What would you charge? (to ferry a light single)

Alchemy

Partner, Ally, Friend
I was sitting around today when I got a call from my flight school's dispatcher. He tells me that a businessman had flown his c-172 to Austin from New Orleans earlier this week, but a front moved in today and stalled out over the area (solid IMC). The owner/pilot isn't instrument current, but he had to be back in New Orleans today so he caught an airline flight back home. Therefore, he needs someone to ferry his 172 to New Orleans.

That's where I come in. The dispatcher give me the owner/pilot's telephone number. I called him up at which point he explained that he would pay for my airline ticket back to Austin after I dropped his plane off in New Orleans. He then asked me how much I expected to be paid for my services. I replied "45 dollars should cover it".

Mistake.

At this point, the pilot starts questioning my qualifications. It went something like this:

Him: "What? $45? That's All? You mean you're not a CFI?"
Me: "No I'm a single and multi engine commercial pilot"
Him: "So are you just trying to build hours or what? How many hours do you have for that matter?"
Me: "350 hours total time, with about 200 of those hours in the 172".
Him: "Are you even Instrument rated?"
Me: "Yes."
Him: "Uhhh, I'm gonna have to check with my insurance to see if you can fly the plane for me."

Basically, I feel like I was waaaay below expectations with my 45 dollar bid to make the flight. Austin to New Orleans would probably entail about 4 to 4.5 hours in a skyhawk, plus the time I'd be spending flying back to Austin on the airlines. That's comes out to about 10 dollars an hour. Apparantly, this is considerably below what I was expected to charge as a qualified pilot. All in all I feel like I blew my first opportunity to be paid to fly because I badly underestimated what I should charge for my services.

How much reimbursment would you expect for this type of work?
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
$120-$150 per day, plus expenses (transportation, meals, fuel, etc). That seems to be about the going rate.
 

Josh

Well-Known Member
$45 sounds about right - per hour


I'd figure it as your day rate, as it will take your entire day to do, plus expenses.

So if you would normally charge $10hr for a scenic flight or whatever, then figure out how much you could make in the day $80 lets say, and that is your day rate. Yeah, $10 is way low. I'd say you are worth $20-25hr as commercial. So $100-150 would be a cheap day rate.

Either do a flat fee, plus expenses. Per hour, plus expenses. Or just flat fee. With the last, you would figure in the 'average' cost of a commercial trip. Then if you end up saving a bit on a discount airline, you just made an extra $50 or whatever.

CFI is really no more 'qualified' to ferry a plane than you are, so find the local CFI rate, and you should be near that per hour. Insurance may see this differently, but as far as certification goes, the CFI can ferry because of the commercial cert, not because of the CFI.

Unless the person was a friend, I'd charge $30hr, plus expenses, personally. And I'm a newly minted commercial about a month ago. Ferry jobs can suck. You never really know the condition of the plane.

Price the ticket back, add in a bit to account for your time to airports, sitting at airports, food, etc. And give that rate as a flat fee option. So offer either:

"I charge $400 for that trip, or $30hr plus return ticket and expenses, plane must be in good working, airworth condition"

What are you going to do if you get stuck behind a storm, and can't continue on? Out another day, so expenses in that case may be a hotel room. But with the $400 flat fee, you would make sure you go when you end up with the most profit in the end.

Don't forget to inquire if his insurance will cover you flying the plane. You don't want to get screwed with a bill because you were not insured on something unforseen, like say a bird strike.

Josh
 

TheWife

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
"What? $45?

[/ QUOTE ] Can you tell him you meant $45 an hour maybe including expenses? Or did you already make it clear that you meant total? Then you could "negotiate" down to $30 or so. I hope it works out for you!
 

FL270

New Member
I charge $25-35 per hour or $225-300 per day plus expenses for any freelance work I do. However, the bulk of that is in Bonanzas, so I'd probably go a little lower for a 172 trip like that. I would have quoted $200, probably.

Don't sell yourself short!

FL270
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
$120-$150 per day, plus expenses (transportation, meals, fuel, etc). That seems to be about the going rate.


[/ QUOTE ]

Damn, you guys are cheap down there in TN!


I personally wouldn't do it for less than $200 a day plus expenses.
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
$120-$150 per day, plus expenses (transportation, meals, fuel, etc). That seems to be about the going rate.


[/ QUOTE ]

Damn, you guys are cheap down there in TN!


I personally wouldn't do it for less than $200 a day plus expenses.

[/ QUOTE ]

LOL...The cheap girl gets all t....oh, my bad....all the good deals at the store


Really, I think if it were anything more than a Skyhawk, or if I had to go over mountains....or anything else funky, I might go a little higher. You know me, though...always undercutting the next guy!!!
 

shooter13

New Member
I'd charge $30,000. That would pay for all of my ratings so I could fly his plane for him.


I wonder if I can find someone in need of having an airplane moved...
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
You know me, though...always undercutting the next guy!!!

