Fast, comfortable, flawless. These are just some of the words that come up when you think about flying in a private jet – and a private jet charter can give you all of those with unmatched ease, speed and flexibility, all at attractive prices.
Whether it’s for business or leisure, it’s the unmatched way to fly and it keeps gaining popularity year after year, especially due to the ever-increasing array of options, locations and prices available.
If you’re interested in taking up a private jet charter, you’ve come to the right place as we’re going to present to you a handy guide with the essentials, as well as our choices for the best jet chartering services on the market, ensuring you have an excellent experience from start to finish.
Charter a Private Jet
Chartering a private jet right now is as easy as this:
- Choose the right service
- Input your flight’s details
- Get a quick quote
- Charter the jet
- Enjoy your private flight
Even though there are quite a few private jet charter services out there, we’ve carefully tested, compared and reviewed more than a dozen of the most popular ones, boiling the list down to 7 top players that blow the rest of the competition out of the water in not only service and price but also customer service, flexibility, fleet, locations and more – let’s take a look at them below:
How to Charter a Private Jet
From Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie (2008) to Shane McCutcheon in The L Word (2019), Hollywood has always shown private jets as a symbol of extravagance. Cruising around in one of those jets looks like something only the richest of the rich can afford to do. But these days, the truth is a little different and it’s absolutely going to make you smile.
From Vegas to Vermont and beyond to international locations, whether it is one-way or a round trip, there are dozens of great options depending on the kind of service you like and the budget you have available. Now, we’ve already presented the essential steps above but if you want to know more on how to charter a private jet successfully, the detailed guide below is for you. After you’ve chosen the perfect service for you, it’s very quick and easy – let’s take it step by step!
1 – Find the Perfect Charter Service
As mentioned previously, it all starts with finding the right private jet charter service. One that operates on your general region, offers real-time quotes & 24/7 support, has official safety certification and so forth.
If you need help getting started, be sure to look at our comparison table above to take a look at our top choices on the market. We also created a more thorough article that features in-depth reviews of each of our private jet charter recommendations. To read it, simply click the button below:
2 – Location
This is step one. Figure out where you want to go. The distance between your home base and the destination will help you decide a lot of things. Distance helps you determine the size of the aircraft. Private jets come in different sizes.
So they all have a nautical mile capacity along with fuel tank limitations. Once you know where you’re going, you can pick the destination. Then there’s the question of who to take along.
3 – Number of People
We’d say this is step two but if people are more important than the place, you might want to do this first. For every category of private jets, there is a capacity limitation. It can only handle a certain number of people and their bags. So work out the guest list and according to the final tally, pick a suitable aircraft. If you’re doing a destination first, pick a place, find a jet that can comfortably cover the distance and then decide who can come along.
Here’s how you decide before you charter a private jet. If you’re flying for business and need to prep a bit, you want to decide on the size of the jet because you already know where you’re going and you need some quiet time. It’s also likely you don’t need an entire posse flying along so capacity and luggage won’t be an issue. If you’re doing this for pleasure, you want to pick your pals first and then figure out where to go which will narrow down your jet choices.
4 – Type of Aircraft
Almost every service provider gives you the option of light jets, midsize jets, super-midsize jets and heavy jets. Some also provide ultra-long-range jets and luxury jets, among others. What’s the difference? Let’s see.
Compact or Very Light jets
These are petite planes that are great to fly a short distance. They are cheaper than the bigger planes, require shorter runways which means they have access to more airstrips than their larger counterparts. This could also help you reach remote areas. These aircraft usually do not accommodate too many cabin attendants because their maximum capacity ranges from four to seven passengers. They can go a distance of 1,800 nautical miles without having to stop for refueling.
Examples: Embraer Phenom 100, the Eclipse 500, and the Cessna Citation Mustang.
These are commonly preferred by those flying for business. They can manage a flight time of two to three hours, which also comes up to 1,800 nautical miles and are cost effective. They can carry six to nine passengers without a cabin attendant. Since they are short-distance flights, they fly at a low altitude and that takes more fuel.
Examples: Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1A, Cessna Citation CJ4, and Dassault Falcon 10.
This is the next level. There are different models that are capable of different speeds. They are more fuel-efficient and bigger than the basic jet. They have a flight capacity of seven hours which means they have up to 200 cubic feet space for baggage. They can carry eight to ten passengers and go as far as 2,500 nautical miles without a pit stop. These planes allow for a few luxuries like a fold-out divan and storage space for large bags.
Examples: Cessna Citation Latitude and the Hawker 800XP.
Super Midsize Jets
These aircraft are great for trans-continental travel. Their flight capacity depends on the model of the plane but they can carry from eight to 12 passengers. They can also go faster than the smaller and midsize jets.
Examples: Bombardier Challenger 350, Gulfstream G200 and Cessna Citation Sovereign.
As the name indicates, these are big jets and can take you as far as 4,000 nautical miles without a break. These planes are preferred by bigger groups traveling from one continent to another. They can carry up to 18 people and their baggage. So you can afford to get a few cabin attendants. They have first-class seats and pull-out tabletops. Some of them even come with private sleeping zones.
Examples: Bombardier Global 5000, Gulfstream GIV, Gulfstream II and Challenger 605.
These are heavy jets that can travel from 6,000 to 6,500 nautical miles. They have a lot of space for passengers and their baggage. They have flatbeds, stand-up cabins and enclosed bathrooms. These are the favorite choices of some of the rich and famous around the world.
