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Sentient Jet

av8tortype

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My company is looking at various options including fractional and outright ownership. However, the jet membership program offered by Sentient Jets looks like a good alternative until requirements dictate ownership and wonder if any of you have any experience providing lift for Sentient. Any feedback is appreciated.
 

sydeseet

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We do some Sentient flying fairly regularly so I can tell you first hand that they are are a good group to do business with. They are very picky about the aircraft they use as well as requiring at least a Gold rating from ARGUS for the operator. We are constantly updating crew records, flight experience, etc... with them to keep on their list of approved providers. They pay quickly, don't haggle much, and will even pay us to keep an airplane available for a block of several days even if they don't use the aircraft. You can't beat getting paid for two hours of aircraft use per day while it sits in the hangar for free! All in all I've been impressed with them and the way they take care of their clients. My company certainly appreciates their business.
 
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PMVULB AvMgr

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Wouldn't touch outfits like Sentient or any of the so-called brokers with a ten foot pole. They don't own a damn thing, and only low ball legitimate charter companies for their dead head legs. The worst of the bunch is Blue Star Jet. Don't get me started about these s@@m bags. You're far better off chartering with a top quality audited charter company, it will cost you far less for most charter needs than going through the likes of Blue Star, Sentient etc.


BTW, Sentient bought Atlantic Aviation's charter department trying to show that they've gone legitimate. Funny how Scott Galdi, head of Atlantic charter, who always spoke ill of these brokers, SOLD OUT to them. Guess the numbers of almighty dollars must have been quite large for him to do an about face and kiss those he used to curse out.
 

Capthuff

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I'm not suprised by the two responses. I believe Sentient is a pretty good provider if your concern is from a customers point of view. I think they try harder than most actual charter companies to provide exceptional customer service. The customer knows they are paying a premium and, for the level of service provided, apparently they don't mind. Now, perhaps the prudent traveler would use a regular charter company for a round trip of no more then perhaps one RON and Sentient for the one way drop offs.
As a pilot for a charter company that provides Sentient lift I realize that dealing with the dispachers there can be trying at times. But I realize it IS ALL ABOUT THE CUSTOMER. One problem I think happens more than it should is the customer asks for a midsize and gets a light or requests a large and gets a midsize.

We have gotten customers to call us for the out and backs but I doubt they would call us for a drop off.

Other providers you might look at are CitationShares Vector program. You will know exactly what type of plane you will be on as with NetJet's Marquis card.

One nice thing about Sentient. I was on day 4 or 5 of a 7 or 8 day trip and it was my birthday. They had a cake waiting for me @ PVD.
 

sydeseet

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I'll second CaptHuff in that finding a well reputed charter operator with a diverse fleet of aircraft is an efficient way to provide long term lift for your people. We go out of our way to acquire this type of business and will work a block charter deal that caters to the clients needs. The option to purchase a share of or an entire aircraft at anytime can be worked into the deal as well so the arrangement can grow with the clients activity. All the frax providers are after this demographic too in the form of jet membership cards which I'm sure are a good way to travel if you don't mind the expense involved with flying on brand-new aircraft. Sentient et al offer a lower priced alternative but the aircraft selection is much more diverse and inconsistent in terms of aircraft type and provider. As I stated earlier though, Sentient will not do business with just anyone so rest assured that a Sentient aircraft is being provided by a reputable provider with a well established history of safety and customer service.

If you're in the Mid-Atlantic region and need some more info PM me and I'll hook you up. Commission free of course......
 

Capt1124

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If you're looking foe one ways there are bidding sites on the web where you can find them, and you will probably save by cutting out the middleman.
 

Nick5600

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The only cool thing about sentient is the nice free pens we get! From a pilot standpoint its no Fun!!! As far as aircraft is concerned they use are 1980 Citation 2 all the time! It looks like a beat down old freight plane!
 

400A

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They seem to take ok care of there customers, but there dispatch team is a little full of themselves. I once had a weather concern and called to give them heads up that I would go look at it, but might have to divert. They put some "flight specialist" on line who simply told me that I would be fine... Needless to say, that left a mark when I was done :D.

We only accept scheduled trips from them. Out and back, otherwise they think they own your aircraft and you do not know when you will come home. They only worry about Sentients bottom line, not yours. We flew a drop off for them, and when the dispatcher said let me see if I can release you to go home, all he heard when he came back to the phone was a dial tone, or maybe it was a pair of JT-15D-5's at 98% .
 

av8tortype

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Thanks for the feedback ... both positive and not. FlexJet is also offering a jet membership program similar to Sentient but I don't have the details yet. The plan is to fly a group of 3 execs down from PDX to SJC on Tues am and return them back Thurs pm. This would be a weekly evolution. Could be something an Oregon charter company might be interested in. Cost with Sentient ~$14K week.
 

G100driver

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The problem with Sentient and the like is they own absolutely NOTHING! IF they actually owned something they might garnish a little respect. Instead they poach charters off under funded and under staffed charter outfits at a reduced price and up charge the customer at the same rate they would if they were to deal with the charter operater directly. The result ..... NOTHING but another layer of BS.

Sentient has sucessfully poached away business from charter operaters and forced them to accept less money or lose the charter. The result of this is a lower bottom line for the operater, lower wages, second rate training, and crappy life. If Sentient really cared that a pilot was flying on his B-Day they would send you home.

Brokers in genreal are scumbags. Just say NO! Go with Flex or NetJets. With them you can be assured that their airplanes are maintained by the operator and their pilots are trained to IS-BAO standards. They may cost a bit more, but there is a reason.

Why would you want to put your executives on anything less than the best?
 