[/ QUOTE ]

lol...mtsu, you're a hoot! If you're ever in my area, or I make it down there again, drinks on me for always giving you a hard time...
 

viper548

Well-Known Member
I'd charge $150/day + expenses. If you charge too little, people will tend to think you're not a professional. For some reason, people seem to think the more something costs, the better it is. I saw an add for garmin 430/530 instruction, $1400 for 2 days. Don't know what they could possibly teach that's not in the owner's manuel or you couldn't figure out on your own using the cd-rom simulator, but apparently it's better training, because it costs more.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Probably all told, $2,000 is reasonable per 24 hour period.

Expenses, plus operating costs, plus good looking pilot, plus tip.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
$45 for a 4 hour flight? You get your ratings for free or something? That will take up a whole day. No wonder the guy reacted the way he did.

A business man expects you to make a living.

I'd say $300 + expenses is about right for professional pilot services in a single engine.
 

GregCollins2

Well-Known Member
We get $150 per day plus expenses.
We have some guys here that would do it for free just to get the 4 hours flight time. 4 hours= $340 rental for time building.
Insurance is an issue. Some pleasure and business policies require pretty insane hours for for non-owner pilots.
 

mrivc211

Well-Known Member
I charge $200 per day plus expenses. I've been on a couple of trips up to this point, some good some bad.
 

Alchemy

Partner, Ally, Friend
My (stupid) logic with the 45 dollars was that I would be taking the hourly wage I make at my current job (line service tech @ $9/hr) and charging the guy about the same amount for my time behind the yoke, then sit through the airline flight back free of charge. I really had no idea how much I should be charging and didn't have much time to think it through (had about 15 minutes from the time I found out about the opportunity to the time I was asked how much I was going to charge). I was afraid that if I asked for too much he'd try to find someone else to do it. That plan backfired on me.

Yes, I realize how stupid it was to offer to do it for $45 which is why I created this thread. I was too excited about the fact that someone was actually going to pay me to fly an airplane to come up with an appropriate rate for my services.
 

sixpack

New Member
First rule of negotiating business...

Find out or estimate what he might be willing to pay


Seriously, consider your position.
#1 You want to be a commercial pilot and get paid to fly.
#2 You want to build time, and have nothing more important to do.
If it's some guy who bought his first plane by scraping together a 30K loan, then do what you did... make him a cheap offer.
If it's a personal with business intentions and "expectations", charge him the going commercial rate. Flight instruction at a large school (business) tends to run about 30-50/hour. Tell the customer that your normal rate for one hour is $30/hour. If his reaction is that this is high, tell him that (of course) bulk time is much cheaper, and counter with 15/hr or a flat fee.

At this point, since you already told him $45, just be honest. Tell him that the downturn in the airline industry has made it a bit tough to find good flying jobs, and your offer was a reflection of your anxiousness to build some time (not a reflection of your flying qualifications and skills). Give him some references.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Give him some references.

[/ QUOTE ]

That is a very good idea. See if you can use a former instructor or someone more experienced that you've flown with.
 

av8rmsu

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
First rule of negotiating business...

Find out or estimate what he might be willing to pay




[/ QUOTE ]

That is terrible advice.

[ QUOTE ]


Seriously, consider your position.
#1 You want to be a commercial pilot and get paid to fly.
#2 You want to build time, and have nothing more important to do.
If it's some guy who bought his first plane by scraping together a 30K loan, then do what you did... make him a cheap offer.

[/ QUOTE ]

Does this mean that if a rich guy comes in for instruction, you would charge hime $50 an hour.....and a poor high school kid would only be charged $10?

[ QUOTE ]


If it's a personal with business intentions and "expectations", charge him the going commercial rate. Flight instruction at a large school (business) tends to run about 30-50/hour. Tell the customer that your normal rate for one hour is $30/hour. If his reaction is that this is high, tell him that (of course) bulk time is much cheaper, and counter with 15/hr or a flat fee.

At this point, since you already told him $45, just be honest. Tell him that the downturn in the airline industry has made it a bit tough to find good flying jobs, and your offer was a reflection of your anxiousness to build some time (not a reflection of your flying qualifications and skills). Give him some references.


[/ QUOTE ]


What does the airline industry have to do with a GA guy ferrying a plane? Absolutely nothing!

Good flying jobs are hard to come by yes...but I wouldn't consider this a good flying job....It's a "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" one time deal.

The best advice I could give you is...don't sell yourself short.

You worked hard for your ratings and deserve to get paid at least $25 an hour for your services. I think about $200 a day is a lot better rate...your time is worth something, even though you aren't sitting in the cockpit, doesn't mean you aren't working. Businesswise: if you are charging less than you are worth, you are loosing money.

The guy left his plane at your ramp and now needs some help. People in aviation know how much this type of stuff costs. If he was wanting to save money, he would get a one way ticket back to his plane and fly it back himself.

Raking some one over the coals because "they can afford it" is bad carma and a good way to ruin your reputation. Pilots are people of high integrity and good character.

Be professional and if someone thinks your services are worth more than you charged, they will give you more.


Just my $.02

Everything is a learning process....now the next time this happens...you will be ready with a quick "quote" that you will be confident with.
 
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