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What do you look for in an FBO?

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What do you look for in an FBO?

Old 25th Mar 2011, 13:55
  #21 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: europe
Posts: 180
Guys, gals,

you are doing me a great favour with your comments, please feel free to add on whenever you can.
I unfortunately am not at liberty (yet) to disclose a location, I hope you all understand.
Your already generous input will play a major part in determining the focal points for setting up this facility.
Meeting the needs and wishes of pax and crew isn't really rocketscience, nevertheless I still do see major issues/missed opportunities on my own visits as a crewmember when arriving at any given FBO.
We as a team just have a genuine desire to do right where others have screwed up, slipped away or completely lost their customerfocus.
Thanks once again, where ever you are, have a good weekend!
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 17:16
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Age: 50
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OK, really honnest answers on this one.

Assume you are going to an airport with mandatory handling and only one FBO.

How much would they need to overprice their services before you were able to talk your pax into going to an airport 50 miles further away from their destination.

Phil
Phil Brockwell is offline  
Old 25th Mar 2011, 22:36
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Hard to say Phil. I personally think it would have to be an exceptional amount.
Maybe a stupid example but regulars of ours go to one airport where parking landing etc overnight is around 850. Has been suggested they go 25 miles away where it would be 150 but they won't hear of it.
On your first point charging for hotels and taxis is a poor show I think. Especially as most FBO's also earn commission from said hotels and car companies. I haven't yet been charged for this. Yet! Same with say dishwashers. Surely it should be part of the service.
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Old 27th Mar 2011, 03:40
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Age: 67
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A couple gripes come to mind:
1. An FBO that has no agreements with local car rentals and crew rates at hotels. I've been to a couple like this and am amazed when it happens. I always voice my opinion to the supervisor.

2. Blase' CSRs and rampies. Complacency in these times is unacceptable.

Assume you are going to an airport with mandatory handling and only one FBO. How much would they need to overprice their services
Hmm... Why do they need to overprice their services at all? I'm sooo tired of companies doing this just because they have a monopoly.
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Old 4th Apr 2011, 22:10
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Downing Street
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FBO

One important aspect that is missing with most FBO's in the UK is .. 'presence' !

Most FBO's offer rooms attached to the side of dity hangers or worse, potacabins and pre-fabs that exude little or no ambience whatsoever.

Standalone, well designed FBO's, similar those operators in the USA, outwardly display the qualities that they posses on the inside....'class' !

Starbucks coffee is always a welcomed sight in a good FBO !!
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 09:07
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: FL430
Posts: 157
FBO services

My 2p of what I like.

* Free crew tea, coffee, orange juice, coke, etc...
* free rubbish disposal
* free, very high speed wifi
* several (more than 2) free crew computers with printers
* separate crew room with TV, DVD's and games console
* quiet and dark crew room for rest
* fridge for catering
* free hot water for the aircraft (it does not cost 20 euros to boil a kettle)
* Ice machine
* Ample parking (if I'm based there)
* competent, friendly staff who know exactly what a business jet passenger demands.

Anyway, just a few things I like.
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 09:24
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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potatowings.

When you say "free", I assume you mean included in the price?

Is there a consensus that crews would prefer an all inc handling price rather than breaking the charge down into services?

Should you pay the same for a 60 min turnaround as you would for a day on the ground drinking the FBO's coffee / coke etc, using the crew room / wifi / etc. Should there be a standard price with a discounted price for less that 90 min turnaround?


PB
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 09:49
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Of course nothing is free, and we all expect to pay.

I much prefer a built in price rather than a charge per item invoice.

Of course a quick turn can be charged at less.

This is easy to bill, if the plane is there for say 6 hours with the crew mooching around, charge a parking fee etc... this covers use of the facilities.

The best FBO I use happens to be the one I'm based at.

No charge for ice, no charge for hot water, no charge for use of the crew facilities. Not just for based aircraft, but for all visiting aircraft.

There is also complimentary snacks for the crew.

Their prices are also very competitive.
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Old 5th Apr 2011, 09:57
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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potatowings,

No charge for these services - or charged for these services within the handling cost if you use them or not?

For every one who wants a higher all inclusive price - there is a company that wants itemised charges. Most crews of private aircraft want it all inclusive with lost of free stuff for the crews, most commercial operators would prefer to see what they are being charged for.

I'm sure there are many commercial operators who would question higher charges in order to supply snacks to the crew!

Without mentioning names, do you mind me asking the cost of a turnaround for a light jet at your base (for visiting - non-based aircraft) and if they are making profit?

Phil
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Old 8th Apr 2011, 19:04
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Turnaround cost

Sorry, I do not know the cost for a light jet.

I do know they make a very tidy profit.

