- FAQ -


Terminology

What are “slots”?

There are certain airports that are always so busy, the FAA requires all arriving aircraft to reserve a landing time, otherwise referred to as a slot.  Slots become available at some specific time prior (usually 72 hours) to any requested arrival time and are not confirmed until 24 hours prior to the day of travel. Other airports are busy seasonally, many in Colorado during ski season, Augusta during The Masters, South Bend during football season, for example.  

Slots are a little like the lottery; there's no way to guarantee getting one. X8 Aviation recommends that you book your travel at least five days in advance, that you be as flexible as possible with regard to arrival and departure times (and perhaps even airports) and that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time to avoid delays.  Delays, even those beyond your control, may result in forfeiture of a slot time, in which case your flight may be redirected to an alternate city or delayed.

What does it mean to be “Wyvern or ARG/US approved”?

Wyvern Consulting, Ltd. is an industry recognized independent aviation consulting firm specializing in on-site safety evaluations of charter aircraft operators. Aviation Research Group/U.S. ("ARG/US") similarly conducts industry-respected, on-site safety audits that verify the charter operator is managed, organized and run in a manner conducive to continued safe operations. 

X8 Aviation has earned a Gold rating from ARG/US.

What does “wheels up” mean?

Used as a way to set your time of departure, "wheels up" is the time your aircraft actually leaves the ground.  When departing on a trip, you should arrive early enough to load any luggage and get settled into your aircraft and still allow a few minutes to taxi out to the runway for take-off to meet your "wheels up" departure time.

What is the difference between a charter operator and a charter broker?

A Charter Operator is an air carrier that owns or manages aircraft.  These companies have subjected themselves to oversight by the FAA and, by meeting strict standards, have by authorized by this agency to operate aircraft on an on-demand charter basis.  The FAA regularly reviews all policies, procedures and practices by these carriers to ensure that Federal Air Regulations are observed.  As a Charter Operator, X8 Aviation may use an aircraft in our own fleet for your trip or, if thorough discussions with you indicate that another aircraft might be a better fit for your needs, we may secure one from another reputable air carrier. A Charter Broker neither owns nor operates aircraft.  They contact Charter Operators to find aircraft on your behalf. 

What is a high-density airport?

Airports with large amounts of traffic are considered high-density airports.  Some of them require us to make arrival or departure reservations for a particular time.  For those airports, we must stick to our planned itinerary.   Chicago's O'Hare Airport, New York's La Guardia and JFK Airports, and Toronto's Pearson International Airport are some that are always considered high-density airports.  Other airports have that status only seasonally, like South Bend, Indiana, during football season or Vail or Gunnison, Colorado, during ski season.

What is an FBO?

An FBO is a Fixed Base Operator.  These are facilities where private aircraft may enplane and deplane passengers, pilots may plan their flights and buy fuel.  When  you fly on a scheduled airline, you use the terminal buildings to access all carriers.  When you charter an aircraft, you typically use general aviation facilities, which are the FBOs.  At some airports, there may be only one FBO, while at other airports there may be several.  Prior to departure, you will be given the name of your FBO as well as contact information for the facility.

What is ATC?

ATC is air traffic control.  When pilots file their flight plans with the FAA, they begin entering the ATC system which controls movement of all aircraft all over the country.  At an airport, the pilot may talk to ground control and to the tower before they check in with control centers that handle flights between the airports.  If there are inclement weather conditions in a region, ATC may route an aircraft around the bad weather or ATC may slow or even stop arrivals and departures from airports.

What is an operator?

An aircraft operator is an air charter company authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to offer passenger air charter services.  The company must complete a rigorous certification process and must successfully complete all FAA on-site audits and inspections.

Trip Control

What if my schedule changes and I no longer need to make the trip?

You may cancel your X8 Aviation flight without penalty up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure. Within 72 hours you will be charged a portion of the cost of the trip.

Can the plane wait for me at my destination?

Your aircraft can always stand by on day trips, provided the round trip is less than ten hours of flight time and the combined flight and wait time does not exceed 14 hours in a day.  This is to ensure the crew's duty time is within FAA requirements. On overnight trips, the aircraft may stay; however, variable fees will be involved in this case. These fees will be outlined and defined for you when you receive your initial trip quote.

May I change the itinerary if my plans change?

This is one of the freedoms and benefits of chartering an aircraft - you have the freedom to alter your plans.

Operator Qualifications

Is there a flight attendant on every flight?

