Pros and Cons of Chartering a Private Jet?

by Richard Zaher / Sep 30, 2019

Aircraft in the Sky

When you consider chartering a private jet, a variety of benefits spring to mind: tailored service, indulgent luxury, and a glimpse into one of the most opulent ways to travel the world.

However, there are also drawbacks alongside the advantages of chartering a plane. It might be worth asking yourself a few questions before making a decision. For example, does the cost of your trip justify a private flight? And how long is it going to take to plan the flight?

If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of chartering a private jet, below you’ll find a compilation of its crucial positive and negative aspects to help you decide whether a private plane rental is the right choice for you.

Pros of Hiring a Private Plane

You can probably list an array of benefits related to chartering a private aircraft. Let’s discuss the details of the major advantages.

Luxury

When you hire a private jet, it is very likely that one of the main reasons will be to enjoy the luxurious experience.

Luxury Aircraft Interior
Private jets provide a flying experience second to none.

Flying private is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s about the combination of various benefits from unrivaled privacy to special amenities such as customized catering, comfortable leather seats, big-screen TVs (on large jets) to on-board Wi-Fi. These are the conveniences you can expect to find on many private jets.

Luxury means having access to and being able to choose from such features. But to experience a lavish flight, you can go well above and beyond these features. If you have any specific requests regarding your luxurious private aircraft you can contact our aviation advisors. They’ll know where to look to find the closest fit to your needs.

To get an idea of just how luxurious private jets can be, check out our list of the world’s best presidential aircraft.

Privacy

Executive on Jet Working
When you charter a private jet, you’ll enjoy your own space with no interruptions.

If you’ve flown business or first class in a commercial jet you surely know that certain measures are taken to try to make your flight more private. For example, there may be a curtain to separate the different sections or you may get a fancy seat that offers shielding from other passengers.

But none of that compares to the privacy of a private jet.

When it comes to the number of passengers who share a private flight, it may be fewer than you think. Here are the jet categories we offer for charter, along with their typical capacities:

Jet Type PAX
Very Light Jet 2-4
Light Jet 6-7
Super Light Jet 7-8
Midsize Jet 8-9
Super Midsize Jet 8-10
Large Jet 10-16
Ultra Long Range Jet 12-16
VIP Airliners 16-50

Chartering a private jet will allow you to enjoy your own space with no interruptions. The flight team will refer to you by name, and all of the seats can be reserved for your friends, family, and colleagues.

Imagine the difference between driving your own car and taking the bus, and you begin to get the picture.

Accessibility

Private jets are infinitely more accessible than commercial jets. This benefit breaks down into two major sections, namely boarding and landing the plane.

When you fly commercial, you usually enter a large, busy airport. There are often hundreds of check-in desks for passengers flying to countries all over the world. You have to arrive hours in advance to line up, get your boarding passes, and check in your luggage.

It takes a lot of time to check-in and go through security at airports. The lines are long, the procedures are stringent, and the whole process often leaves you feeling exhausted. However, when you charter a private plane, you practically get your own airport!

Fixed Base Operator Lounge
VIP Lounge at an FBO. Image Credit: Signature Flight Support.

A Fixed Base Operation (FBO) is a small area, usually based directly next to a major airport. Reserved for private flights, it handles passengers separately. When you arrive, you can breeze through all of your passport and security checks in minutes which saves you a great deal of time and hassle. In many cases, you can even drive right up to your aircraft.

When it comes to landing the plane, again, chartering a private jet gives you much more flexibility here. You can, of course, access many commercial airports and FBOs but you can also go to regional airports. At certain locations such as smaller islands or hardly accessible resorts, a turboprop aircraft may be the only way to land. Chartering a private plane means you can land in smaller regions where commercial planes cannot access. But private flights aren’t just for people traveling to isolated destinations.For example, only an extremely low number of the airports in the United States offer commercial airline service. Hiring a private jet, in turn, opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of where you can take off and land.

Personalization

Customization can greatly influence your experience in anything, from the interiors of your home to the clothes you wear and, of course, your experience on a flight.

First of all, flying private means you can choose your aircraft. If you know you’ll have to work as soon as you land, you might want to catch up on some sleep during your flight. Then you can make sure your aircraft has a full bedroom with an en suite bathroom.

Your private jet can be personalized in many aspects including:

  • Aircraft model
  • Size/Pax
  • Catering
  • Other Amenities
Aircraft Interior
Customize your inflight experience

Food is a commonly desired on-board amenity. On commercial flights, the meals are usually infamous for the lack of taste and quality. But when you fly privately, dining becomes an unforgettable experience. According to your needs, especially if you make a request in advance, it can be anything from a halal meal to your favorite type of beer. You can even fly with your private chef if you wish!

Your customization needs may include custom-made interiors, luxurious seats, and the latest entertainment systems. The aircraft itself can be heavily customized, too. For example, the Gulfstream G500 is ideal for flyers who have to take care of their business during flight hours. Its high-speed Wi-Fi is up to 30 times faster than many of its rivals.