I'm not asking for the world free, and to be honest, I don't really care. I just offered my 2p's worth.

You can offer a top class service and great facilities and not rip the client off. Take a visit to Mallorcair in Palma, they have it absolutely spot on! If every FBO in the world copied their level of dedication to excellence the world would be a better place.

What's more is they are limited by their facilities but they more than make up for it with outstanding service. Their staff are so cheerful and even when they are busy they always make sure that someone will take the time to chat to you, if you want to chat. I didn't go there for about 2 years. I walked in and the manager greeted me by name and said that he remembered me from a previous company. Now maybe they keep a database of pilots, but even if they do, such a nice touch.

Let's face it, a can of coke and a biscuit for the crew doesn't add up to 50. Why worry? If it keeps the clients coming back it is an excellent expense. A kettle of boiling water is also not 50, so why not just do it? A few nice touches like that but a slightly, and I mean slightly higher handling bill I'm sure is a fair trade off.

Some people may not like it and I can understand that too. It is just my preference, that's all. Our owner has never complained at the costs of the services we choose to use and when on charter I've never had any issues or questions from accounts. I am very conscious of cost and consider everything a penny is spent on, but since each handling cost is built into a charter price and all handling is billed to our happy owner, where's the issue. Every one in the equation can be happy. Isn't that the role of a service provider?

Ooh, one more example, KLM Jet Centers in Holland. A 'help yourself' fridge is provided with refreshments. You can even help yourself to a beer for the taxi ride to the hotel if you want. What a touch! It can be done and is done in many places. Just the some seem to have an aversion to great service and the expense of profit no doubt. The American owned Signature chain also provides light refreshments and hot water free. Often they even slip in a kilo of ice gratis. With a full crew room not so long ago, they even had the local caterers make up two trays of sandwiches for the waiting crews. Nice touches.
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Old 10th Apr 2011, 10:31
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Mallorcair

Mallorcair in Palma is as mentioned in the previous post "spot on"
Helpful staf, is the key to a great FBO in my mind.
Miguel and his team are allways willing to help.
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Old 10th Apr 2011, 12:01
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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A concrete apron. We had an aircraft overnighting at one FBO we had previously been to. However, due to some some 'warm' days, when the crew arrived to prep for departure it had sunk about 6 inches into the tar. Moving a Challenger out of the depressions was no 5 minute job.



edit to add: Ramp security, not just from landside but also airside. Ramp rash from dip$hits bimbling around the apron is not welcome.

Last edited by stuckgear; 10th Apr 2011 at 12:16.
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Old 10th Apr 2011, 12:13
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Phil & PotatoWings,

just as an aside to your poinst on free/built in to the price there are some very minor things that should be gratis and no need to build into the price.

Take for example, the issue of WiFi, yes it is very important in this day with communications being conducted electronically.

However, any FBO should have internet access for thier own business purposes. so what does it take to stick a wireless router in a crew room. 50quid ? heck, you can get free wifi with your 2.85 coffee in starbucks! yes an FBO could charge you for use of internet but then that just comes across as petty.

customers will pay a little more for a level of service, however they do get a little cheesed off when the cheap price invoice lists loads of chargable extras.
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Old 10th Apr 2011, 22:16
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Pretty Swedish girls and a parrot
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 08:17
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Stuckgear

The problem as I see it is that an FBO cost X to run (property / staff / infrastructure etc) and will have Y movements / tonnes etc per year. So X divided by Y + profit = the charge to each aircraft movement / tonne.

The problem is that as movements decreased over the last 2 years FBO's are having to take more per tonne / movement to get back to their original profit plan and are doing this by charging for services rather than increasing the handling costs. Add to this the ever increasing cost of security and you are looking a significantly higher charge that the "handling quote" received.

It is not that you are really paying 15 for WiFi, it's just that WIFI is being used as a vehicle to pay towards the FBO's overhead, just like in many hotels.

Phil
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 08:37
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Julian......not sure what I could do with a parrot but a pretty Swedish girl.........
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 20:16
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Im so old now that I didnt notice the pretty swedish girl, the parrot is a noisy bastard but the ice cream is great !!!!
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 20:39
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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A pretty girl, ice cream, a parrot ? Hey you guys don't want a piano thrown in as well do you ?


Last edited by AMEX; 12th Apr 2011 at 07:39.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 20:48
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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A pretty girl, ice cream, a parrot ? Hey you gus don't want a piano thrown in as well do you ?
Yes! That would be the recipe for an EXCELLENT FBO

Probably one of the best outside of the USA
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 23:37
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Phil, I agree with you on that. it just leaves a bad taste when one whips out one's laptop to find that wifi is a chargable extra. sometimes its the little things that can make a difference.
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