Liberty Jet has launched a website which aims to improve its client’s travel experience and maintains the personal touch so important in charter operations
Based at Long Island MacArthur Airport, New York, Liberty Jet combines a successful aircraft management and charter operation with a jet sales division. Unusually for the industry at the moment, it has not released a new app, but it has launched a brand new website, replacing an existing site that was barely two years old.
In an industry where personal contact and tailored customer service are the norm, it’s difficult to imagine travellers having the inclination to drill through a website. But there’s clearly a place for both and, as Liberty Jet’s President, Jet Membership, Nathan McKelvey explains, creating the right website means tailoring it to your customers’ needs and facilitating individual service.
“All our technology is designed to enhance the personal relationship not replace it. Our advisors are available 24/7/365 and often get calls long after business hours. It’s the nature of our business and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.”
With many companies launching apps and promoting websites, what has Liberty done to be ‘the best’ or ‘most comprehensive’ in the market, in its view? And is its lack of app an opportunity missed?
“Our website was developed with mobile in mind,” explains McKelvey. “It’s created in a responsive web design so it will work just as well on a smartphone as it does on a desktop or tablet computer. And Liberty Jet is not trying to reinvent the industry, rather to make significant improvements in the flyer’s experience by tackling cumbersome or time-consuming tasks, one at a time.
“We’ve already built a series of invaluable tools for the private jet flyer, including our Private Jet Airport Locator to help them and their administrative assistants locate the closest ‘useable’ private jet airport to their end destination, while our itinerary builder alerts a customer when they’ve selected a route, airport or date/time range that requires further planning, a specific jet category or an additional crew.”
Nowhere in civil aviation are security of information and privacy more important than in business and VIP operations, and Liberty Jet has taken great care to keep its customers’ information safe. “We use encryption on the site, we don’t use third party platforms – all our website technology is proprietary – and we do not sell the information to anyone,” says McKelvey.
“In addition, customer financial data including credit card and bank account information are only accessible from our company headquarters. We don’t maintain any of it on servers accessible from the web, which minimizes access to a handful of on-site Liberty Jet staff.”
The company is also a bizjet sales specialist, adding an important capability to its portfolio. “Our core business is jet management and we’ve found that most customers are introduced to private jet travel through charter; later they purchase and look for a management company. By offering a complete range of products, we remain with the customer through the product lifecycle as their travel needs change through charter, purchase and management, back to charter with their own jet.”
The importance of sales to its customers is evident in how they use Liberty Jet’s website; aircraft sales data and online quotations are among the most popular destinations for users. “We scrape all the top aircraft sales websites, in a similar way to Kayak.com, so customers can find every listing for every jet type,” says McKelvey.
“Our online quotation comparison and booking feature means that every charter quotation we send to a customer graphs out the performance of each jet option presented, including cabin and baggage volume, speed and range, and flight times for the desired route. Customers only need click a ‘book it’ link and sign on their smartphone or computer electronically to confirm.”
So has the website investment paid off in terms of happier clients? “Our customers find the new site easier to use, its faster to locate key functions and accessible on more devices; although the older site was only two years old, with our constant development of new features and technology, we eventually had to redesign from scratch.
“We launched our latest website just a few weeks ago and we’re already working on the next version. The process never ends. We’re continuously developing new technology to streamline the booking process, make it easier for the client to quote, review, book and flight track a private jet.”