Flying can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a nightmare. Luckily, you have many options to choose from, including flying commercial or charter.
If you had to compare apples and oranges, you could say that while they both look round and they are both fruit, they taste nothing alike. The same would hold true if you had to compare flying a commercial airline and flying a private jet charter.
See, both a commercial and a charter are aircraft. They can both fly you from one place to another in a rather quick time. But that is about where the similarities stop.
Here are 7 surprising differences between flying commercial and flying charter.
1. The Opportunity for Flexibility
Let’s pretend that you have a fender bender on the way to the airport where your commercial flight is to depart from.
You call the major airline and let them know.
What would happen?
Perhaps you would hear some awkward silence. See, they are not interested in your hard luck stories because they have someone on standby to take your seat if you don’t make it in on time.
On the other hand, if you happened to have chartered a flight: a quick call will advise your pilot and they will wait for you to arrive before departing.
After all, you are the reason they are taking that flight.
The flexibility offered by charter flights is incredibly different from the lack thereof you will find with commercial.
2. More Options for Ticketing
Online websites, discount tickets, and commercial airline companies direct can give you various prices for tickets. However, they are all going to be around the same price.
You may want to get in with the tactics of when the best time to purchase tickets is and when you will find the greatest discounts.
When it comes to charter flights, you have a few more options.
Sure, you could look online or call the charter directly, but there is no set flight pattern that is repeatedly taken by private jets.
They travel all over – and to various destinations at various times.
Your increased options will allow you to fly into additional airports, such as those that are private or executive, as well as take advantage of empty leg flights.
3. Differences in the Security Line
Another big difference between commercial and charter flights is the security line. Nowadays, security at airports is very important.
The attempt to make thorough searches, though, can lead to very long lines.
When you have thousands of people trying to make their flight, the security at a commercial airport can almost be overwhelming.
Private and executive airports also have security, but it does not have the volume that commercial airports have.
Therefore, the number of passengers that pass through do so rather quickly, with no need for long lines or waits.
4. Getting Comfortable on Your Flight
How comfortable have you ever been able to get on a commercial flight?
First class offers a little more personal space and legroom, but if taking a long flight, it still isn’t enough to get too comfortable.
There is always a stranger sitting next to you, maybe even touching elbow to elbow. And, if you end up next to Chatty Cathy, you won’t be able to get much rest.
But on a private charter, you don’t have any of those worries. You can sleep, sing, watch a movie, laugh, cry – and no one will ever bother you.
How wonderful does that sound?
The comfort of the seats provided in a private charter is often more luxurious and welcoming than others.
If your comfort level on a flight is important to you, then you have a choice to make.
5. Privacy Issues, or Lack Thereof
If you often travel for business, you need to take care of some work while out of the office.
Often, time spent in flight is the perfect opportunity. But, if your work is confidential or the privacy of your work is governed by laws, then you cannot necessarily open it up on the airplane while seating amongst other passengers.
In a private charter, however, you can.
The space on a private jet offers you all the privacy you need to complete your work without worrying about confidentiality leaks.
So much so that if you need to use the in-flight Wi-Fi for some Skype calls, you can do that, too.
6. Claiming Your Baggage
Baggage claim in commercial airports can be a bit chaotic. Now, with luggage from more than one flight on the same conveyor, it is even worse.
Standing in a daze, staring at the slow-moving luggage pass by – looking ahead to see if yours is coming up.
If so, you have to squeeze your way through all the passengers to get to the front to be able to grab it before it passes you by.
All of that only to realize that it was just a bag that looked like yours but wasn’t.
On a private charter, you don’t have to worry about that at all. Your luggage is the only passenger luggage aboard the flight.
Depending on your flight and your private airport, your luggage will likely be sitting outside the jet waiting for you as soon as you step off.
No lines, no crowds, and no bag chasing.
7. Dining While On Board
Commercial airliners used to provide meals to passengers. Now, however, they provide tiny snack-size bags of things such as pretzels or cookies.
If you are looking for anything more to munch on, some airlines have food for purchase. Others require you to bring your own.
It is quite different on a private jet. You can always bring your own, order a meal off of provided menu, or make a special request for a specific entree.
You never have to worry about going hungry when you choose to fly private.
Conclusion: Flying Commercial and Charter is Very Different
Apples to oranges, commercial to charter.
While they seem similar, they are very different.
Depending on your needs and what you are looking for in your flight, you may want to consider these 7 surprising differences before you book your next trip.