X8 Aviation flight crews do not include flight attendant; however, if cabin attendants are available on a contract basis at an additional cost.  

Who maintains the aircraft?

X8 Aviation aircraft are maintained at FAA certified, manufacturer-approved facilities.

What kind of training does the flight crew receive?

X8 Aviation pilots attend annual or semi-annual training at Flight Safety and Simcom.  Flight Safety International and Simcom are industry recognized and respected providers of aviation training services including classroom instruction, coursework and intensive aircraft simulator training. 

What experience does the flight crew have?

X8 Aviation's pilots have many thousands of hours of flight experience.  They undergo both initial and recurrent training at world renown training facilities.

Are my pilots properly trained and certificated to fly my flight?

Yes.  All X8 Aviation pilots meet or exceed FAA requirements in terms of training and experience both in an overall sense and in an aircraft specific sense. 

How do I know if the operator flying my flight is reputable?

X8 Aviation ensures that all operators who provide aircraft for X8 Aviation hold valid operating certificates issued by the FAA.  Additionally, X8 Aviation ensures that those operators have been audited by a third-party auditing firm or have completed X8 Aviation ' own Vendor Audit Process.  X8 Aviation values your safety and partners with only those operators who value safety as much as we do.

Aircraft

How can I find out what kind of aircraft I’m flying on and what it looks like?

X8 Aviation provides photos and other information on our website.  Please visit the Fleet section to have a look at your aircraft.  

Payment

How do I pay for my flight?

X8 Aviation accepts pre-payment via wire transfer, certified check, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

Day of Flight

Why must I provide my weight?

All aircraft have strictly defined weight limits within which they must operate.  Scheduled airlines are authorized to use standard passenger and bag weights when computing their weight and balance performance.  Air charter operators must use actual passenger and baggage weights to ensure that the flight is within the manufacturer's specified limits.  

Is it appropriate to tip my pilots or lineservice personnel?

Tipping of these professionals is certainly not required; however, it is a common occurrence.

What if I’m running late?

Charter flights are not scheduled service; so, the aircraft waits for you.  Because flights using high-density airports require arrival or departure reservations, changes to the departure time may be subject to slot reservation availability.

When do I need to be at the airport?

For charter flights, you should arrive at your departure general aviation facility about 20 minutes prior to departure to avoid any ground delays or to adjust your trip for any ATC, weather or other delays already in effect.

What if my flight is cancelled due to weather?

Because you have chartered the entire aircraft, you have the flexibility to change your itinerary by time or destination in the event that inclement weather affects your original itinerary.  

Catering

Will beer, wine or cocktails be available on my flight?

These items are available for a nominal fee and we are glad to provide them for you.  Federal Air Regulations require that any alcohol consumed on an aircraft be served by the air charter company.  And, for your safety and comfort, please note that one drink at altitude has the effect of two drinks on the ground.  

Will food be served on my flight?

Prepackaged snacks will be available along with coffee, water, fruit juices and soft drinks.  If you would like something in addition to these complimentary offerings, please advise X8 Aviation in advance so that arrangements may be made at a rate acceptable to you.

Ground Transportation

How do I arrange ground transportation?

X8 Aviation agents are happy to set up rental car, limo or cab service for you.  If you need a taxi at your destination, with notification, your pilot can radio ahead to your arrival city and have one waiting for you.

Baggage

On hunting excursions, may I carry my gun and ammunition?

Passengers may carry unloaded firearms in locked cases.  Ammunition must be carried in a separate compartment from firearms and carriage is limited by volume.  Please notify your X8 Aviation representative at 910-695-0325 with specific information regarding these items.

Are there any items that I may not carry on-board?

The carriage of hazardous materials is prohibited on most business aircraft.  This includes, but it not limited to: fireworks, medicinal oxygen, gasoline, kerosene or other fuels, full diving tanks, etc.  If you are unsure about the suitability of an item, please call X8 Aviation at 910-695-0325 for clarification.

How much luggage may I bring?

Most business aircraft have very limited baggage space; if you have concerns about the size and weight of your luggage, please call X8 Aviation at 910-695-0325.

Security

What security measures apply to X8 Aviation ?

Passengers must provide their full, legal names and dates of birth prior to trip date and should have valid, government issued, photo ID before boarding to satisfy TSA requirements.

Will I need to go through security checkpoints?

At this time, passengers on most charter flights are not required to go through passenger screening; however, any crewmember may search your belongings at any time.

Will I need to show ID?

