Almost a billion people in the United States take a domestic flight every year. That massive number makes it no wonder why getting around most airports is a stressful experience.
Curt TSA agents, crowds of people, long lines… It’s all enough to make you want to rent a car and drive to your next business meeting rather than hopping on a plane.
Fortunately, if you can afford it, there’s a great alternative to going through the standard airport routine. That alternative is working through FBOs.
FBO stands for “fixed-base operator” which is a private entity that provides a variety of aeronautic services from a remote location at an airport.
If you’ve never flown privately through an FBO, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. Here are eight of the most obvious benefits of using FBOs for business travel.
1. Easier Trips to the Airport
Business people that can’t stand all of the bustle of airports get to leave it behind when they opt to fly with an FBO. FBOs are essentially mini airports within an airport. They’re exclusive and it may be that you’re the only one present at an FBO facility at any given moment.
Imagine not having to fight traffic to enter the airport, battle lines to get through security and board a packed flight with difficult people anymore. By flying private through an FBO, that dream can be your reality.
2. Flexible Locations
As private air travel continues to pick up in popularity, more FBOs are popping up at major airports. It’s actually not uncommon to see FBOs at niche airports now and some even have private airstrips.
With all of the options that FBOs give you when it comes to landing, no matter where it is that you need to go, you can be sure that by chartering a plane through an FBO, you’ll get there.
If you’d like to find FBO locations at the destinations that you fly to the most, you can reference this helpful list.
3. Fast Refueling
One of the biggest hassles of flying private is that private planes have much smaller fuel tanks than commercial planes. That means that you’re probably going to need to make stops if your business dealings require you to fly across the country.
Making a pit stop at a general airport terminal for refueling can be an arduous process given that lines for fuel can back up substantially. This is particularly true during holiday periods.
FBOs, on the other hand, offer private fueling terminals. By leveraging them, you can land, taxi to a private gas pump, refuel and be on your way.
4. Food and Beverage Options
Forget to pack lunch for your flight? Chances are, the FBO that’s nearest to you has you covered.
An increasing amount of FBOs offer wonderful selections of food and snacks that may be available free of charge to anybody that has access to their facility. Some private pilots actually make it a point to have a meal at an FBO at every major airport as a right of passage.
5. A Place to Unwind During a Cross Country Flight
FBO amenities extend beyond a hot meal and snacks. Some luxurious FBOs offer services like shower stalls, entertainment rooms and even beds that you can rent to enjoy some rest after a long-haul flight.
These services are particularly valuable to private pilots that find themselves getting drowsy while they’re up in the air. To that end, you might think of FBOs as a luxurious and exclusive truck stop.
6. Flight Planning Terminals
In addition to FBOs serving as a great place to rest for private pilots, they also make for a great place to plan a flight path. Flight planning terminals are usually available free of charge.
This can be a valuable amenity if you’re forced to stopover at an FBO due to bad weather and need a safe space to strategize how you can continue your journey.
7. Long-Term Hanger Space
Some business people fly so much that they buy a private plane rather than choosing to charter one. If you’re one of those people (or aspire to be), know that FBOs tend to offer short-term and long-term hanger spaces that you can rent and store your plane in.
Taking an FBO up on that service could be valuable if you fly out of the same airport for most of your flights.
8. The Feeling of Exclusivity
There are several FBO advantages and benefits that are pragmatic to business and leisure travelers. One of the benefits that FBOs carry that isn’t exactly pragmatic but is nevertheless fun to enjoy is the feeling of exclusivity.
Think about it… While you’re enjoying an FBO, tens of thousands of other people are wrestling through security at the airport next door.
For many, that feeling of having the masses beat is enough of a benefit to justify an FBO by itself.
FBOs Are Ready and Waiting for You to Take Them for a Spin
Have we convinced you that FBOs are worth taking for a whirl during your next business trip? If we have, log onto your local airport’s website and confirm that an FBO operates on the property.
If your airport is like most, you’ll find an incredible FBO that will revolutionize your definition of what it means to fly.
No matter what your interests are, our team of writers has you covered. Check out more of our business, lifestyle and other content in our digital publication today!