Charter companies offer a tailored service in which the client has a choice of meals, drinks, staffing levels and additional services. Tour companies aim to maximize profits, so public charters usually only provide a very basic service to passengers, with a cheap -- or no -- meal, minimal staffing and low baggage allowances. With a private charter, organizations can take advantage of options such as video conferencing, business services and corporate branding. In-flight meals are of a better quality, and passengers do not have luggage restrictions. With public charters, passengers still have to stand in line for check-in and security, so they need to be at the airport two to three hours before the flight. With a private charter, you can pass straight through security and onto the aircraft.
Depending on who you believe 30-to-50% of all private jet flights are ferry flights. However, that doesn’t mean they are necessarily dirt cheap. Magellan Jets, which sells jet cards and on-demand charter also offers empty legs, and while you have to contact the company for pricing, it says rates start at $3,000 per hour. Airstream Jets enables visitors to its website to download a list of active empty legs and while most of the 13 listings were for the next two weeks, there were flights posted through mid-November, one an empty leg in September on a Gulfstream G-IVSP from New York to London for $49,900. Another broker quoted the same date and route at $92,000. Even more attractive was a G500 charter this weekend from Palermo, Italy to New York for $35,000. Quotes for a non-empty leg charter that I received from another broker for random dates in August started at $111,000.
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.”
While everyone loves a good deal, reduced cost in chartering with Wings Up does not mean reduced amenities. Each flight is personalized to the needs of the passengers. When booking a charter, travelers are assigned a personal concierge who works hand-in-hand with a personal charter travel consultant to help with any travel needs from dining to in-flight entertainment and more. Gourmet catering is available—tailored to fit any dietary restrictions—and luxury vehicles are on call for boarding and disembarking.
At Pentastar Aviation, we focus first and foremost on passenger safety. There are no age restrictions for passengers on private jets. Just let us know if you are traveling with a child, and we’ll be sure the aircraft selected for your trip will accommodate your family’s needs. Please note, however, neither PACI nor Pentastar Aviation will transport unaccompanied minors under the age of 18. Domestic pets are allowed on some aircraft. Make sure to let your charter sales representative know if you will be traveling with a pet so we can accommodate your request. Please note that exotic animals may not be allowed, especially on international flights.