The question. Fly first class or rent a private airplane charter? The answer is not as simple as it might appear on the first inspection. While both options provide extraordinary comfort and a more personalized feel, there are distinct pros and cons to each mode of travel.
Traditionally it has only been the rich and famous that flew either. Even businessmen often jammed themselves into coach class seats praying for their flight to come to a quick conclusion. As business class became a more common option the business traveler community flocked to this option.
Change is afoot. Not only is the option of private airplane charter becoming a viable option, but first class travel is also reaching all new heights in modern convenience and flexibility within the commercial airline industry. And so the question remains. Here are a few of the major decision-making points for both options.
When it comes to flexibility private airplane aviation wins hands down. Even in the most expensive first class seat available, such as a Singapore Airlines Suites seat at $32,000, you still are forced to deal with security checkpoints, the boarding of hundreds of passengers, and flight times that are set by the airline, not by you.
Private jet charter allows you, or your company, to set the flight schedule from the time of departure to which airport you wish to depart from and arrive at. Even with expedited security commercial flights are subject to a certain amount of time spent in line. This is a challenge not applicable to private aviation.
The additional flexibility in airport use is a huge factor in giving private jets the win. The ability to fly out of Teterboro, instead of a hub such as JFK or BOS is a huge advantage. A private airplane is able to avoid the traffic and hassle of commercial airports. You can arrive, almost literally, at the door of the aircraft.
Private airplane travel wins again on the convenience level. If you are stuck in traffic getting to the airport, no worries, you simply call ahead and have your jet held. Commercial aircraft simply does not operate on your time schedule and regardless of the price of your ticket they are not going to hold a flight for you. By hiring a private jet charter you determine when you depart and if your plans change, so do the plans for the aircraft.
For business travelers, this can be especially essential if meetings run long or a complicated negotiation goes south. Commercial airlines, understandably, set schedules that are the most profitable for them. When you hire a private jet charter you set the times to fit your schedule.
Again, private airplane charters win out. Certainly, some commercial airlines, such as the new Emirates configured their first class cabins into mini-suites, and now offer more privacy than available previously on a commercial airliner. However, there is simply no comparison between that option and the privacy of a private airplane.
Companies and the wealthy alike are well aware of the advantage of being able to hold meetings and pass confidential information during flight when flying private aviation. In addition, business travelers can take advantage of white boards and power point presentations due to the increased space available.
When it comes to price point the answer to advantage is: it all depends. While a seat or two in first class generally always comes in less expensive than the same option on a private airplane, the number of passengers traveling makes a difference. For a business to send only a couple of individuals flying first class the commercial airline often comes in at a lower price point. Certainly, several factors here come into play as well such as whether they are able to book a dead-leg flight for instance.
However, when looking for a larger number of people a private jet charter can come in favorably. Busy business executives also need to consider the cost advantage of simply spending less time to get to their destination. When you figure in the hours necessary to arrive at the airport, go through security lines, and deal with hundreds of others embarking and disembarking the cost of a private jet charter begins to look much more reasonable.
It all comes down to the numbers. When you rent a private jet charter, you are renting the jet at a set price. The more passengers, the lower cost per person. For just a few travelers first class commercial is a better price point option.
Here again, private jet charter reigns the day. Along with the option of choosing your airports by flying a private charter the world is your oyster. You can choose the size of jet needed based on your number of passengers, and what time you wish to take off. The opportunities are endless as you choose what type of food is provided. You can have coffee and bagels or a fully catered multi-course dinner.
For the business traveler, many private jet charters come with options for any manner of technology on board. This allows for meetings in the air that are live with those back in the home office. Onboard WiFi, satellite connections, and inflight connectivity are all features.
For the wealthy traveler or the very discerning business traveler, flying by private jet allows for individual preferences to be handled as well, right down to the planes décor.
At the end of the day, the fact remains that having a certain amount of money available allows for a more comfortable flight. First class on the worlds premier airlines is becoming more luxurious than ever, often more luxurious than on a private jet. However, when you consider time savings, flexibility, and true customization a private airplane is a clear winner.