As onboard Wi-Fi proliferates in the business jet fleet, the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) issued guidelines yesterday for charter brokers in an effort to stem billing surprises to clients after flights are completed. The association said it is “vital that brokers keep on top of technological and other service developments and that any potential hidden costs of a charter are considered and dealt with in advance.”
BACA pointed out that hidden costs can cause “friction” in relationships with operators and customers, not to mention erode margins on charter deals if charges are borne by the broker. “Hourly rates of up to $10,000 have been charged for high usage of in-flight Wi-Fi,” it noted.
“The significant growth in the number of aircraft operators that offer on-board Wi-Fi networks has meant that many passengers are not aware of the risks and costs involved of using such a service,” it added. Thus, the BACA guidelines include nine recommendations for on-board Wi-Fi procedures, such as asking clients well before the flight if they want to use an available onboard Wi-Fi network, advising them in writing of the conditions of its use and notifying them after the flight about data used and fees incurred.