For passengers over the age of 18, please have a valid, government issued, photo ID to show the crew as you board the aircraft so that we may satisfy TSA requirements.

Do I have to put my shampoo and mouthwash in those tiny bottles?

No.  At this time, passengers may carry their grooming products in their regular containers.

Children

Is my child allowed to travel with someone other than a custodial parent?

Minor children traveling with someone other than a custodial parent must have notarized consent from custodial parent(s) for the specific trip in question, particularly for international trips.

Does my infant have to have a seat?

Passenger safety is paramount to us at X8 Aviation.  While your infant may ride in your lap, if an empty seat is available, car seats may be installed for increased safety and comfort of your infant.

Smoking

Is smoking allowed on X8 Aviation ?

Smoking is prohibited on all X8 Aviation aircraft.

Pets

Are pets allowed on X8 Aviation?

We welcome your well-behaved pet.  Special terms and conditions may apply.

International Flights

Do I have to go through customs? How does it work?

Aircraft entering the U.S. from Mexico and the Caribbean must stop and clear customs at the first airport of entry.  Aircraft entering from Canada have a larger selection of airports available for their use.  Customs officials come directly to the aircraft to clear the passengers and the process typically takes 10 to 20 minutes.  All regular customs limitations concerning the importation of animals, vegetation, alcohol, etc., apply.

When do passengers need to bring their passports?

Citizens of the U.S. must have a valid passport when traveling outside the U.S.  It is recommended that minor children, regardless of age, have their own passports.

How much advance notice must be given for international trips?

All passengers must be cleared by immigration prior to traveling outside the U.S.  This may be done in a couple of hours during regular business hours using most airports; however, some smaller airports may require several hours. 

Pricing

What are “fuel surcharge” fees?

Hourly charter rates are generally calculated assuming a base fuel price, a fuel surcharge represents the additional cost beyond that included in the hourly rate. At X8 Aviation, fuel surcharge is included in the quote provided prior to your departure.

Are there hidden costs i should look out for when i charter?

Be careful when comparing charter quotes that you are comparing apples to apples.  X8 Aviation includes all of the trip costs including taxes, international fees, landing and departure fees, overnight fees, etc. Only the costs of flight phone usage, catering and de-icing, if any, are not included in the quotes. These fees are then assessed at cost.

What’s the difference between various jet charter structures?

Fractional owners buy a share of a plane, with the price based on market price of a full aircraft, and they are generally guaranteed access to that same type of plane with as little as four hours notice. With fractional ownership plans, you pay a monthly maintenance fee for the upkeep of your plane and crew, and a separate hourly fee for your flight time. Annual flight time allotted to each owner corresponds to their share size. For example, a 1/16th share conveys 50 hours per year for the life of the contract (i.e., 5-7 years). At the end of the contract, the fractional company buys back your share for the revised market value, less a re-marketing fee. 

Jet card programs are like prepaid phone cards - you simply prepay for your flight time and when you've used your allotment, you simply purchase another card.  X8 Aviation offers a JetSpire block purchase program in increments of 25 and 50 hours.  Participation in this program is limited; but, offers guaranteed availability.

Charter flights are quoted on a trip by trip basis. There are no guarantees on availability of aircraft until you actually book the trip and the price is generally based on the actual operational cost of your trip. 

What are "international fees"?

International Fees are the direct costs incurred in connection with visits to international airports.  International fees include airport handling, landing fees, permits and security expenses only as and if applicable.  When a trip is quoted these fees are estimated, but the actual fees due are only as incurred and are reconciled and invoiced after the trip.

Why would the price of a trip change from the last one, even though the itinerary stayed the same?

One trip may cost more or less than another one because of fuel rates, aircraft availability or length of stay.  Taxes, landing fees, inclement weather planning and other costs may also contribute to rate fluctuations.

How long will it take to receive a quote for the trip I initiate?

X8 Aviation charter specialists strive to get your quote to you within an hour of your initial request submitted during normal business hours.  Quote requests submitted outside normal business hours will be addressed as soon as possible. 

One-Way Flights

What are the restrictions for One-Way Flights?

Due to the fact that most of these flights are dependent on the initial charter customer, if they change their plans or cancel their trip all together, the leg you are interested in may also change or disappear. 

What is a One-Way Flight?

From time to time, X8 Aviation has a client needing to depart from an airport other than the one where an aircraft is located.  When we move the aircraft to accommodate the client's needs, an empty leg is created.  We are able to offer those flights to you at deep discounts.