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Which FBO to Choose?

ilm

New member
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Posts
4
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000
What factors are decided upon when choosing an FBO at an airport where there is competition on the field?

Is it strictly price driven?
Amenities?
Service with a smile?
Facility?
Fuel Brand?
Simply the other choice than the larger chains?

Who are the decision makers when choosing an FBO?

If you are a new FBO where are some specific publications to advertise to get everyone to know you are another choice at a specific airport now?

We are a new FBO at CGF airport called The Cleveland Jet Center. We have made a point to have competitive fuel costs and provide the best service possible. We are trying to conduct a survey to all of the fractional operators, management companies, charter companies, and corporate operators to see what they like best and be sure to offer what is expected out of an FBO.
 

brokeflyer

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
2,374
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1501
My biggest concern is for the passengers. Nothing irritates me more than to be helping passengers off while a line guy is asking me how much fuel ill be taking.

Get my people taken care of first, obviously if i need fuel i wont be leaving without it.
 

Dooker

Well-known member
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Apr 19, 2007
Posts
344
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25,000
Two words: hot girls.

Hot girls trump all else--amenities, fuel prices, passenger comfort, you name it.

After a long day in the flight levels, nothing says "welcome back to terra firma" like a hot girl. Whether she's mashalling you onto the ramp, driving the fuel truck, dumping your lav or ringing up your fuel ticket, a hot girl can somehow make all the craziness and stress of the day just kind of melt away.

Oh, and Avtrip points are nice, too.
 

QOL_is_great:)

What the?
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Posts
311
Total Time
>6500
What factors are decided upon when choosing an FBO at an airport where there is competition on the field?

Is it strictly price driven?
Amenities?
Service with a smile?
Facility?
Fuel Brand?
Simply the other choice than the larger chains?

Who are the decision makers when choosing an FBO?

If you are a new FBO where are some specific publications to advertise to get everyone to know you are another choice at a specific airport now?

We are a new FBO at CGF airport called The Cleveland Jet Center. We have made a point to have competitive fuel costs and provide the best service possible. We are trying to conduct a survey to all of the fractional operators, management companies, charter companies, and corporate operators to see what they like best and be sure to offer what is expected out of an FBO.

In the fractional world the pilots don't decide on the FBO. It's the customer/owner and then the company based on price or contract.

Sadly, pilots love FREE stuff. Food, drinks, internet access, fuel purchasing programs, t-shirts, hats, and such. Have lots of fresh cookies and/or popcorn for the group to consume even if many need to use P90X:p
Pilots like a quiet place to sit, relax and be out of sight from the public. A great TV with cable is a must for those days of sitting around with not a thing to do. A crew car is a plus too. Maybe some deals with local attractions/businesses with discounts to bring those same pilots that must spend the day with you.

Friendly service is great for pilots too. Nothing is worse then arriving into an FBO and having the C/S reps not smile, hard on the eyes and just flat out grumpy. Visit First Aviation in TEB and see the C/S reps there, OUCH!!!
 

Guitar Guy

Charvel - San Dimas
Joined
Oct 14, 2004
Posts
1,770
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Enough
Or, in the case of my employer, they tell us which FBO to use. The company has "preferred" FBO's at larger airports though the customer can choose which FBO is to be used.
 

o2bflyn

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Posts
482
Total Time
>40
My biggest concern is for the passengers. Nothing irritates me more than to be helping passengers off while a line guy is asking me how much fuel ill be taking.

Get my people taken care of first, obviously if i need fuel i wont be leaving without it.

X2

could not have said it better myself. I understand that ramps get busy, but if you see me unloading bags and get my pax on their way, give me a few minutes before you ask if I have catering. They pretty much determine which FBO I go to. If they are not happy, I am not happy.


Secondly, the cost is obvously a factor. In this day and age it has to be. The less expensive a given leg can be the better it is......fuel, ramp, handling fess, etc.. all play a factor.
 

clydefastly

Randomly Specific
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Posts
212
Total Time
4000+
All of the fracs have some sort of fuel dept that searches for the best prices and services. My suggestion would be to contact each company and ask the decision makers what they want to see. The pilots usually have very little choice of which fbo to use, we go where the blackberry tells us to go. Unless we report a less than desirable experience to our company, or if the pax request an fbo other than that preferred by the company, we go where the company needs us to go.

Hope this helps, and good luck!!!!
 

DUATS

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Posts
279
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23
All of the fracs have some sort of fuel dept that searches for the best prices and services. My suggestion would be to contact each company and ask the decision makers what they want to see. The pilots usually have very little choice of which fbo to use, we go where the blackberry tells us to go. Unless we report a less than desirable experience to our company, or if the pax request an fbo other than that preferred by the company, we go where the company needs us to go.

Hope this helps, and good luck!!!!

Better yet, show up at the doorstep of the corporate office (with some free logo stuff) and ask them in person, "what can we do to be your provider of choice in Cleveland?". And then do it. And follow up to let the know you did it. This is called Marketing 101. I am a bit surprised that you would ask a group like this your question.
 

o2bflyn

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Jun 18, 2008
Posts
482
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Better yet, show up at the doorstep of the corporate office (with some free logo stuff) and ask them in person, "what can we do to be your provider of choice in Cleveland?". And then do it. And follow up to let the know you did it. This is called Marketing 101. I am a bit surprised that you would ask a group like this your question.