Emergencies

Imagine showing up at a commercial airline and tell them you need the plane to leave immediately. It’s such a far-fetched idea that you probably wouldn’t even consider it as an option. If you have an emergency, you can charter a plane to anywhere in the world.

Unfortunately, there are all kinds of emergencies that might require a private jet. For instance, when you’re on a skiing holiday and have an accident in the mountains, a private jet or helicopter charter will immediately take you to the nearest hospital. In case of serious medical emergencies, a private charter can also transport  organs or a donor.

In the event of a natural disaster, major airports are usually closed down which makes evacuating the area difficult. But private jets can still operate. In the past, Paramount Business Jets assisted a couple escaping Sendai after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a major world incident to justify an emergency. You might just desperately need, for any personal reason, to get back to a loved one in a hurry. This is another scenario where private jet charter is the solution.

Cons of Hiring a Private Plane

Of course, alongside all the pros of chartering a private jet lie its drawbacks. Take into consideration all the factors that apply to your situation before making the decision so you know exactly what you are getting into.

Cost

Aircraft on the Ground
Private jets are more expensive but could be advantageous when you consider the value of your time

Obviously, not everybody can afford to charter a private jet and price is the first stumbling block for many. After all, chartering private jets is a luxury experience. It’s more costly but, when you consider the value of your time, usually more advantageous.

The difference in the price of a private jet flight when compared to commercial flights is quite big. However, it reflects the value of your time and empty leg flights. Imagine what we call the Salesman Paradox. Picture a salesman deciding how to get from Point A to Point B on a working day.

He works independently, so all savings and expenses affect him directly. He has two options: to take a train, which will take eight hours and cost him $100, or to fly, which will take him three hours and cost $400. If the salesman is looking to save as much possible it might seem that going by train he’ll save $300. But when you factor in the value of his time, this may change. Let’s say he averages $75 in sales for each hour he works, and he works ten hours per day. Here’s what the two options would result in:

Mode of Transport Travel Time Work Time Travel Cost Work Profit Total
Train 8 hrs 2 hrs $100 $150 +$50
Plane 3 hrs 7 hrs $400 $525 +$125

As you can see in this scenario, the value of time makes flying the more profitable option. If you value your time highly, this may outweigh the cost of flying private.Also, flights may not be as expensive as you believe them to be, especially empty leg flights. When private jet owners need to fly one way they’ll sometimes sell the flight slightly cheaper to avoid flying empty and losing cash on an empty leg. Similarly, if a jet charter company arranges a one-way journey for a client, the plane still needs to return to base. This is another way in which an empty leg journey might become available at a good price.

Planning

There’s no denying that arranging a private jet flight requires more work than booking yourself onto a commercial flight.

Commercial flights pack hundreds of passengers onto one aircraft. They have a fixed departure and arrival time, and customers are served set meals. Usually, only basic amenities are provided and all passengers have single seats, perhaps with a small table. It’s easy to make a reservation in a commercial flight as everything is fixed.

Private jet in the Sky
Private flights require more planning but are more beneficial

When flying commercial, most of the facts regarding the flight are set in stone so it’s up to the customer to find a flight that suits them. In case of a private jet charter, the two parties have to come to a mutual agreement. That’s why when you charter a private jet you’ll be asked to provide your personal details, information regarding your flight and any extra requirements such as dietary requirements, stops for refueling etc.

There are other problems that may pop up, as well. For example, some jet owners are particularly careful about who they’re hiring their aircraft to. You may find a jet that is a seemingly perfect fit, but then the owner pulls out of the deal because they’re worried about e.g. a large group of people using their plane. You should also consider any potential mechanical issues that may stop your flight. Commercial airlines operate many planes on a massive scale so if there’s a problem they can usually find a replacement aircraft fairly easily.

Private Jet Broker Services

If your private jet encounters a problem, how will you get to your destination?

Using an accomplished private jet broker will help you avoid a lot of problems. An experienced broker will take care of any questions and queries you may have. If you fly regularly, a good jet charter company will become familiar with your preferences and dislikes as well as the names and details of your fellow flyers to make booking flights even smoother. If you choose a top broker, they’ll also arrange a backup aircraft every time you book a flight so you won’t be left stranded even if something goes wrong.

Your broker is the key to planning your flight, so ensure you hire a reliable one with sufficient experience in the field.

About Richard Zaher

Richard Zaher Richard Zaher is the founder and CEO of Paramount Business Jets. He is a pilot and the President of Air Charter Association of North America (ACANA). Richard is a graduate of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Studies. A seasoned international jet charter expert, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and the recipient of the Embry Riddle Eagle Excellence Award at the 2012 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention. He is also an active member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) as well as several safety and air charter organizations.

Comments are closed.