Chartering private jets

A great perk and more cost-effective than you might think!

By Allan Britnell

Once the novelty of crisscrossing the continent for work wears off, air travel can be a miserable experience: long lines, humiliating pat downs, and inevitable delays.

So next time you’re sending an employee aloft, why not consider a private charter instead? It’s not just a luxurious pat-on-the-back perk.

It’s also a timesaver. With thousands of airports across North America, Patricia Micheletti of Montreal’s Corporate Aircraft Charters (CAC), says, “I’m able to get people really close to their destination.” Her company can book everything from small six-seaters right up to full-size airliners.

Lachine, Que.-based event organizer Claudette Dupras will never forget the time she had to get 350 people from various parts of Quebec down to New York City. Half flew on commercial flights out of Montreal, the other 175 she booked on a chartered airliner flying out of Quebec City. “It was a party plane basically,” she says with a laugh. “It created a great memory from that meeting. People still talk about it.”

Better still was being able to avoid the lineups and delays at the international terminal. (Dupras’ charter arrived on time; all the other flights were late.) By using private terminals or smaller regional airports, charter passengers can often arrive at the airport and be in the air less than 30 minutes later.

While you can go for the price-is-no-object, custom-designed package — “I’ve even had clients request a specific type of cucumber,” admits Micheletti — on well-travelled routes the fares can actually be comparable to commercial airlines. CAC, for example, can book a same-day trip between Montreal and New York for six passengers for about $500 a person.

Dupras agrees that the charter flight was “very cost-effective” but, more importantly, “the whole experience was flawless.” *

Rewriting the Rules of the Road
Want to up the travel bonus ante? (Or offer a more down-to-earth perk?) Rather than sending your employees to the airport rental car centre, have a luxury car waiting for them at arrivals. At Montreal Exotic Rentals, a sleek and sophisticated Lexus IS250 rents for $395 a day, or go all-out with a Mercedes S550. For a mere $895 a day, this baby maxes out at 429 hp and 516 lb of torque. Just make sure you’ve topped up the travel insurance policy first — and remind your peeps that they’re responsible for speeding tickets.

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