More Than Extra Legroom: Private Charter vs. Commercial Flight
The ability to jump on a last-minute flight is a necessity for many business executives. Whether you need to get across the country for an impromptu meeting or to finally seal the deal with a new client or business partner, you may need to leave your office in the morning and be in a new city by dinner.
Sometimes, this means having only a few hours’ notice (or less) before you need to get on a plane. So how do you make sure you get to your destination in time to seal the deal?
There’s no small difference between flying private for business and flying a commercial airline.
Flying private can eliminate the chaos and time-consuming elements of the commercial flight process. Here are the differences between flying private and flying commercial for business — and it’s a whole lot more than just extra leg room.
Flexibility is a key component to business travel. Commercial flights are scheduled in advance to leave at predetermined times on set days, which means you’re left to scour multiple booking and commercial flight websites in hopes of finding a flight that fits your schedule. Not to mention dealing with the potential layovers at out-of-the-way airports.
Chartering a private flight means you can find a “pop up” flight that suits you as last-minute as two hours before you need to leave, directly through the private charter website. You can even change your destination mid-fight, or jet set to multiple destinations in a single day.
Value of Luxury
Private jets don’t bill by ticket or by person. Instead, you pay by the hour, and you charter whichever jet has the carrying capacity and range you need for your trip.
Turboprops, which are relatively smaller private planes that you can charter, seat six people, have a mileage range between 1,320 and 1,800, and often cost between $1,400 and $1,800 per hour.
Large cabin jets can fly over 4,500 miles (which can easily get you from New York to London,) and can seat 13 people. Large cabin jets typically cost more.
Though a commercial plane ticket is cheaper than a private flight, the cost of a day (or more) of commercial travel is a lot more than just the price of the flight. The value of privacy, luxury and convenience far outweighs the cheaper ticket price of commercial travel.
A private jet can get you to your vacation or trip destination before a commercial flight even leaves the ground. The entire flight process is streamlined so your planning efforts are completely minimized, from booking to boarding to time spent in the air.
For business travelers, once you factor in per-diem for each traveling employee, the cost of a rental car to get to and from the airport, the flight, accommodation costs for each traveler, and the hours of wasted productivity while in travel, the true costs of arduous commercial travel add up quickly.
With a private jet, you can get to and from your meeting within a day, so you don’t have to worry about spending extra on a hotel or per-diem meals. You also don’t have to worry about paying extra for checking luggage, using Wi-Fi, or enjoying an in-flight meal or drink.
What Kind of Preparation Do You Need?
Preparing to take a commercial flight can take hours out of your day. Between driving to the airport, dealing with traffic, parking, checking your bag, waiting in security and making your way to your gate, most travelers have to arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of their flight to make it to their gate on time.
With a private flight, the process is simple: pull your car directly up to the airplane for ramp-side boarding, show your ID, and bring aboard any luggage you don’t want to stow below.
You can arrive as late as 30 minutes before boarding your flight, and never have to worry about unexpected delays or missing your flight — the jet doesn’t leave without you! It makes flying with the kids much easier.
Plus, you can forget about that annoying liquid restriction for your luggage when you fly private. You can even bring your pets along for the ride without any additional complicated boarding procedures or fees.
Even when you fly first-class on a commercial jet, your comfort is limited — food options are certainly better than the peanut packs of economy class, but they’re still limited to pre-determined options. Your flight attendants have dozens of other passengers to attend to, and the line for the bathroom grows as soon as the seatbelt light goes off.
Compared to a private jet, a first-class cabin doesn’t scratch the surface of comfort and luxury. Oversized seats and a spacious cabin means leg room is never in short supply. You have much more freedom to roam the cabin than a commercial flight, and you’ll never wait in line for a cramped bathroom.
With a private flight, you can choose from a large array of premium foods and beverages, or you can arrange ahead of time to have a custom menu brought onto the plane.
There’s nothing like a quiet, peaceful plane ride to start your trip off on the right foot. The luxury of privacy for you and your traveling companions means your flight becomes a place for you to recline and unwind to and from your destination. Catch up with your friends and family within the quietude of the private cabin.
When traveling for business, you can’t spend hours out of communication with your clients while you’re in the air. Many commercial flights offer Wi-Fi (usually at an extra fee), but it can be spotty.
And you can’t make private or confidential business calls without being in earshot of other passengers. On a private jet, you’ll get free Wi-Fi, the ability to make clear calls and plenty of privacy.
When you fly charter, you have to figure out how to get from the airport to your final destination, catching your transportation only after the grueling process of de-boarding and baggage claim.
When you fly private, you can have a car waiting at the hangar when you land, ready to take you wherever you’re headed.
The next time you’re booking a flight, think about the process—from booking to landing. A private flight will streamline your entire travel experience, all while providing world-class luxury and comfort.