If you’ve ever experienced the hassle of waiting in a long airport security line or being sat next to somebody who has neglected their personal hygiene on a flight, then you know just how unpleasant flying commercially can be. In a perfect world, you’d be able to hop aboard your own private jet to get where you need to go.
Unfortunately for the majority of us, private jet ownership isn’t feasible from a cost perspective. There is one other option, however, that offers many of the advantages of private jet ownership with a smaller price tag: private jet chartering.
Chartering a private jet allows you to more-or-less rent a plane and flight crew to get you where you need to go. Jet charters are available for local flights, domestic flights, and even international flights. Not sure whether a jet charter is right for your needs? Take some time to consider the advantages, potential drawbacks, and cost considerations.
Advantages Of Chartering A Private Jet
There are many advantages that come along with chartering a private jet as opposed to purchasing a private jet outright or flying commercially.
Convenience and Time Savings
With a private jet, you’ll save a huge amount of time when compared to flying with a commercial airline out of your local airport. For starters, you won’t have to worry about waiting in line with hundreds of other people at airport security, nor will you have to wait in lines at check-in or the boarding gate. This can easily free up hours of your valuable time, especially when you do a lot of traveling.
With a private jet charter, you also get to choose your exact destination, so you don’t have to waste time with layovers. Instead, you’ll enjoy non-stop service to your destination (assuming your aircraft doesn’t need to stop to refuel). This means you can get where you need to go without the hassle and time commitment that would be required when traveling commercially.
No Worries About Care and Maintenance
Not only is purchasing a private jet costly up-front, but with the outright purchase of this aircraft, you’ll also have to worry about the costs associated with maintaining your jet. With a jet charter, all the aircraft are owned and maintained by the charter company. As a result, you have access to the aircraft you need without having to worry about care and maintenance. And as long as you’re booking your travel with a reputable charter company, you can rest assured that your plane has been well taken care of.
Choose the Right Aircraft for Your Needs
Depending on how many people will be on your flight, as well as your luggage/cargo needs, you may need one type of aircraft for one trip and a different type of aircraft for your next. This is once again where booking a charter jet can be a practical option. Jet chartering companies often have a large fleet of different types of planes to suit your specific travel needs. For a quick trip across the state, you can book a small plane such as a Cessna; for a longer-haul flight or one with more passengers, on the other hand, you might consider a larger jet that can fit a lot of checked luggage. Either way, your needs can be easily accommodated with a charter.
Enjoy Luxurious Amenities
Many private jets come with amenities that you simply could not enjoy on a commercial plane. This includes everything from spacious seating and private bathrooms to comfortable sleeping quarters and freshly cooked meals. Of course, if you’re looking for a flight option that’s a little more bare-bones to save money, you can choose an aircraft without these amenities for your charter. Either way, you’ll likely have a more comfortable and enjoyable flight experience in a private jet than you would with any commercial flight.
Potential Drawbacks Of Private Jet Charters
Of course, there are some potential disadvantages to booking a private jet charter. You’ll want to take these into careful consideration as you decide whether a jet charter is right for you.
High Price Tag
When compared to flying commercially, booking a private jet charter is significantly more expensive. In fact, even the most basic of jet charters can easily cost $1,000 or more per hour of flight time. On the other hand, if you’re comparing the costs of buying your own private jet outright to chartering one, you’ll actually save money with a jet charter in most cases.
The value of your time is also important to take into consideration; when you factor in all the hours you’ll save by avoiding security lines and layovers at the airport, many find that chartering a private jet is actually more than worth the expense.
Different Crew for Each Flight
When you own a private jet outright, you typically hire your own flight crew as well; this allows you to have the same pilot and crew handling every one of your flights. With a jet charter, on the other hand, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a different crew for each flight. Some travelers don’t care for this, as it prevents them from really getting to know their pilot and crew.
Subject to Availability
While jet charters are generally quite flexible when it comes to dates and routes, there is always a chance that the specific aircraft you want won’t be available on the date you need it or that the route you want won’t be offered at all. This is a rare problem to encounter, especially if you do a little shopping around to find a jet charter company with a large fleet, but it is a potential roadblock to consider.
Private Jet Charters: Costs and Considerations
While the costs to charter a private jet can vary greatly, there are some factors to take into consideration that may help you get a better idea of how much your flight will cost. As a general rule, you can expect a private jet charter to cost at least $1,000 per hour.
Specific Aircraft Chosen
The size and type of aircraft you choose will have a major impact on your total cost for flight. A small and basic Cessna, for example, is going to be a lot more affordable than a luxurious Hawker Beechcraft. This is why it’s so important to carefully consider your passenger, cargo, and amenity needs when choosing an aircraft.
Your destination will also have a major impact on cost, as fuel and crew expenses will obviously be larger for a longer-haul flight than they would for a quick jaunt. Keep in mind that some types of aircrafts will also have shorter ranges than others, so if you have a particularly long flight, you may need to pay more for an aircraft that has a larger fuel reserve and range.
Number of Passengers
One of the best ways to save on a private jet charter is to split up the cost among a few people traveling to the same destination. This is a common practice among those traveling for business and can make your total costs just a fraction of what they would be if you were booking the flight entirely for yourself.
Hourly or Membership Fee
For those who do a lot of flying on private jet charters, it may be worth considering a monthly or annual membership with your jet charter rather than paying the hourly fee for each flight. Some memberships can start for as little as about $10,000 per month, which could make it worth the cost if you take even a couple of flights per month. Take some time to look into the membership options offered by your charter to see if this may be worth the expense.
Type of Flight
You may be able to save money on a private jet charter by booking an empty leg. These flights are often available at a highly discounted price because they’re used to fill what would otherwise be an empty flight as the plane returns to its charter location.
As you can see, there are many potential benefits to chartering a private jet for your travel. And when you consider all the time and hassle it can save you, it may very well be worth the cost, if you can afford it. If this is something you’re considering, just be sure to find the charter company that’s right for your travel needs.