What is a charter airline flight and why might you prefer it over commercial flights? Charter airlines let you rent out the entire airplane and go virtually anywhere for a price cheaper than what you may think.
Traveling gives you a chance to see the world. Whether you travel for work, to visit faraway friends and family, or to experience an adventure that you didn’t know you needed. You can, of course, go online and book a commercial flight and deal with that whole crowded experience.
Or, you can book a charter flight and experience travel in an entirely new way. But what exactly is a charter airline flight? A charter airline flight is a private jet you’re capable of renting out.
If you have always traveled via commercial airlines, though, you may have questions or concerns about private travel. How does it work? How much does it cost? What should you know before your first flight?
Types of Charter Airline Flights
Believe it or not, there is more than one type of charter airline flight. Perhaps you first imagine the luxurious private jets that celebrities and musicians are seen boarding and deboarding. And while those are very much the private charter flights you would like to see yourself on, there are other types, too.
Private Charter. Private jet charters are when an individual such as yourself rents (charters) an aircraft to travel from one place to the next. Sometimes small groups get together to charter flights, including friends and families. Companies also often charter flights for business meetings. One person or one collective group charters this type of flight.
Public Charter. Public charters run more similarly to commercial airlines, as they sell seats to different people. Often, these are companies who get together to use older planes and put them back into service during busing travel times.
Cargo. Sometimes things need to get from one place to the next – and we aren’t referring to people here. Cargo items are carried from one place to the next on chartered jets. Sometimes they are valuable, dangerous, or perishable goods. Other times they are humanitarian goods. And, it is not uncommon for them to carry live animals, too.
Affinity. These types of flights are for those who belong to a particular group, business, organization, etc. They may get access to the private jet because of their association, but they still have to purchase individual seats on board.
Benefits of Chartered Airline Flights
You already know there are going to be many benefits when it comes to flying on a private jet – things you are likely to never find if you stick to commercial flights.
You Are In Charge. Unlike booking a commercial flight based on pre-set routes that airlines have already established, private charters allow you to choose when you want to fly and where you want to go. You don’t have to worry about long layovers (except for long flights where quick refueling is necessary). And, if you are looking to visit a particular area of a city, you can make your destination the closest airport to it – taking advantage of private and executive airports.
Depart of a Private Terminal or FBO. One of the biggest complaints of commercial air travelers is having to arrive two hours before your flight, standing in long security lines, and waiting to board at the gate with hundreds of others. Flying on a charter means being able to fly out of private terminals. No lines. Minimal people. And, most times, you can pull right up to the jet.
Luxurious Accommodations. You can enjoy comfortable surroundings, inflight entertainment, dining, drinks, and more while onboard. It is quite an enjoyable experience. Depending on the type of jet you fly, you may even have a full bathroom and a bed to rest up.
Travel Privately. When you charter a jet, you won’t be elbow to elbow with a stranger. In fact, other than the flight crew, you won’t have any strangers onboard. Just you – and whoever you bring with you. For many, this is the most enjoyable benefit.
There is no special pass, or right you have to have to take advantage of the benefits. To experience all of these things, all you have to do is book a chartered flight. You may never go back to traveling any other way.
Tips and Things to Know for Your First Charter Airline Flight
So, if you are convinced you should give a charter flight a try, there are a few things you should know before you take that first flight.
- You don’t have to worry about TSA’s liquid policy or having over 50lbs in your suitcase. Restrictions like these don’t carry over to private travel.
- If you are looking for a certain in-flight amenity, ask for it – don’t hesitate. From games to movies and even certain drinks, snacks, or meals – it is ok to ask for what you’d like to have when you travel.
- Running a few minutes late for your flight time? Don’t worry about it. You are the passenger, so they are going to wait for you. A courtesy call regarding the delay is always suggested – and appropriate.
- There are different types of private aircraft, some better for certain scenarios than others. Be sure to talk to a professional if you don’t know which private jet will fit your needs best.
- Don’t ever hesitate to ask about safety standards, certifications, pilot training, and more. Private charters have to follow certain requirements and are regulated by the FAA. They should gladly show you this information when asked.
Ready to Book Your Charter Airline Flight?
Now that you know what a charter flight is and all the benefits you can enjoy by traveling via one, you may be wondering just how you go about booking a charter flight. There are thousands of jets available to you around the world. You no longer have to be a top business executive, a celebrity, or even an elite member of society to enjoy a private flight.
There are jet card programs, empty leg flight specials, and more to help you take advantage of all the charters have to offer.
Decide where you want to go – and when. Then, talk to an established charter company and have all your questions answered before you book.