For charter brokers, no two days are the same and they must relish the challenge of the unexpected. They provide the rapid response that can make the difference between life and death as well as the efficient and sympathetic handling of the unusual or sentimental that can make or break a special occasion.
PrivateFly recently organised a flight from Amsterdam to New York – for one man and his dog. Adam Twidell, md, says: "The dog had apparently helped the owner through some difficult times and the New York trip was specifically arranged to thank his four-legged friend for his support!"
Catarina Martins, md of Blue Heaven Portugal, was told only as a client departed on a flight from Faro to Marrakech that she was charged with taking care of his new Porsche 911 Turbo while he was away. "You can imagine how carefully I took that responsibility! When the client arrived back in Faro he found a shining car waiting for him."
Olga Sevcuka of Private Jet Charter says: "I love my job as a broker. It is varied and interesting: you never know what unusual requests will come in during the working day. My favourite unusual recent request was a Russian client who asked me to fill his Hawker 850 on a trip from Ukraine to London full of red roses because his wife was pregnant and he wanted to surprise her. Indeed he did – and it was my pleasure to make that happen."
Emre Islek, md of Istanbul's AFDair, remembers how a typing error lead to a mass of confusion that had to be corrected promptly. "The client's typo meant he requested the transport of goats when it should have been cows," he recalls.
Such sentimental or amusing commissions contrast starkly with demands in a year that, even though only a quarter of the way through, will be remembered as one of the busiest on record in terms of emergency evacuations.
But, to the client, every request – from a pet surprise to a life-saving evacuation – is important and, to the charter operator, every piece of profitable business is valuable.