As a frequent traveler, you’re probably both a creature of habit and someone who likes to keep your options open–especially if it means an expedited flight and shortened travel day.
When you know the 10 top fixed-base operators in the United States, you can indulge both priorities. FBOs in America fill an important need in the travel industry by providing general aviation services such as fueling, storage, catering, meeting rooms, concierge services and maintenance.
With nearly 20,000 FBOs across the globe, amenities vary from the bare necessities to the ultra plush. That’s why Aviation International News’ exclusive survey of more than 17,000 FBOs can be an invaluable resource, especially with regard to the top FBOs in America.
The publication fielded responses from 2,037 people who interact daily with these FBOs, such as pilots and flight department managers. These in-the-know people rated the service providers in four key categories: line service, passenger amenities, pilot amenities and facilities.
In each category, FBOs received a score of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. The top scorers? Pentastar Aviation and XJet, both of which earned an overall rating of 9.3. But there is plenty of competition nipping at their heels – and that portends only good things for frequent travelers.
The top 10 FBOs in America – including their city, airport and rating – are as follows:
- Pentastar Aviation; Pontiac, MI; Oakland County International; 9.3
- Xjet; Denver; Centennial; 9.3
- AirFlite; Long Beach; Long Beach Daugherty; 9.2
- JA Air Center; Sugar Grove, IL; Aurora Municipal; 9.2
- Tampa International Jet Center; Kansas City, MO; Tampa International; 9.2
- Wilson Air Center; Memphis; Memphis International; 9.1
- Global Select; Sugar Land, TX; Sugar Land Regional; 9.0
- Jet Aviation Palm Beach; West Palm Beach; Palm Beach International; 9.0
- Meridian Teterboro; Teterboro, NJ; Teterboro; 9.0
- Banyan Air Service; Fort Lauderdale; Fort Lauderdale Executive; 8.9
Although the up-close vantage point of the survey participants might be more critical than that of business travelers, their priorities seem remarkably similar. Respondents were asked about which qualities they view as most important to a quality FBO. Their answers – and the percentage of respondents who shared the same view were:
- Excellent customer service: 86 percent
- Fuel pricing: 68 percent
- Passenger amenities: 40 percent
- Pilot amenities: 29 percent
- Cleanliness: 29 percent
- Line service training program participation: 14 percent
- FBO infrastructure and decor: 14 percent
- Loyalty and reward programs: 10 percentSurvey participants also were asked, “What do some FBOs do that make you want to avoid them?” Their answers, and the percentage of respondents who agreed, were:
- Poor customer service to passengers: 74 percent
- Run-down or unclean facility: 51 percent
- Unprofessional or improperly trained customer service representatives: 43 percent
- Poor care of aircraft: 37 percent
- Ramp fees: 31 percent
- Charging separately for services, such as coffee: 24 percent
- Lack of proper ground-handling equipment: 17 percent
- Adding a fee for handling catering: 10 percent
- Billing errors: 3 percent
For information on international FBOs, see Aviation International News.