Jetiquette: Your Pilot’s Gratuity

#PrivateJet #pilot #gratuity #Captain

Tipping the pilot on a private jet depends on how you typically go about chartering a jet.

The Big Q: Do you own or lease the jet, have fractional ownership, or belong to a jet card program?

The Big A: To provide some context around tipping the pilot of your private jet, we look at the ways in which to charter an aircraft.

Full jet ownership may mean employing a Captain and crew, or at least regularly contracting the same pilot and in-flight staff.

Then there is fractional jet ownership, which involves payment upfront for shared use of a jet over the coming year. Fractional jet owners are also likely to encounter the same pilot and flight crew on a regular basis.

If you own a jet, lease it, or have a fractional ownership stake, you may be able to tip the pilot at the beginning or end of each year or both, if you regularly fly with the same Captain. And you will want to consider the fact that you have a different rapport with a pilot you see regularly, and that your gratuity is also going toward building a long-term relationship with the pilot. 

Tipping a pilot on a commercial aircraft is out of the ordinary, tipping a private jet captain makes more sense. Not only does the private jet Captain plan and fly your customized route, he or she also may assist with your bags and other duties during the trip, which is why tipping a private jet captain is a good idea though not expected.

Tips to private jet pilots can vary from $20 to $1,000. Assuming a 1-way charter is $4,000 to $13,000, that means at the highest end, charterers are tipping their pilots 10%. However, most charterers who tip likely do around 5% of the charter price. If your cross-country private jet price is $6,000, and you want to tip 5% to 10%, that means tipping $300 to $600.

If you own or lease a jet, have fractional jet ownership, or have another flight arrangement where you work with your pilot frequently, you might start your relationship with a tip to ensure the best service. If your Captain enhances your experience, you may then want to give him or her a lump sum gratuity at the end of the year. The amount you tip your regularly pilot toward year end is at your discretion, and should consider how often you flew together.

Nose down, Tail up, Head into the Wind!

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