What to Expect When You Charter a Private Jet

Private jet empty leg

Aircraft charter services are taking off in terms of popularity (pun intended). Currently, there are over 2,100 charter plane service providers in the United States. The most popular business private jet model, the Cessna Citation Excel, made 144,302 flights in one year alone. It’s no surprise since private jet travel is more convenient, comfortable, and safer than commercial airline transportation. If you’re thinking of chartering your first (or second, or third) private jet, here’s what you can expect from the ground up.

It’s all about you.

The first thing you’ll notice about private airplane charter services is that it’s all about you and your schedule. No more set in stone flight schedules; when you charter a private jet, take-off occurs on your time. Likewise, there are no connecting flights or dreaded layovers to contend with. There’s one plane that leaves according to your schedule and flies directly to your destination.

What’s more, private charter jets can get you a lot closer to your destination than commercial ones. With access to over 5,000 public use airports across the United States, aircraft charter services have access to over 100 times as many airports as commercial airlines. As such, charter jet companies can get you closer to your destination and to places a jumbo jet simply can’t reach.

One common misconception about private jet charters is that they can only be used for round-trip flights. This isn’t the case. Many aircraft charter services offer one-way service, and even what are known as empty leg charter flights. Empty leg flights are the unsold portion of those one-way tickets. When a passenger hires a private charter jet to take him from point A to point B, but doesn’t want the return flight, the charter service will often offer this empty leg to other passengers. Similarly, if a jet is chartered for a trip from Chicago to San Francisco and its next departure is from Dallas, the company may make this flight from San Francisco to Dallas available. The upside is these empty leg flights is that they’re often at a discounted price. The downside is they aren’t as flexible as a flight you charter yourself. If your schedule is flexible, however, purchasing an empty leg flight can be a great way to enjoy the other benefits of aircraft charter services for less.

Say good-bye to TSA and check-in lines.

The second benefit of aircraft charter services is your own, private terminal. Instead of struggling through the airport traffic to wait in line for ticketing then again for TSA so you can sit in front of your gate until takeoff, with a jet charter service, you drive right up to your own terminal. There’s no security line or bag-check queue. Only you and your personal flight crew.

The only thing you can’t avoid may be traffic on the way to the airport. But if you’re running late, don’t worry: Your plane won’t leave without you.

It’s so comfortable, you’ll work better than you do at the office.

In a poll conducted by TripAdvisor, 30% of Americans said the biggest improvement commercial airlines could make was more comfortable seating. Over 40% of passengers asked for added legroom. On a private jet, not only do you get spacious seats and all the legroom you could desire, you also get an entire cabin all to yourself. Do you prefer the aisle or window seat? Guess what: You don’t have to choose. With aircraft charter services, you can be both.

In fact, studies show you’ll be so comfortable, you can’t help but be productive in-flight. With no noise and chatter from seatmates to contend with, passengers spend 36% of their time mid-flight conducting meetings with colleagues. Another 30% of their time is spent on individual work-related tasks, leaving the last third of the flight for leisurely reading or sleeping.

Private jets are so peaceful, in fact, that passengers rated themselves 20% more productive while on a private charter jet than they are in the office. In contrast, passengers flying commercial experienced a 40% drop in productivity during their flights. If you’re looking for an incentive to convince your boss to hire an aircraft charter service, these may be good statistics to write down for later.