Flying on private aircraft has a myriad of advantages including enhanced fun, never losing one’s luggage, not having to wait and deal with the drawn-out logistics at airport security check-points, no plane changes, not having to journey through a major airport before flight time, and more. Private flying is about as seamless as it gets. That isn’t to say, however, that there are no security procedures involved with private-aircraft travel.
Security Measures for Private Flights
Most private charter jets leave from much smaller airports that have what are called Fixed Base Operations, or FBOs. These are private-jet passenger terminals and handling facilities that are void of metal detectors and body scanners. Smaller jet terminals have their own rules and regulations that are not subjected to TSA or pre-flight checks – in other words, security procedures are more simplistic and efficient. When passengers of private planes are directly escorted to the waiting craft by a handling agent, it is then that security procedures take place. It should be noted, too, that at some airports, one can drive right up to the steps of the craft.
The type of security procedures for private flights are vastly different than those for commercial flights. All the variables that go into commercial-flight hassle is absolutely eliminated – one can expect security protocol for private flights to look like this:
- The pilot will request the proper identification of each passenger who is traveling domestically. Based on the decision of the pilot, the ID of the lead passenger may be the only ID that is requested. If so, passengers can be on their way, within minutes of arriving at the airport. For passengers traveling out of the US, the pilot will, assuredly, scrutinize each person’s passport.
- Those traveling to other countries must remember that even though they may be on a private plane, customs officials in the receiving country may, personally, meet the plane upon landing. Those officials may walk right on board, check passports and any other necessary paperwork for each passenger. At times, pilots can clear customs and immigration right on the aircraft. In many cases, however, private-jet charter companies can pre-clear passengers with customs and immigration. As a result, passengers have the luxury of an uninterrupted transfer from the private jet to the ground transport which may be parked along side the private jet’s steps – ready to roll!
- Passengers’ baggage may or may not be inspected prior to boarding a private craft; this is up to the discretion of the aircraft captain who would have the legal right to do a baggage search.
- Prior to any flights, private aircraft will have undergone rigorous safety inspections. All commercial planes are required to meet any relevant FAA regulations. Additionally, private jets are held to an additional set of standards for all craft equipped with less than 30 seats and payloads under 7,500 pounds.
- Flight crews for private planes are intensely vetted to ensure they meet the highest levels of personal character and professionalism; and they must be certified in accordance with FAA standards.
Being able to fly in private jets is considered the cutting edge of opulent travel. Being able to bypass the stress and bothersome inconveniences of intense security scrutinies associated with commercial travel is a coveted amenity, indeed!