Be careful when comparing charter quotes that you are comparing apples to apples. CLA includes all of the trip costs including taxes, international fees, landing and departure fees, overnight fees, etc. Only the cost of flight phone usage, catering and de-icing, if any, are not included in the quotes. These fees are then assessed at cost.
While CLA is pet friendly (we’ve even flown a 9 foot alligator), all pets that you wish to bring on your trip must be specifically approved before booking your trip. Special terms and conditions may apply.
With respect to bringing skis, snowboards, etc., the answer depends on the aircraft you’re flying on and the amount of other luggage brought on the trip. Learjets are not able to accommodate skis and such, but some Gulfstreams can. The trick is to plan ahead. For example, excess luggage or equipment that the aircraft cannot accommodate can usually be shipped overnight to Utah or Colorado via express mail. If you’re unsure whether your luggage or equipment will fit, work with your charter specialist prior to your scheduled day of departure.
Clay Lacy Aviation's (CLA) pilots are highly regarded as being the best in the industry. Before a CLA First Officer upgrades to Captain, they must first satisfy rigorous eligibility and experience requirements. In some type aircraft, pilots must then gain the approval of the most experienced pilot in the world, Clay Lacy, whose personal pilot proficiency evaluation/check rides are recognized within the industry as being the most comprehensive, realistic and challenging. All CLA pilots must meet standards higher than those required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Clay Lacy Aviation (CLA) pilots attend annual or semi-annual training at Flight Safety and Simuflite. Flight Safety International and CAE Simuflite are industry recognized and respected providers of aviation training services including classroom instruction, coursework and intensive aircraft simulator training.
CLA enhances this training with its own on-site, state-of-the-art flight simulator.There are many benefits of having an on-site simulator. It offers many real time features, including full visual display, full auto-pilot, auto-throttles, and even cutting-edge technologies such as auto-land capabilities. With over 5,000 airports in its database, this simulator can realistically present almost any airport in the world. High altitude operations, poor weather, crew coordination, airport proficiency, and emergency operations all are now available anytime. It is Clay Lacy’s belief that having their own “in-house’ flight simulator available 24 hours a day enables CLA pilots to attain and maintain a superior proficiency and standardization level, exceeding other operators and the minimum requirements set forth by the FAA.
Wyvern Consulting, Ltd. is an industry recognized independent aviation consulting firm specializing in on-site safety evaluations of charter aircraft operators. Aviation Research Group/U.S. (“ARG/US”) similarly conducts industry respected, on-site safety audits that verify the charter operator is managed, organized and run in a manner conducive to continued safe operations.
Both Wyvern & ARG/US have consistently given Clay Lacy Aviation their highest ratings year after year. Clay Lacy has been commended for its “efforts to raise the standards by setting a higher example” for charter operators around the world.
Clay Lacy Aviation (CLA) has its own Class 4 maintenance facility at Van Nuys and maintenance service at its Seattle, Washington base. Class 4, or “heavy maintenance”, means that CLA can perform almost any required maintenance task in-house. By performing on-site inspections and maintenance, Clay Lacy retains a complete and thorough history of the aircraft we maintain. CLA’s maintenance facility is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At certain airports the FAA requires all arriving aircraft to reserve a landing time, otherwise referred to as a slot. Slots become available at some specific time prior (usually 72 hours) prior to any requested arrival time and are not confirmed until 24 hours prior to the day of travel. Slots are typically restricted and more difficult to obtain during peak travel times to popular ski and tropical destinations such as Aspen and Florida or around major events such as the Superbowl and the Masters.
Slots are a little like the lottery; there’s no way to guarantee getting one. CLA recommends you book your travel at least 5 days in advance, that you be as flexible as possible with regard to arrival and departure times and that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time to avoid delays. Delays can result in forfeiture of a slot time, in which case your flight may be redirected to an alternate city, delayed or worst case, cancelled.
Depending on aircraft size, almost any catering request can be met - pizza, filet mignon, sushi, anything. Even food from a particular restaurant can be arranged. Specific beer, soda, liquor and wine can be made available, but note that red wine is not permitted on certain aircraft.
