Traveling by private jet is meant to be a hassle-free experience that allows passengers to avoid the long lines and security checks associated with flying commercially. However, while it is a better overall experience, private jets experience turbulence like commercial airlines. The big difference is that private jets have more options to help them avoid turbulence than commercial airliners.

Before we explain how private jets can avoid turbulence better than commercial airliners, let's first look at the types of turbulence there and what causes it to occur. Essentially, turbulence is pockets of rough air that can occur at any altitude and time. Several factors, including other aircraft nearby, temperature, humidity, wind shear, and jet streams can cause turbulence.

The different types of turbulence are:

  • Wake turbulence: Have you ever noticed that there is always a gap between the times aircraft take off? One of the reasons for this is to stop the following aircraft from dealing with the rough air created by the plane in front of it. Similar to the wake caused by a boat moving through the water, an aircraft passing through the air creates a wake in the air.
  • Topographic and mechanical turbulence: Found along hill and mountain ridgelines, topographic and mechanical turbulence occurs when the wind hits a large object and is diverted upwards. The same phenomena can also occur when winds hit tall or large buildings. For this reason, you often see gliders flying along ridgelines looking for updrafts that will take them higher.
  • Thermal turbulence: Caused by rising hot air meeting descending cooler air, thermal turbulence occurs mainly in the afternoons on hot summer days. As the earth's surface heats up, it warms the air above it, causing it to rise upwards. When the hot air and the cool air meet, it causes turbulence.
  • Connective turbulence: More prominent in the summer than at other times of the year, connective turbulence occurs when a cold front meets hot air. When the two pockets of air meet, thunderstorms develop, creating turbulence in the unsettled air.
  • Clear-air turbulence: Occurring without any warning, usually at altitudes of between 23,000 and 39,000 feet, clear-air turmoil is due to bodies of air like jet streams colliding with each other.

Private jets are better at avoiding turbulence than airliners

While encountering severe turbulence will have you gripping the armrests of your seats, modern commercial airliners and private jets are built to handle the worst turbulence Mother Nature can throw at them. Private jets and their pilots are privy to the same weather reports as commercial pilots, but unlike commercial airline pilots, they have more leeway regarding routes and altitude levels. Private jets also have the same weather radar found on airliners and can avoid thunderstorms and weather fronts.

For airlines, it's about getting between A and B most economically, and if that means flying through turbulent air, so be it. Private pilots, on the other hand, can avoid areas of turbulence and fly at higher altitudes where unsettled air is less of a concern. 

For example, the maximum ceiling for a Boeing 777 is 43,000 feet, whereas a private plane like a Gulfstream G650 can fly at 51,000 feet without any problem. The higher you go, the less the temperature of the air fluctuates, which equates to a lesser chance of encountering turbulence.

So not only is flying by private jet better than flying commercially, but it is also the best way to fly if you want to avoid turbulence. If you are interested in chartering a private jet, Paramount Business Jets are experts in matching customers with the perfect plane. For more information, call +1-877-727-2538 24/7 or visit them on the web at