By Ben Schooley
With soaring fuel costs, ever-increasing security protocol and a never ending array of new fees, many travelers are finding private jet charters to be the perfect solution to their air travel needs, both for personal as well as business trips.
The biggest hurdle for most people that are considering a private jet charter is cost. Private jets are seen as luxuries that only the super-rich can afford, but that’s not always the case. Brian Cook, President of JetLinx of San Antonio, says, “It’s only expensive if you don’t value your time. If paying a little extra to make a trip that will get you back to your family/business and allow you to be more productive…that’s a price I’d happily pay.” Tripp Holmgrain, with Flightime (also in San Antonio), agrees. “When time savings and opportunity costs are taken into account, air charter can not only become extremely affordable and cost effective, it can also become quite profitable. With air charter you are able to conduct meetings in three different hard to reach locations a day instead of needing three travel days per location. Imagine the savings in salary and benefits of highly compensated employees; imagine all of the additional business and deal making opportunities with your additional reach and saved time. Air charter can also cut your travel time by 2/3 each way, enabling you to “double” your weekend or working time.”
Fully outfitted, these jets are far from what you’re used to with regular commercial flights. Typically outfitted with leather seating, hardwood and carpeted interiors, WiFi, and personalized service, traveling via private jet is the ultimate in personal attention and luxury. Holmgrain continues, “It’s traveling on your itinerary and on your schedule. The entire trip revolves around you and your needs, not the airline’s needs. For most, the trip becomes one of the most enjoyable parts of the adventure, instead of one of the most stressful.”
San Antonio International Airport features an array of private jet charters, reaching a variety of destinations. Cook explains, “We can get you pretty much anywhere. Our most popular destinations continue to be the main metropolitan areas of Houston and Dallas, but we also frequently take passengers to Cabo San Lucas, Vail, and even to Canada.” Holmgrain explains that the jets also make some of the more remote areas accessible. “We have been seeing a lot of flights to South and West Texas, which have large oil interests. Passengers have been taking trips to Laredo, Alpine, Fort Stockton, and areas that they otherwise would have to drive to. Again, it’s a huge time saver, and that brings a tremendous amount of value.”
Safety is always an issue that travelers consider, and the private jet charter industry is no different. Pilots undergo the same rigorous training as commercial pilots do, and the jets are given the same maintenance and care. Pilots are also trained in simulators every six months and must pass specific criteria to be certified to fly specific aircraft such as smaller jets. Both Flighttime and Jet Linx can boast of pristine safety records. Whether for business or pleasure, private jets prove to be the perfect solution when schedules and budgets allow. Traveling on your schedule, with your needs in mind, and doing so in complete luxury makes the charter jet industry so unique and so desired. For more information, please visit www.jetlinx.com/san-antonio and www.flightime.com.