Each traveler has the opportunity to select the plane that will be most comfortable for the chosen group. Hire a helicopter for the perfect two-person sightseeing trip over upstate New York; take a group of your closest friends to island hop off the coast of mainland Florida on a turboprop plane, great for short trips. For cross-country travelers—like an East Coast group of friends planning a bachelor party or bachelorette weekend in Las Vegas—a chartered super mid-size jet that flies nonstop could do the trick. Even jumbo jets like 747’s can be chartered for a larger group—think 50 to 500 people—so that everyone can fly together without having to worry about booking tickets on a commercial airline. The best part? No luggage fees.
Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
Whether you travel frequently for business or only occasionally for pleasure, chances are you've considered hiring a charter plane. When you fly on a private plane, you can skip the long wait times and baggage checks of a commercial flight. Your departure and return times are determined by your schedule, and in some cases you can even book a same-day flight! Here are some of our most commonly asked questions regarding private flights:
For those unfamiliar with air charter costs, prices can initially be a bit intimidating. One reason for the higher costs associated with flying privately is of course the fact that some of the costs incurred are costs that are typically shared by all passengers on commercial flights, whereas, in the case of chartering a private aircraft, you are chartering the entire aircraft and crew for your exclusive use.
You will be told how much the hold can take on your chosen aircraft and can upgrade if you feel more space is needed. This will generally be far more than that of a commercial airline. You may also need to upgrade if carrying things like golf clubs and skis. If travelling with a gun, you will need to provide a license and the gun and ammunition must be kept separate. It is then at the captain’s discretion whether it can be on board.