In this economy, it’s been fuel price first and we beat the other attributes into them…
I’m very particular about how these multi-million dollar assets are fueled and handled on the ground…and I have no problem letting line techs et al know when they’re not paying “full attention” shall we say, to the task at hand. Conversely, I’m very complimentary to those who are on the ball and do it right.
We are a Universal client so if they have a contract at the airport that is where we go. That pretty much covers 99.9% of our flights, otherwise whoever takes one of the two credit cards we have gets us.
I apologise. I now assume that the you in the question means me and not more generically one.
As a small GA operator flying purely for family recreational purposes, mostly on weekends and holidays, I choose a location based on activities in the immediate area. These activities may include historic sites or restaurants. I have also chosen airports that have no FBO because of interesting features at the airport such as picturesque airfields, short fields or soft fields. There also are web sites (alabamaaviator.com) and organisations (EAA etc) which announce future events in my area. This is the method I use for selecting the airport.
It is then important that I can get to the recreational or historic areas, so the availability of a courtesy car or rental car is important. It is often difficult to get a rental car at smaller airports on the weekends. The price of 100LL is my second consideration, given a choice of FBOs. I have flown to an airport because a particular FBO had free icecream & hotdogs.
Now to address the question of where do I look. As a part of my PPL training, I was taught to use all available resources to plan my flight. This site has a lot of information under the FBO tab for the airport. By all means, call the FBO for more info if needed for flight planning. Airport/FBO selection would not be complete without a visit to Mr Google. Typically, one of the first 3 hits (often the first) when I search on the airport 4 letter ident will have sufficient info and in that information there will normally be reviews by other pilots. I also subscribe to Flightguide publications and they have some information on FTL on or near the field.
I wish you all the best in trying to improve services. (Hot chicks are only a bonus and do not make the selection criteria)
Now there’s a post Fenelon. And I agree about the “bonus”.
I’d also like to add that there is not one particular source for FBO information that I use. I mean…there just is so many. Like FlightAware, Ac-u-kwik, Air-Nav, AOPA, Jeppesen, Universal, the contract-fuel providers we use… But when going to an airport for the first time I always do extra research. I’ve found that not all of the information sources are consistant with what is published. So trying to find out what is accurate can sometimes be a challenge.
As a non-pilot, it seems like choosing an FBO would be like choosing any other business. Provided there is more than one FBO at an airport, I would use the criteria of great service, decent prices, and the willingness to help me by going the extra mile.