Ian Twombly

One smart FBO

June 27, 2008 by Ian J. Twombly, Associate Editor

In my travels, I have visited some pretty lousy FBOs. One charged me $5 to tow the airplane 20 feet to their fuel pumps. Others have charged as much as $40 to drop off a passenger, even though no services (including marshalling) were offered. Many have been rude and crass, the reason for which I have always assumed is that I don’t fly a jet.

But recently I had the pleasure to experience what must be one of the best FBOs in the business. Image Air at theĀ Central Illinois Regional Airport/Bloomington-Normal exemplifies what I think all FBOs should be about. Namely, good customer service, reasonable prices, and good services. That easy formula will win customers for life. So far I’ve only stopped twice at Image Air, but here are my two experiences:

1. Came in at 7:00 pm. Customer service agent got me a suite at a local hotel for $65 and then gave me the crew car for the evening, free of charge.

2. They sent a fuel truck to the other side of the airport, let me pay with a credit card given over the lineman’s radio, and then faxed me a receipt. When I got home, there was a thank you letter for buying the fuel. What a novel concept.

I think my favorite part of the FBO, however, is that it is able to attract jet customers with great services, but us little guys still feel welcome. Or maybe it’s the free cookies.

What else makes a good FBO? Which ones do it the best?


3 Responses to “One smart FBO”

  1. joann Says:

    Check out Central Coast Aviation at Salinas Airport, California. Not only great (low) fuel prices but unbelievable professional and kind service – and free wine if you buy enough fuel. Gary, the owner, was a Delta pilot and really knows and understands customer service.

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