Examples: Gulfstream G550, Bombardier Global 6000 and Dassault Falcon 7X.
Luxury and Beyond
The most expensive ones, of course, are called biz liners. They come with all the above facilities and then some, like conference spaces, dining areas and private suites – they’re the best of the best and the prices can get really extravagant.
Examples: Airbus A318 Elite, Embraer lineage 1000 and Boeing BBJ.
5 – Pricing
For the most part, to charter a private jet means shelling out a few extra bucks when compared to a commercial aircraft. Naturally, the invoice looks different too. And here’s what you will find on it.
There is a federal excise tax of 7.5% on all flights. The US government also levies segment fees which is about $4 per passenger and per trip (one-way or round trip). The cost of a private jet itself depends on how long it’s in the air. These are your billable flight hours. And it might start before you even enter it.
Each of these jets is parked at the home base of the company. If you want it to pick you up from the nearest airport, you will have to pay for that journey. That’s an hourly charge and is called (re)positioning fee.
The cost of the jet rental itself ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the size. And there are a few more variables when you charter a private jet. The age of the aircraft is also a factor with newer planes costing more, but they’re also safer. Apart from that, fuel is another variable – it depends on the market and there isn’t much you can do about it.
If you’re going on a one-way trip, it is called an empty leg. The jet will have to return to the home base empty and you will have to pay for it. But many services are now offering discounts on empty legs to boost sales.
If you’re on a round trip, you will have to think of the waiting time. The time that the jet spends on parking is on you. The service provider will have to pay the airport for parking, using a hangar depending on the weather conditions.
Every flight comes with landing charges levied by your destination airport. That’s different from each airport and depends on the size and weight of the jet. It is usually between $150 to $500.
The Fixed Base Operator which are organizations that coordinate with the airport and your jet company take care of ramp and handling fees for when your jet is stationary. This is about $100 to $500 per visit.
If you’re hiring cabin crew, you have to pay for their food. If it is a round trip then add lodging to the invoice. If you want to use the in-flight phone or Wi-Fi that’s extra too. At the end of the trip, you might also have to pay for cleaning and any damage you have caused.
If you’re traveling internationally, there is a separate fee for customs and permits, etc. And if it’s a smaller plane that stops midway for refueling, some of these charges add to the destination airport charges. So keep that in mind.
Last but not the least, before you charter a private jet, find out if they are smoking and pet friendly. It could be for you or one of your fellow travelers.
Your Goal with Private Jet Charters
Depending on business or pleasure, you will know about expenditure. You want to figure out if this is a one-time thing or you’re finding a company that offers good service every time you do this.
Is this a one-time thing or do I want to do this on occasion? When you know the answer to this question, you will be able to decide on managing charges. If you’re going to be doing this a few times annually, you might want to get a jet card. This is like a membership card that allows you a few privileges and discounts.
To find the right private jet charter service for you, you have to do a few things that might require you to have a deep understanding of the industry -from knowing the fleet capacity of various jets to navigating the necessary paperwork and regulations, among other highly important things such as looking at the company’s audit history, their ratings and if there have been any untoward incidents in the past. Asking them for audit reports if needed and making sure that they are certified by a third-party safety auditor like the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) or Aviation Research Group US (ARG/US).
Now these steps might seem complicated – and they definitely are for newcomers – hence why we’ve decided to do all the hard work for you, take care of all the research & testing, and simply show you the top private jet charters on the market, as we’ve displayed on the table above at the start of the article. Every single one of those services is exceptional at what they do, going above and beyond to truly deliver an unbeatable, unforgettable experience that defines class and comfort – all at beautifully attractive prices.
Once you’ve chosen one of those services and figured out your flight’s details (location, dates, jet, crew, etc…), you know you’re ready to fly.
Perks of Private Jet Travel
Apart from pure joy, there are a surprising number of reasons to charter a private jet. Granted that commercial airlines are safer with pilots and crew who have a lot more experience. But in certain situations, they just don’t work. For example, it’s not hard to imagine the chaos in an airport when the likes of Jennifer Aniston or Madonna enter. That’s not fun for them or the other passengers who aren’t lining up for selfies and autographs.
Privacy is a great perk when taking a private jet. But that’s the most obvious scenario. Today, you don’t need to be Aniston or Madonna to want it. If you travel around the country quite often for business and have to do it at short notice, it can be tricky to find the airplane that matches your schedule.
Sometimes, it is just easier to charter a private jet for a breakfast meeting and be back home for lunch. You don’t end up wasting far less time. And we don’t need to convince you about comfort. There’s no more waiting in lines or airport lounges. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, you can customize your flight timings to suit your needs. As we’ve seen above, all you need to get started is ask yourself (and those flying with you) a few questions to understand what it is that you’re looking for before you charter a private jet. Once you know the answers and have the right private jet charter service at your disposal, you’ll be ready to pack up and fly away – as the great Frank Sinatra used to sing.
If you’re interested in private jet charters and want to learn more, be sure to read our follow-up articles below:
With this crucial information about private jet charters by your side, you’re ready to go right ahead and start flying private with safety, confidence and ease. As you can see, it’s getting ever simpler to charter a private jet and the quality of the service for the price has never been better – hence why it’s rocketing in popularity these days.
If you have any questions or simply want to share your thoughts, be sure to leave a comment below or send us an email – we’ll be here to answer as quickly as possible. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful flight!