Used as a way to set your time of departure, “wheels up” is the time your aircraft actually leaves the ground. When departing on a trip, you should arrive early enough to load any luggage and get settled into your aircraft and still allow a few minutes to taxi out to the runway for take-off to meet your “wheels up” departure time.
You will be provided with a cash price and a credit card price reflecting processing fees. New charter customers are required to pay in cash, preferably via wire. Regular and good-standing customers are sometimes able to pay by check upon invoice.
You may cancel your flight without penalty up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled departure. Within 72 hours you will be charged a portion of the cost of the trip.
International Fees are the direct costs incurred in connection with visits to international airports. International fees include airport handling, landing fees, permits and security expenses only as and if applicable. When a trip is quoted these fees are estimated, but the actual fees due are only as incurred and are reconciled and invoiced after the trip.
CLA has a strong history of not charging a fuel surcharge. Hourly charter rates are generally calculated assuming a certain fuel price, A fuel surcharge represents the additional cost beyond that included in the hourly rate. At CLA, fuel surcharge is included in the quote provided prior to your departure.
Not on every flight. Clay Lacy Aviation (CLA) provides cabin attendants on all cabin-class aircraft. Their role is to ensure first class service and the safety of all passengers. When searching CLAs fleet on the website, the amenity icons along the bottom of each aircraft will let you know if an attendant is provided.
Your aircraft can always stand by on day trips, provided the round trip is less than 10 hours of flying and the combined flight and “stand by” time does not exceed 14 hours in a day. This is to ensure the crew is rested within FAA requirements. On overnight trips, the aircraft can stay and will be charged a minimum of 2 hours flight per day. If the total round trip’s worth of flight is more than 2 hours per day, there is no additional charge. If the total round trips worth of flight is under the 2 hour requirement, 2 hours a day in addition for “stand-by” time will be charged.
All passengers must be cleared by immigration prior to traveling outside the U.S. This can range from a couple hours to a couple weeks. For example, departures for Mexico and the Caribbean can be dispatched in 2 to 3 hours, but certain countries may take up to 14 days to obtain the necessary permits. Consult with your charter specialist about your particular destination and CLA will guide you through the process.
Citizens of the U.S. must have a valid passport when traveling outside the U.S. It is recommended that minor children, regardless of age, have their own passports.
Passport restrictions vary from country to country. For example, South Africa requires all passports to have at least 1 page free of stamps. If you are unfamiliar with the particular requirements always check with your charter coordinator when booking your trip. Consult with your charter specialist prior to departure.
The general rule is that each aircraft entering the U.S. must stop and clear customs at the first airport of entry. Many airports, however, are designated airports of entry and will allow the aircraft and passengers to fly direct from certain countries and clear into the U.S. rather than having to stop at the first airport of entry.
Customs officials come directly to the aircraft to clear the passengers and the process typically takes 10 to 20 minutes.
Fractional owners buy a share of a plane, with the price based on market price of a full aircraft, and they are generally guaranteed access to that same type of plane with as little as four hours notice. With fractional ownership plans, you pay a monthly maintenance fee for the upkeep of your plane and crew, and a separate hourly fee for your flight time. Annual flight time allotted to each owner corresponds to their share size. For example, a 1/16th share conveys 50 hours per year for the life of the contract (i.e., 5-7 years). At the end of the contract, the fractional company buys back your share for the revised market value, less a re-marketing fee.
Jet card programs are like prepaid phone cards - you simply prepay for your flight time and when you’ve used your allotment, you simply purchase another card. There are two jet card models: under the "Hour/Plane" model you purchase a specific number of hours (e.g., 20 or 25-hour block) on a specific type of aircraft (i.e., light, medium or large). Under the "Debit" model, you prepay a certain amount (e.g., $100,000) which may be applied against any type of aircraft and the funds are deducted per-flight.
Charter flights are quoted on a trip by trip basis. There are no guarantees on availability of aircraft until you actually book the trip and the price is generally based on the actual operational cost of your trip.
Clay Lacy Aviation's Executive Travel Program combines the best parts of Jet card programs with the savings of traditional charter pricing. ETP members simply commit to fly a certain number of hours and in turn enjoy priority booking of any type of aircraft in our fleet and discounted pricing based on true operational cost. ETP Memberships can be cancelled at anytime and payments towards unused future flights are fully refundable.