Toronto Airways (the flight school at Buttonville) is making a policy change with regards to their booking & rental policy.
John Davis, Vice President of Flight Operations describes the change:
Toronto Airways has been receiving numerous complaints from customers with respect to our aircraft availability. As a result, we completed a thorough investigation of our reservation system, aircraft utilization and cancellation policies.
It was discovered that some individuals were taking advantage of our system to monopolize the aircraft and not use the time that they booked. In many cases the actual time used was 50% or less of the time reserved. In other instances the aircraft was booked and cancelled on a regular basis and not flown at all.
In an effort to stop this from happening and to increase the availability of aircraft to our customers Toronto Airways is instituting the following policy effective August 1, 2012.
Aircraft bookings will be charged out at the board rate for the aircraft at the greater of, 80% of the time booked or the actual flight time.
The instructor will still be invoiced on the flight time component of the flight as usual. This concept falls more in line with that of a car rental where customer pays for the time that the vehicle was available to them rather than on how much it was used. We expect that this change will entice individuals to book the aircraft only for the time that they intend to use them. Any extenuating circumstances with respect to dispatch delays, fuel etc will be looked at on a case by case basis.
Toronto Airways has also changed its cancellation policy from 24 hours to 48 hours. Cancellations for weather will still be acceptable on the day of the flight. Cancellations for extenuating circumstances will be looked at on a case by case basis. Customers who cancel on a regular basis will have their aircraft booking privileges rescinded.
This is an interesting direction. Personally, I was never guilty of these tactics and I always did find it frustrating that aircraft were never available. However, the pricing model is interesting especially in the cases of longer bookings (say 4+ hours). Since now, I will be charged for time when the engine is not running (while eating lunch, for example).