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FBO Pet Hates

Old 10th Jul 2015, 20:46
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FBO Pet Hates

I'm not talking about naming and shaming particular organizations or bases, I'm talking stuff that goes on everywhere. I'll start:


Passengers Arrive (especially when early).
Send them directly to the aircraft, without making any efforts whatsoever to inform the crew.
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Old 10th Jul 2015, 22:04
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Your problem not being there early

Your job to sort that not the FBO who supply fuel etc.

Being a captain starts on the ground and organising events.

That is what you are paid for.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 01:30
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Originally Posted by HS125 View Post
I'm not talking about naming and shaming particular organizations or bases, I'm talking stuff that goes on everywhere. I'll start:


Passengers Arrive (especially when early).
Send them directly to the aircraft, without making any efforts whatsoever to inform the crew.
That's not the FBO's job, IMO.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 03:02
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I am going to side with HS125 on this. The FBO should liase with the crew when to bring pax to the aircraft. My experience is arriving at the aircraft 90 mins before departure and instantly being asked "are you ready for pax?"

But my pet hate is directed at FBO's everywhere. EVERYWHERE!
Where is my weather? I have to ask for it. And it gets met with "oh, you need weather?" Come on guys, we need weather, everytime. Why is that so difficult?
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 09:51
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Where is my weather? I have to ask for it. And it gets met with "oh, you need weather?" Come on guys, we need weather, everytime. Why is that so difficult?


Unless MET is requested, most FBO's won't provide but when they do, they will charge you for it.

How come you can't self-brief via an APP and not rely on an FBO to hold you up whilst they run off and get what they think is what you want
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 10:44
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I am surprised that some people feel that coordinating pax boarding wit the crew is not the job of the FBO.

To me the FBO is basically a handling agent. They arrange or provide the requested services (fuel, catering, water, toilet, cleaning, pax handling etc) and of course need to check that the crew are ready before bringing out pax. Imagine gate staff boarding an airliner without checking that the crew are ready.

With regards to weather and notams: I think it is not asking too much to have this ready and printed for the crew at no additional charge. In Europe this is usually the case at the better FBOs. Yes, we can, and often do, self brief using smartphones etc but some (many? most?) commercial operators require that there is a printed copy available. Also helps when you are being ramp checked. Of course the requirements will vary from operator to operator (and also depending on the governing authority) but having this info ready for the crew is a fairly basic service I think.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 12:50
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With regards to weather and notams: I think it is not asking too much to have this ready and printed for the crew at no additional charge
Why free of charge?

We charge about £20 for met pack and NOTAMs iirc
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 13:31
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Guessing you are a handling agent then 750. I ask you and any other handlers what you then consider to encompass your 'handling fee' price? Personally I would consider wx and notams to be included in that price. Most generally is. However, more and more we see handlers charging their set handling fee, and them charging per items for the things, which generally and historically, were handling!

Taking rubbish / trash - that seems to be charged often now. Arrangement of hotac - charged. Pax escorted from apron to car and vice versa - charge. Arranging taxi, i.e. calling one and a fee appears if it's on account. Where is the handling

Please define the services you lot group into the 'handling fee', because it is frankly getting ridiculous at some places here in Europe.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 14:36
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It is not lost on me this could be deteriorating into a rant, however,

European handler agent, mainstream European international airport. Last week.

Handling fee charged - €410. We then got charged for;

Trash removal €50

PAX transport to terminal - in their van, their terminal / offices - €180

Terminal Services - their 'terminal' read office - explanation the facilitation by the handlers to escort the pax from their van, which they charged €180, through their office, to the pax car outside - €330

Executive lounge pax use, outbound - they walked through it - €140

Executive lounge pax use, inbound - the return - €140

Communications - €30

Surcharge - this is a standard fee - surcharge - standard - go figure - 10% on the total bill.

Handling and associated fee's paid directly to this 'handler' were €1300 for 4 pax to stroll through there facility and them to take the trash.

Landing and parking at this international airport was €110 with 24 hours parking.

Shooting the golden goose.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 15:41
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I am going to way in here.

I built a hangar (using my bosses money) and gained our handling license for our local airport.

This was done soley because I was sickened at the cost of visiting other (and our) airports.

So we charge a handling fee (based on weight) excluding the airport fees which include:
- handling
-water service
-ice
-dishwashing service
-crew transport to terminal
-paper work (briefing novels)
-and the lounge and pilots lounge
-and for the desperate, toilets

As an incentive I asked hangar fees to the equivelant of parking outside.
Even so, crews, decide that it's better to use our competition who park them outside, make them pay for everything and charge them double.
Just to add insult to injury when we go out of our way at no extra cost: escorting the FA to a premium restrurant to ensure they get the exact catering ordered.

So I do wonder how much flight preparation is done to ensure that the best option is selected for a trip in terms of cost and professionalism. Obviously if you pitch up at the FBO expecting weather to meteriliaze out of thin air then you definitely have not thought it through.
By the way we don't print unless it's requested as these briefing novels go though a €110 [email protected] jet cartridge faster than a captain asking for coffee.

