Over the years, the popularity of private air charter services has soared. And once you’ve experienced a private charter flight, you’ll understand why! While there are many reasons for the growing interest in charter air services, common motivations for flying private charter include the greater convenience, comfort, privacy -- and productivity -- that private charter flights provide, above and beyond what is provided by first- and business-class seats offered by commercial airlines.
Indeed, some of the benefits for private air charter -- such as schedule and productivity gains -- can help to off-set the typically higher fees paid for private air charter flights. And for luxury-seekers, of course there is nothing quite like the comfort and privacy of your own private flight!
Schedules & Routing
When you fly private charter for the first time, one of the first things you’ll discover is that your flight revolves entirely around your schedule, not the airline’s schedule. There is no need to check pre-existing flight schedules to choose a time that is ‘close’ to the time you’d like to travel. And no more arriving hours ahead of the actual time you’re required for a business meeting. You choose exactly when to fly -- based on what’s best for you – not based on which flights are available.
Connecting flights and related mad dashes from one terminal to another are also a thing of the past due to the ability to route your flight exactly in accordance with your desired final destinations – not based on large hub airport locations.
Because private charter aircraft are often smaller than typical commercial planes – and therefore able to land on much shorter runways – the number of airports to which you have access increases exponentially when you fly private charter. And the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding an airport in close vicinity to your desired destinations.
In fact, with a private charter flight, you can potentially schedule several stops within a single day, get to all of your meetings on time, never miss a flight, and be home in time for dinner!
When you book a private charter flight, your trip planner will review all aspects of your flight schedule -- including airport options you may not be familiar with – to determine the most efficient routes to meet your schedule needs.
While private aircraft typically fly at speeds that are close to commercial aircraft, it is not uncommon to save additional time simply by flying a more direct course than can be accommodated by commercial routes.
Your Own Private Terminal – and Then Some…
Another place private air charter will surprise you – and save you time - is on the ground. These days flying commercial aircraft means you can sometimes spend as much time on the ground as you do in the air -- making your way through boarding pass and baggage check lines, working your way through TSA procedures, and struggling through plane boarding and overhead bin competition.
With a private air charter flight, you’ll be delighted to discover you won’t be spending time on the usual rigmarole! Instead, you’ll be directed to your charter operator’s private terminal where you’ll almost always be the only person ‘in line’ -- or if you’re flying from a privately run airport (such as Marshfield Airport, GHG) you’ll simply arrive at the time of your departure and be greeted by your pilot -- along with a ground crew that will valet park your vehicle.
If your travel calls for a passport, all your details are cleared before your arrival, so following a quick security check – with no queue! – you’ll be ready for take-off.
Running behind schedule? No problem. Your plane won’t be leaving without you. Change of plans? No worries. Your route can be changed at almost a moment’s notice. You can take care of business, make a stop for shopping and another for a concert or a game – whatever suits you!
Ready to book your flight…?!
Business as Usual
In addition to the spacious, comfortable seats a luxury aircraft provides, one of the more obvious benefits of flying privately is simply the fact that you’ll be entitled to an aircraft cabin -- all to yourself.
You no longer have to listen to the ongoing conversations of other passengers. And more importantly, the benefit of privacy ensures you can carry on your own personal or business conversation -- without needing to worry that the details of your conversation may be overheard by other passengers.
For business discussions in particular, the added security and peace of mind that come with a private cabin can be invaluable, especially when discussing confidential or insider details.
And with today’s modern aircraft, you don’t have to leave the office behind. With internet, in-flight satellite phone, and fax you’ll feel like you’ve never left the ground! You can use your cell phone where there’s a signal. And Wifi is now standard on most flights. Of course, always check with your flight planner to make sure your aircraft will suit your needs.
…And for those who would rather spend their flying time catching up on sleep, other benefits often include reclining seats. And in many cases, separate cabin and cock-pit temperature controls give you full control over your cabin environment, ensuring your overall flight enjoyment.
In-flight Entertainment, Catering and Other Amenities…
But your enjoyment doesn’t end with a comfortable flight. These days, many private jets are equipped with DVD and CD players -- and some even offer surround sound. You’ll have a library of movies and music to choose from -- or you can bring along your own. Your flight planner will work with you to make sure you have the entertainment you desire.
On request, catering services and a well-stocked bar can be planned ahead to meet all your in-flight dining and entertainment needs. From healthy vegetarian meals to gourmet coffees, from in-flight snacks to warm rolls with dinner, from fresh fruit juices to premium wines and liquors, all your wishes can be fulfilled, no matter how extravagant.
In most cases, catering is provided by top restaurants located within the vicinity of related airports – not by standard commercial airline food services – so food quality is far superior to commercial flight options.
Typical private charter services can also provide fresh-cut flowers upon request and even stock your cabin ahead with your choice of newspapers and other reading materials.
Private Charter Costs
So what will it cost to fly private charter? You can expect to pay, on average, from $1,100 to $1,950 per flying hour for executive turboprops, $1,950- to $2,500 per hour for small cabin jets, $2,500 to $4,600 for mid cabin jets and $4,600 to $7,600 per flying hour for a large cabin jet charter.
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.
Still, it may surprise you to know that while generally a private charter flight will cost more than a first-class commercial flight, private charter can actually be remarkably economic -- particularly if you are flying a small group or flying to a remote location.
Another potential cost savings benefit is the ability to reach multiple business-related locations in a single day (not always possible when limited to commercial routes), allowing you to avoid overnight stays – and hotel fees. This in addition to on-the-ground time savings and in-air productivity gains can level the playing field even more.
And of course, with the higher cost come all the associated benefits, both tangible and intangible. Most people agree that private charter flights are worth every penny!
At Shoreline Aviation, our helpful staff can assist with cost benefit analysis for your specific mission so you can make an informed decision - and we'll always provide accurate up-front cost estimates, based on your requirements, so there will never be any surprises. Be sure to provide your destination address so they can select the most convenient destination airport, often much closer than the nearest airport served by commercial airlines.
Some final notes to first time air charter flyers…
How much luggage can you bring? Unlike commercial airlines, there are no baggage limits per se. You can bring whatever luggage will fit on the plane. But always work with your flight planner, especially if you’ll need to accommodate extra bags or heavy equipment. With smaller planes in particular, weight limits may influence the amount of baggage you can bring.
Family pets? If you’re travelling domestically, you can bring your pets along for the ride! Just be sure to notify your flight planner ahead to ensure a pet friendly aircraft. Internationally, pets are also welcome guests - you'll simply have to follow the usual standards according to the country of destination
And what about safety? You’ll be pleased to know private aircraft are held to the same stringent safety and maintenance regulations as commercial aircraft. And in many cases private aircraft pilots and their crews are permanently assigned to a specific jet – so they know their aircraft inside and out – which can mean an even safer flight for you and your family.
Have questions? You can always call us at Shoreline Aviation to learn more – (781) 834-4928 or to book your first private air charter flight!