CUSTOMS STOPS AND YOUR FRACTIONAL JET SHARE
Customs stops are required by governmental regulations. Fractional share owners are required to make these stops as they re-enter US airspace. Should you be penalized for the minimal duration of this flight if it is required by government regulations? The answer is no.
Most fractional contracts have a provision that will not charge you for a 1 hour minimum flight segment for a stop required by government regulation. There may be a small charge to cover the additional maintenance costs (about $200).
Be diligent because we have discovered a situation where the owner was charged for a one hour minimum for a stop required by US Customs. Regardless of whether the short leg was created on the first leg or final leg of the journey, there should not be a minimum charge of one hour.
Watch for the short leg waiver deduction. You may look at your invoice and see you were charged for the actual flight time but not notice the deduction of a short leg waiver. This may seem meaningless but if you take a trip later in that contract year but now you have run out of short leg waivers, you could be costing yourself thousands of dollars. The average comprehensive cost of a flight hour on a light jet in a fractional jet program is over $4,000. If you can save five tenths of one billable hour by protecting your short leg waiver, you will have saved as much as $2,000.
Additionally, you should be inquiring as to when your fractional share manager will have an over flight permit. This allows prescreened owners to clear customs at their home airport if they follow the prescribed procedures.
It is beneficial to review your management contract periodically to better understand the charges on your invoices and to avoid errors on your statements. Our reviews have uncovered errors in charges for ferry fees, landing fees and inaccurate flight times. A review of your monthly invoice is important and will eliminate costly errors.