My 2c
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 15:48
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Obviously if you pitch up at the FBO expecting weather to meteriliaze out of thin air - Mattman

Forgive me for dropping in but, intended or not, that's doubly brilliant!

Jack
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 16:25
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Been reading Conpilots brilliant posts. Was trying to get creative, also I think the beer helped👍
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 20:26
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Up to this:
By the way we don't print unless it's requested as these briefing novels go though a €110 [email protected] jet cartridge faster than a captain asking for coffee.
I thought you are serious...

The recent rally to who has the highest price is going to kill a lot of business in the long term.

What gets my temper up is having to pay for stuff such as hotac arrangement and then you arrive at the hotel and they don΄t have your reservation or have it under some weird name...and , more generally speaking the FBOs/Handlers that have a monopoly and use it ruthlessly...

BTW, checking prices is what I do regularly. Not too long ago I asked all FBOs/Handlers in LFPB that I know....surprise, surprise, they are basically charging roughly the same (all in all roughly plus/minus 20, 30€), with the exception of a certain, very french place that stuck out being more expensive...
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 21:08
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Not being sent an arrival / departure signal. I work in Flight Operations and have been in the industry for 32 years. It used to be part of an FBO's service to send out movement notifications to the operator; now very few do. Of course in the 21st century we do have ways of finding out if our aircraft have departed without the FBO's help; but for me its not much to ask for an email to be sent and it's just pure common courtesy. Some FBO's I feel are there simply to collect the money and very little else.
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Old 11th Jul 2015, 22:25
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Well to be honest Mr Dudeness, I usually find those dusty cobweb filled rooms called pilot lounges.

In the corner I find old CRT screens with old ink jets attached, and usually spend a couple of minutes coaxing the old dot matrix to life and spending some time updating Windows 360 and manage to print what I require.

Another pet hate is the neglected PC's festered with old briefings that probably came from Lindenburg's crossings. And now and again you find the wild sites left in the history of some poor sods attempt to pacify the boredom in anticipation for the boss's expected arrival.

Was once ramp checked by some Dutch gentleman,and we had a nice chat about NOTAM's, he was amazed at the amount of info that was printed on hundreds of pages spanning sometimes 4 times the aircraft range.
He could not understand how pilots could get the relevant information from so much vegetation and ink.

To conclude the FBO/Handler are printing you what they think is relevant. Sometimes in excess and that presents them a opportune moment to shake the last pennies from your pockets.
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 09:30
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If a handling company told me that it's "not their job to inform me or to liaise with crew conserning passenger arrivals, transport to aircraft" etc etc my first phone call would be to our head office explaining why we should never use said handling company again.

As long final already mentioned, we often get charged "Executive lounge departure / arrival €xyz x number of pax", "VIP transportation", "Passenger departure handling" etc etc. If for those charges they feel they can't give us a call to make sure we are ready for the pax, or just to give us a heads up, then our money should be going somewhere else. Having said that in most cases I will be in the terminal or lounge meeting the passengers when they arrive, but in some cases this is not possible.

CP
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 10:01
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With a big management company, or even some FSPs, you can get some leverage and demand good service and reasonable charges. Otherwise, it can be quite difficult for single aircraft.

I wonder if it might be possible to have some sort of TripAdvisor / Yelp-style thing for FBOs? In the US there is the highly informative AirNav with FBO ratings and comments, but it seems to be sorely lacking in Europe.
Even if there is a monopoly and you have no other choice, at least you / your pax would know what to expect and could prepare accordingly.
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 13:24
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Before you set off down route to the airport when you leave, contact the FBO and tell them exactly what you want so it is ready for you when you arrive.

At my last gig, we went online and retrieved the weather and flight plan data from a dedicated provider and then printed it. I resorted to going online before leaving the hotel and emailing the briefing pack it to the FBO and getting them to print it for us in advance. It saved having to hunt around for a spare computer with a printer.

Simple things like this can really make life a lot easier when you arrive at the airport.
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 18:17
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Where is my weather? I have to ask for it. And it gets met with "oh, you need weather?" Come on guys, we need weather, everytime. Why is that so difficult?
For me, it's the exact opposite! Since about two years we use EFBs exclusively, so whenever a handling agent hands me 100 pages of weather&notams I really don't know what to do about them. Probably they will show up on the bill as 50 Euros for "garbage" half an hour later...

Pet hate? Being ripped off - just like everybody else I suppose. Recently we had 10 Euros on the bill for a phone call to put us up at the airport hotel. It's so close to their office they could have shouted!

Being forgotten by the handling agent is also a no-go: When you have to call them by phone when nobody is coming to pick-up the passengers after the marshaller has parked you. The more expensive the handling, the more often this happens.
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Old 12th Jul 2015, 19:25
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He could not understand how pilots could get the relevant information from so much vegetation and ink.
And he is right. NOTAMs should be regulated by EASA - the amount of irrelevant BS is staggering. But that would involve mostly state owned institutions such as the DFS/NATS etc. These are sort of sakrosankt I sometimes think...
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