Why wouldn't he ask this group? If there are complaints about an FBO, who do you think tells the Corporate office. The pilots/ passengers are an important part of the Marketing here......Its called customer service. You can give me all the fuel discounts and free hats in the world, but if your CS sucks its no good. The best source to find out the ACTUAL level of customer service is through the pilots/ passengers
 

Aviation Geek

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2006
Posts
62
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270
Two words: hot girls.

Hot girls trump all else--amenities, fuel prices, passenger comfort, you name it.

After a long day in the flight levels, nothing says "welcome back to terra firma" like a hot girl. Whether she's mashalling you onto the ramp, driving the fuel truck, dumping your lav or ringing up your fuel ticket, a hot girl can somehow make all the craziness and stress of the day just kind of melt away.

Oh, and Avtrip points are nice, too.

Given your response you:

A) Have never actually been with a girl

B) Are sadly married to a fat, middle aged nag who has taken every ounce of your manhood with her constant whining, complaining and refusal to give you any

C) Fail to realize that it does not matter what the girl behind the counter looks like, she is not going to have anything to do with a loser like you

D) Covering that you are gay (and yes... the ramp and counter guys think you are a loser too).

Grow up.
 

Mike Jenvey

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Posts
175
Total Time
8000
Dooker's comments about girls are not that stoopid!! Go to Olbia, what do they have........??? Yep, lots of pretty girls. Reason for it?? Like it or not, the majority of GA pilots & pax are male = deliberate placement of eye candy, pure & simple. Some FBO managers will even admit to it.

Now, when you try to get weather/NOTAMs at Olbia, that can sometimes be a very different matter!! :rolleyes:

Other factors? The company paying the invoice will want the cheapest price, the pilots wll always want too much, but to me, it all boils down to cistomer service (for pax + pilots). Intelligent anticipation of requirements is essential - landing after a 6 hr flight with 10 pax with a ferry flight soon after = toilet + water service standing by without even being requested, weather/NOTAMs for the ferry sector handed to me at the bottom of the aircraft steps, fuel truck waiting, etc, etc.
 
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glasspilot

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9K'ish
Obviously my Pax come first and you need to take care of them first.

But Help me Help Them.

Here is what I have to have:

1. A computer with internet and a printer. Most FBOs do this but some still think a WSI computer is a flight planning aid. I'll tell you the truth, I have no idea how to use WSI. If I can't get onto fltplan.com then I call the company, make them do it and fax me the flight plan and weather.

2. Did I mention a computer with internet and a printer?

Here's what I would like:

1. A quiet room out of sight with TV.
2. A GPU that works.
3. Free stuff; coffee, snacks, ect. The more the better.
4. A crew car. Nice ones are nice, but I'll settle for anything.
5. Help with getting hotels set up and arranging transportation.
6. Hot chicks never hurt. Right or wrong it's a trend in the FBO industry that's nice.
7. Restrooms that don't remind me of a highschool.
8. AvTrip or some other fuel incentive plan that puts cash in my pocket.

Oh, and don't forget what makes the plane airworthy...the PIC:

Paper
Ice
Coffee

Have a selection of papers that include the WSJ, NY Times, USA Today and some local paper. Try to have coffee that doesn't taste like mud.

Good luck. Hope I drop by to check out your FBO sometime.
 
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glasspilot

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Here's another tip. Fractional pilots don't pick FBOs, but corporate pilots do. Don't lay off sucking up to pilots thinking they don't make the FBO decisions. Many many do.
 

doh

Jump seat shrink
Joined
Aug 26, 2003
Posts
4,017
Total Time
48 yrs
Given your response you:

A) Have never actually been with a girl

B) Are sadly married to a fat, middle aged nag who has taken every ounce of your manhood with her constant whining, complaining and refusal to give you any

C) Fail to realize that it does not matter what the girl behind the counter looks like, she is not going to have anything to do with a loser like you

D) Covering that you are gay (and yes... the ramp and counter guys think you are a loser too).

Grow up.


Soooo, your name is Aviation Geek. Obviously you have not read many of Dooker's posts. Many of us come on FI primarily to entertain ourselves. Dooker personifies this. He very rarely makes a serious post, and he often cracks up the board. Maybe, instead of asking him to grow up, we should ask you to lighten up. Dooker, keep up the good work! You sometimes bomb, but not often.:beer:
 

Dooker

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Posts
344
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Given your response you:

A) Have never actually been with a girl

B) Are sadly married to a fat, middle aged nag who has taken every ounce of your manhood with her constant whining, complaining and refusal to give you any

C) Fail to realize that it does not matter what the girl behind the counter looks like, she is not going to have anything to do with a loser like you

D) Covering that you are gay (and yes... the ramp and counter guys think you are a loser too).

Grow up.

Big talk for a 270 hour pilot.

And is it just me, or does this guy actually write with a lisp?
 

Dooker

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Apr 19, 2007
Posts
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Soooo, your name is Aviation Geek. Obviously you have not read many of Dooker's posts. Many of us come on FI primarily to entertain ourselves. Dooker personifies this. He very rarely makes a serious post, and he often cracks up the board. Maybe, instead of asking him to grow up, we should ask you to lighten up. Dooker, keep up the good work! You sometimes bomb, but not often.:beer:

Thanks, man. You hit the nail on the head.
 

RNObased

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Joined
Oct 11, 2005
Posts
848
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10,000
C) Fail to realize that it does not matter what the girl behind the counter looks like, she is not going to have anything to do with a loser like you

.

I think that Dooker has a better shot with the counter girl, then you would when you roll up in your shiney 172.
 
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