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Capthuff

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Av8tortype,

You should be able to get a reputable charter outfit in the PDX area to do that trip for pretty close to that cost. Certainly if you were to sign some sort of hourly commitment with them. For the three days they will probably charge a 2hr minimum/day but even @ $2000/hr for a lear 31/35 that is only $12,000 plus ovenight fees and it gets closed to $14,000. The upside to this is you know the operator, plane, pilots, and such. Plus if you decide to get a plane you already have a relationship with a 135 certificate holder if you want to put it on charter.

It's all about negotiating.

If I were an operator in PDX I'd be all over this.
 

400A

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The other good new is that they have sold so much that they are also having to use those of us that will NOT discount to them. When we fly for them it is full rate of $1950 per hour for us. Same price anyone else would get. Not even a 5% broker discount.

CAPT HUFF is bang on By the way!
 

Capt1124

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While we're on the subject of brokers, what kind of a commission do they typically get? 5%? 10%?

A broker recently told me she could get us a wholesale rate of $1500 or !550 per hour for our Westwind, whichimplies about $400 per hour profit to her. That seems a little high.....
 

G100driver

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Like I say ... brokers are scumbags. They own nothing and profit just for themselve while undercutting the certificate holders. Try operating a Westwind for $1500 an hour today and make a profit. Yea right!

BTW she was not kidding. She has found a $hitbag certificate holder with a pile of pooo Westwind that is willing to drive the market down. She is then going to hold it over more reputable operators heads until they start to say yes to trips.

Best thing you can do is accept and screw her over at a tech stop (on the way home of course) in Salinas, KS.

Just say "NO"

BTW 400A good for you and your flight department. I am glad to see you are holding a higher standard when dealing with these guys.
 

HMR

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G100driver said:
She has found a $hitbag certificate holder with a pile of pooo Westwind that is willing to drive the market down.
Hmmmm... KVNY comes to mind.:D

Sentient seems to drive the crews pretty hard. Most of my contract work over the past year has been relieving spent PT135 crews who've been stuck in KTEB for weeks-on-end doing multi-leg Sentient trips.

As for Sentient only using a "reputable provider with a well established history of safety and customer service", I disagree. A few years ago I worked for an operator that was far from reputable, safe or service oriented. Sentient was itching to get us on board.
 

matchthehatch

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HMR said:
Hmmmm... KVNY comes to mind.:D

Sentient seems to drive the crews pretty hard. Most of my contract work over the past year has been relieving spent PT135 crews who've been stuck in KTEB for weeks-on-end doing multi-leg Sentient trips.

As for Sentient only using a "reputable provider with a well established history of safety and customer service", I disagree. A few years ago I worked for an operator that was far from reputable, safe or service oriented. Sentient was itching to get us on board.

I second all of that. Sentient actually called the FBO at our departure airport and asked the girl behind the counter what we were wearing. They had absolutely no reason to do this, because we had always been professionally dressed.

As for HMR's statement about "reputable provider", again I agree. I worked for a Sentient provider who employed less-than-safe pilots and mechanics (the biggest reason I left). Sentient seemed more concerned with the appearance of the interior than anything safety-related.

I hate to bad mouth the company, though. They do work hard to satisfy their customers, but I think they do so at the cost of better safety.

HMR...Love the avatar. Where is that? Makes me want to sit on a porch and drink a good bourbon.
 

aeolian

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av8tortype said:
Thanks for the feedback ... both positive and not. FlexJet is also offering a jet membership program similar to Sentient but I don't have the details yet. The plan is to fly a group of 3 execs down from PDX to SJC on Tues am and return them back Thurs pm. This would be a weekly evolution. Could be something an Oregon charter company might be interested in. Cost with Sentient ~$14K week.

Sir,

I believe you suggest spending $56K/mo or $672K/yr. For such an investment you CAN get far more than a weekly round trip to SJC. If you want no concerns rather than writing a check, go forward. But if money matters, and you are willing to devote a bit of effort to the whole transportation issue, a significant savings, tax benefits and more familiar service is available. It's called shared ownership and for many travelers it makes sense.

A.
 

av8tortype

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aeolian said:
Sir,

I believe you suggest spending $56K/mo or $672K/yr. For such an investment you CAN get far more than a weekly round trip to SJC. If you want no concerns rather than writing a check, go forward. But if money matters, and you are willing to devote a bit of effort to the whole transportation issue, a significant savings, tax benefits and more familiar service is available. It's called shared ownership and for many travelers it makes sense.

A.

We're evaluatiing various ownership options. The 2 that I mentioned earlier were fractional and outright purchase. What we've tried to stay away from is having to explain the corporate jet to a room full of angry shareholders. Jet membership or charter is a big expense compared with hopping on Alaska for $250 r/t PDX-SJC-PDX but maybe there's something to be said for a "Capitalist Tool" as Malcolm Forbes called his jet. I'm just covering all the angles so that the new giuy knows the cost we will be incurring to get him to work. We should all have this problem.
 

HMR

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matchthehatch said:
HMR...Love the avatar. Where is that? Makes me want to sit on a porch and drink a good bourbon.
:) McCall, ID
 

some_dude

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If you are looking for reasons why charter/private air travel makes sense, a few things you might consider:

1) The time savings over airlining is significant, when you consider the time used up for check in, security, retrieving bags on the other end, etc. You're looking at probably an hour and a half on each trip.

2) In the Portland area, there may be a more convenient airport than PDX for your passenger. In particular, look at Aurora and Hillsboro. There may be a considerable time savings there as well.

3) A guy I used to fly for, CEO of a public company, once told me, "If the shareholders and the board want me to stick around, they'll pay for the airplane. If they don't want to pay for the airplane, they can find someone else." A valid point-- if this guy generates enough shareholder value and an airplane is required to keep him happy, it's a sound investment.
 
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