8 Things to Know Before Booking a Private Jet


Flying private is the ultimate way to travel. There’s no long lines, no delays, no lost luggage and no security checkpoints. It’s a stress-free and luxurious way to get from point A to point B. If you’re considering booking your first charter flight, here are 8 things you should know before booking a private jet.

1. Not all airports have private terminals

Maintaining a private terminal is an additional expense that many small airports can’t afford. Even some of the busiest airports in the country don’t have private terminals like Los Angeles and Chicago O’Hare. If you plan on flying into one of these destinations, you’ll need to clear security in the main terminal with everyone else.

2. You can book a flight online

It used to be that booking a charter flight required calling a broker or charter operator directly. Today, there are dozens of apps and websites where you can find empty legs and book a flight with just a few clicks of your mouse.

3. There’s more than one type of aircraft

Most people are familiar with large jets like Gulfstreams and Bombardiers but they aren’t always suitable for every trip

The convenience of a private jet can be appealing, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into before booking one. We’ve compiled eight things you should always keep in mind when considering a private plane — both the positives and the negatives — to ensure that your experience is as seamless as possible.

While many people assume that flying on a private plane is only for the ultra-wealthy, there are actually many different types of jets and flight plans available for those with all kinds of budgets. The most popular option is the empty leg charter, which occurs when a private plane is chartered for a one-way flight and then needs to fly back to its home base empty. These flights are commonly offered at discounted rates, which makes them more affordable than many people realize.

There are also shared charters, wherein you charter only part of a plane to join other passengers headed in the same direction, as well as repatriation flights to bring travelers back home after an evacuation. Many times, these seats go unbooked due to short notice or last-minute cancellations — leaving empty seats that can be booked at a fraction of their usual price.

In addition to offering more flexibility and accessibility than commercial airlines, private planes often have shorter

If you’ve never flown on a private jet before, it’s hard to know what to expect or how the experience will be different from flying commercially.

What is the best way to book? How do you get to the airport? What happens when you get there?

Here are 8 things you should know before booking your first private jet flight.

1. Charter brokers work directly with aircraft operators and will find the best available flight options for you at the most competitive rates.

2. There are more than 5,000 airports in the U.S.; commercial airlines only fly into/out of around 500 of them. More than 80% of all air traffic takes place at just 15 airports in major metropolitan areas. Private jets can fly into and out of any airport with a paved runway, giving clients greater access to remote areas and smaller cities across North America.

3. The entire process from booking to take-off typically takes less than an hour for private jet flights, compared to 2 hours (sometimes much longer) for commercial flights that include check-in, security screening, baggage claim, boarding and taxiing.

4. Aircraft operators have fixed costs for fuel, pilots and crew regardless of passenger count, so larger groups may actually pay less per person when flying

Buying a plane ticket is easy these days, but booking a private jet is a whole different story. Most of us have never done it before, and it can be overwhelming. To help you get started, we’ve compiled these eight tips:

1. Know the differences between a broker and an operator.

A broker manages your itinerary from start to finish, while an operator only flies the plane. Brokers won’t be on the plane with you, but they will take care of all the details of your trip, including pricing, scheduling and booking. Operators fly the plane and are responsible for its maintenance and crewing. Brokers typically work with multiple operators at a time to find you the best price and match you to the right aircraft based on your needs.

2. Understand the different types of aircrafts that are available.

Aircrafts come in four sizes: light, midsize, super-midsize and large cabin jets. Every size has advantages and disadvantages:

[ ] Light jets seat 4-6 passengers and fly up to 2,000 miles nonstop at speeds up to 500 mph in a pressurized cabin environment. They are typically used for short flights such as New York to Los Angeles or Miami to New York City

It’s not the first time we’ve written about flying on private jets. From learning how to make your flight more enjoyable to discovering the most luxurious aircraft, we’ve covered many facets of private air travel. But if you’re a first-time flyer, there are some things you should know before booking a private jet.

Before we get into that, keep in mind that everyone has their own reasons for flying privately. Some fly because they want to experience luxury or treat themselves to a special experience. Others prefer chartering an aircraft in order to arrive at their destination quickly and safely, without having to deal with the stress that comes from flying commercial.

Either way, if you plan on chartering an aircraft for the first time, here are eight important things you should know beforehand:

Private jets are glamorous, but they’re not for everyone. You probably don’t need to buy one before you fly on one.

When you fly on a private jet, you can leave from a smaller airport closer to your house than the nearest commercial airport. You also have more flexibility in departure times and destinations.

Private jets are small planes that seat between four and 20 people. They can be flown by the owner or chartered by groups or individuals.

You can charter a jet for travel within the U.S. starting at $5,000 per hour (though prices vary depending on size). Longer flights can cost $10,000 an hour or more, according to private jet booking service PrivateFly.

The most popular type of charter is known as “on demand,” where you pay only when you fly rather than paying for block hours in advance. The next most popular is jet cards, which guarantee a certain number of flight hours in advance for a set price — typically about $100,000 for 50 hours of flight time on a midsize jet like the Citation XL/XLS or Hawker 800XP, says Nick Ellis, president of private jet company Talon Air in Farmingdale, New York

Have you ever tried to figure out how many people are on your flight? They all look like sheep, shuffling down the aisle with their carry-ons and children.

When you’re reading Barron’s on the way to your private jet, the only fellow passenger you’ll see is your personal assistant. And he or she will be politely waiting for you at your convenience.

You can get work done in peace.

There are no screaming babies on a private jet. Your passengers are all professionals, who know how to behave in public and will respect your personal space. You can focus on your work without worrying about rude interruptions or loud noises.

Planes going to smaller airports are less likely to be delayed because of air traffic.

Air traffic delays are a fact of life when flying commercial, but when you fly private jet, it doesn’t matter as much if you have to circle over Houston for an hour before landing because you’ll still be able to land at your destination airport. Not only that, but most of these smaller airports have shorter runways than big ones and don’t require as long a taxi time or wait in line for take off, meaning that waiting on the tarmac is less likely too.


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