tcfc424
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:56 am

Chartering Question

Fri Aug 24, 2007 3:11 pm

I know the old adage, if you have to ask, you can't afford it. BUT, I am on several committees with the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo and we also have an auction for livestock. Many groups are formed and they do fundraisers to be able to buy at the auction. That said, here are my chartering questions.

#1- What is the cost for say an MD-80 or a 737 in economy class config for say AUS-LAS (NFR timeframe) or AUS-DEN (National Western timeframe). These would likely be out on a Friday and back on Sunday or Monday.

#2- How is payment made? Is a deposit required initially, and if so, what %? Also, is the full amount due upon charter, or is it like a payment plan (10% deposit, 25% due 90-days out, etc.) Obviously, the flights would be paid for in advance...just wondering how FAR in advance.

#3- Can I charter an aircraft and sell tickets on that aircraft (to my fellow committee members) or do I need a travel agent or a licensee? Or is that something the charter company can handle?

#4- When chartering an aircraft, can a sponsor provide beverages or food (Budweiser is our major sponsor and might donate beverages) and we all like Driftwood's Salt Lick barbecue! Or does that have to go through the airlines/charter company's procurement department at their rate?

I ask these questions because I was considering a fundraiser by chartering an aircraft from AUS-LAS for the National Finals Rodeo (~100+/- pax) and working a hotel deal. Based on the prices and # of people, set a rate and use the rest as auction money. Plus, it would be a great time for everyone to bond...in that great aluminum tube!

I am not looking to be flamed here, just trying to think outside the box. We have many members that travel to the NFR every year, and it would be great to capitalize on that for the purpose of providing money for the auction (college finds, etc). Some do golf tournaments, shooting tournaments, raffles, etc. This would be an interesting and unique idea.

Mike S. in AUS
 
ADXMatt
Posts: 513
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:07 pm

RE: Chartering Question

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:10 pm

To get pricing you would need to contact each airline directly for a quote.
There are also many aircraft brokers out there that will do the "leg work" for you and then they will add a mark up to the price for their profuit. This may be a better deal as they could possibly have some buying power for you.

You would pay per flight hour for the "live" leg as well as any positioning flights required to get the aircraft from where it is to where you are and then from the destination back to where it was needed.

You would get an "all inclusive" rate.

Yes you would need to make a deposit usually via a wire transfer. This would be negotiated in your contract.

Also ask about "selling" the tickets as insurance varies and rules could be different from state to state.

You would need to ask about the beer thing as liquor laws are very strict. Generally if you want catering you can "buy" whatever you want to spend.


I hope this helps you....

I don't have any recomendations for a broker. You might want to do a google search.
 
oly720man
Posts: 5743
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Chartering Question

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:14 pm

First stop, I'd try someone like these (with a B737, based in Dallas) and ask all your questions.

http://www.ameristarjet.com/

I would hazard a guess that, unlike a scheduled airline, you would have more flexibility in paying for what you want to have.
wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
 
corey07850
Posts: 2335
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:33 am

RE: Chartering Question

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:33 pm

I'll suggest one thing... You are looking at spending anywhere from 150k-200k, and unless you have the funding for this, don't even bother. It's not fair to charter brokers/airlines to ask them to get quotes and such if you can't afford it. You will be expected to pay for the trip upfront once the agreement is signed, so it's not smart to have to rely on selling tickets to cover the cost.

Ironically, we can book 130 people on a 727/737 for the same price or cheaper than sending only a couple people on a GLEX -- go figure
 
tcfc424
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:56 am

RE: Chartering Question

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:45 pm

I emailed Ameristar along with Pace. I figure thats a start. I am also going to contact SY and TZ, since they have sizeable charter operations. Hopefully they don't laugh me off the planet. I guess we'll see...you never know until you try, and the worst they can do is say NO!, Right? Thanks for the information guys, and if anyone has information to add....PLEASE DO!!!!

Mike S. in AUS
 
tcfc424
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:56 am

RE: Chartering Question

Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:54 pm

Corey,

I don't mean to waste anyone's time...I understand the cost involved, as does everyone else. I want to know what I need to do to make it happen. If I need to pre-sell (read:collect) then I will...I just need to know, that's why I am on this board asking those who know. Selling tickets is going to be the basis...I just need to know when I have to have the tickets sold by so that I can pay the charter company, etc. I also need to know if I can legally sell tickets (or what I need to do to be able to do that). Again, I am new to this, and it is in the thought process. I also need to have an idea, so I can fugure out how to best manage/implement this strategy. I also wonder if I might not be better off going to a consolidator to get the whole package (ala Funjet, etc.). These are the questions I am asking, and if someone feels I am wasting their time, more than likely they will tell me!

Mike S. in AUS
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: Chartering Question

Fri Aug 24, 2007 7:01 pm

Quoting TCFC424 (Reply 4):
I emailed Ameristar along with Pace. I figure thats a start. I am also going to contact SY and TZ, since they have sizeable charter operations.

I was in a similar situation a few years ago and worked with Blue Star Jets. The deal didn't end up happening due to underestimated demand on my part, but Ken Indart at Blue Star Jets was terrific to work with.

Tom.
 
tcfc424
Posts: 444
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:56 am

RE: Chartering Question

Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:00 am

Thanks tds...I appreciate the info.
 
crownvic
Posts: 1744
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Chartering Question

Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:29 pm

Be very careful about how you go about this. It is one thing to charter an aircraft. It is another thing to start selling passage..I believe once you start doing this, you're now in DOT territory which means legal binding. I believe you will have to have everyone sign a TPA (Tour Participation Agreement) and the funds will have to go into an approved DOT escrow.

I am not trying to scare you, but the DOT really buckled down on this sort of activity in the 1980's & 90's when operators were collecting money from passengers, not flying the flight, then keeping the money! That is how you are going to be looked upon. It is not as easy as just putting an ad in a local paper and selling seats. You cannot legally do that. The information that the above A.netters provided is good, but be careful! Your good intentions could land you in jail!
 
wjcandee
Posts: 5158
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: Chartering Question

Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:52 pm

Quoting TCFC424 (Reply 5):
Selling tickets is going to be the basis...I just need to know when I have to have the tickets sold by so that I can pay the charter company, etc. I also need to know if I can legally sell tickets (or what I need to do to be able to do that).

If you sell seats to the general public, it's a "public charter". North American Airlines has a little bit of info on this about halfway down this page: http://www.flynaa.com/charterus_faqs.aspx

They also have links to the DOT pages laying out the rules and requirements. Sounds like an ordeal, but not impossible. Good luck. (I mean that sincerely; sounds like your heart's in the right place.)

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