever we need to get around.
But there may come a time in the future when you’ll be invited — by a business colleague or a friend — to take a flight on a private jet. This could be an intimidating experience for first-timers.
We chatted with Andrew Collins, CEO of on-demand jet membership company Sentient Jet, to get his advice for conquering this milestone with grace. Sentient’s Jet Card offers 25 hours of flying time with a membership that ranges from $A163,782 to $A459,661, depending on the quality of the aircraft.
Here’s what Collins recommends for your first private flight.
Don't be late.
'Without long security lines and airport delays, what can be a day-long affair when travelling commercially is often only a couple of hours when flying private,' Collins said.
Still, that's no excuse for showing up right at departure time. Collins recommends arriving about 20 to 30 minutes before your flight is set to leave, especially if your host is waiting on you.
'Luggage capacity depends on the jet, but many private jets can have less cargo or baggage space than commercial planes,' Collins said. 'I typically recommend private jet passengers pack as lightly as possible, especially when you are invited to travel as a guest and might not know what your host is planning to bring.'
Don't leave your ID at home.
You won't have to go through traditional airport security, but you will still need to have something to identify yourself, including a passport if you're travelling internationally.
'(Forgetting) this ... is something we see from time-to-time and it can cause a challenge for a first-time flyer or with a guest,' Collins said.
And though unlike on commercial flights, you can bring water and other liquids onboard, federal regulations on hazardous materials do still apply.
Dress the part.
'When you are invited to fly on someone's private jet, you are representing them, so I do recommend travellers dress up a bit when flying as a guest and I typically dress in business or business casual attire,' Collins said.
However, he adds, there's no need to go overboard with your getup if you're flying with family or close friends.
Don't embarrass your host.
'I often compare getting invited on a private jet to being invited to a dinner party, so similar etiquette is appropriate. For example, flying private isn't an excuse to drink heavily, so it's important be mindful not to overindulge,' Collins said.
'You should also check with your host before posting anything about the trip on your social media channels given the confidential nature of private flying.'
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