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How to Charter a Private Jet & How Much Does It Cost?

Chartered flights have become more accessible, and for good reason. Why fly on public airlines when you can charter a private jet? They’re not quite as accessible as scheduled flights though, and you might find yourself wondering how to go about chartering a private jet. Private jet travel has plenty of perks for businessmen or wealthy people. Which begs the question – how much does it cost to rent a private jet?

How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Private Jet?

The short answer is that, while renting a private jet is more accessible and affordable than ever, the actual total will vary depending on what type of plane you purchase and a variety of factors.

For example, as noted by a UK firm, Air Charter, a chartered flight over a distance equivalent to London to Edinburgh or Glasgow to Cardiff can cost between £7,250 and £8,320 ( US$ 9,500 – 11,000 ).

Private Jet Cost Breakdown

As the world becomes more interconnected and air travel becomes less the exclusive domain of the wealthy and elite and more affordable and accessible, chartering personal flights seems ever more attractive.

Even with them becoming more common, however, chartered flights are often quite different from one another, and understandably so.

Size Matters

There are many variables which determine the nature of each chartered flight, and these necessarily differ from case to case.

Before getting into the costs, therefore, it is vital to understand these factors.

One of the first and most obvious factors in determining airplane cost is size. A comparatively small plane is bound to cost less than a massive jumbo jet.

Bombardier Global 6000
Editorial Team Bombardier Global 6000 – A Large Private Jet Capable Of Long Distances

Scarcity

Availability matters a great deal as well, and as with any other market, the scarcer the plane model is, the more expensive the private jet is likely to be.

As such, to keep the cost low, buyers should eschew niche offerings for more mainstream planes.

The same goes for airplane parts. Even if the plane itself isn’t too costly, all parts need replacing sooner or later, and rare parts mean high costs.

Bombardier Global 8000 interior
Editorial Team Bombardier Global 8000 interior

Distance

Then there’s the question of distance. As noted above, even a relatively short-range flight between London and Edinburgh can cost several thousand pounds on a chartered flight.

That is due in part to another key factor, refueling costs. The further the distance, and the higher premium the type of fuel, and the greater the refueling costs, which can in turn inflate the price of a chartered flight.

The cost of long range intercontinental flights get expensive very quickly. The private jets capable of long distances are naturally larger planes, and this increases the cost more.

Then there is the speed of the plane. Naturally, you want to arrive at your destination as soon as possible, but faster planes may become more expensive. Checkout some of the fastest private jets here.

Business man boarding a private jet
Editorial Team Business man boarding a private jet

Local Airport Fees

In addition, those looking to charter a flight will also need to be mindful of the fees and regulations of the airport to which they are flying.

Chartering a flight to a US airport may be different than doing so to a UK destination, for example, and even different US or US airports can have different rules.

propeller plane on runway
Editorial Team

The Flight Crew

Chartering a flight means paying for private service, and that in turn means paying a crew a substantial amount of money to conduct what is in essence a specialized flight.

While methods for reducing these costs will be discussed below, suffice it to say that paying for a trained crew to conduct specialized flights can add to a flight’s cost total considerably.

Pilot and copilot in cockpit of corporate jet
Editorial Team Pilot and copilot in cockpit of corporate jet

Taxes

In addition, those chartering flights might also have to pay fees such as passenger taxes. That amount can increase with the number of passengers chartered for the fight, and the same holds true for luggage.

Identifying and Cutting Costs

With that greater understanding of those extenuating factors in chartering planes well in hand, let’s turn to a few methods for cutting costs.

One of the most important steps to take when booking chartered flights with an eye towards saving money is to book in advance.

In addition, as pointed out by GK UK, booking too close to your departure date is one of the priciest mistakes that those looking to charter a flight make.

As with Airbnbs, hotels, regular flights, and any other service in which time sensitivity factors into pricing, the longer passengers wait and the closer to the date of departure they book, the more expensive their chartered flights are bound to be.

Private Jet
Editorial Team Private Jet

Cheapest Day To Book Flights

GK UK also points out that peak days play a considerable role in determining the cost of a chartered flight.

Booking a flight on or near Christmas, for example, will naturally be far more expensive than traveling on a day that doesn’t fall during the peak travel season.

The same goes for days of the week as well. Booking for the middle of the week is generally cheaper than weekends.

Private Jet and BMW 7 series
Editorial Team Private Jet and BMW 7 series

Those elevated prices during peak hours, days, and seasons are due to a previously-mentioned factor: scarcity.

In the same way that booking a model which is rare or requires rare parts to work can cause costs to soar, the same holds true for booking on peak travel days. 

Increased plane travel on these days means that the basic law of supply and demand works in favor of those chartering flights.

There are fewer spare planes on peak days, and demand is high, so the amount chartering services can charge for a chartered flight will be greater than on other days.

Special Requests

Personal perks can also play a huge role in determining the price of chartering a flight. As the GQ UK article notes, special requests can mean paying extra.

For example, a client may have a preference for new aircraft, or for special onboard accommodations. Some people like to have a bedroom on their private jet for example.

Airplane Bedroom
Editorial Team Airplane Bedroom

They may ask for things which are typically not within the bounds of a traditional airliner. For example, smoking has been all but abolished from global air travel today. 

Can You Smoke On A Private Jet?

If the renting party wishes to have smoking areas on their chartered flight, they will first need to have prohibitions against it waived and the special “smoking allowed” status of the flight to be cleared by the chartering party, and then likely pay extra for this perk.

On the flip side, some requests can be more health-conscious, such as only flying at a certain altitude due to health concerns relating to one of the passengers.

Couple Smoking on Airplane in 1965
Editorial Team Couple Smoking on Airplane in 1965

All of these factors point to a larger truth – that it is often easier to charter flights from specialty private services than commercial ones.

While not technically impossible, a major airline will typically not be willing and does not need the business of private renters to the extent that they’ll be willing to change safety precautions or allow certain special perks.

By contrast, for specialty chartering services with specialty planes such as the Embraer Phenom 100, these special allowances are part of the job.

As a result, the chances of clients getting their special perks and the overall cost being less is greater than with big commercial airliners rented for charter purposes.

Does A Private Jet Make Financial Sense?

You, as would most people, will probably think chartering a private jet doesn’t make much financial sense and is only for the wealthy who have plenty of money to waste.

This is not always true though, chartering a private jet can have huge time saving benefits for business travelers, as this video by Wendover Productions points out very nicely.

How to Charter a Private Jet: Booking Process

Now that the key factors and cost considerations for chartered flights have been established, let’s turn the process of renting the chartered flight itself.

Where To Charter A Private Jet

According to CorporateJetInvestor.com, the first step in chartering a plane is to speak directly to the chartering party. This may seem obvious enough, but the “directness” is worth underscoring.

The more layers of telephone clients go through, the greater the potential costs as well as the chances that their order is delayed or misconstrued.

Man exiting private jet
Editorial Team Man exiting private jet

In the event that clients cannot speak directly to a chartering director or are uncomfortable doing so, charter brokers are the best substitute. They have an intimate knowledge of the industry and can thus help arrange flights on their customers’ behalf according to their specialized wants and needs.

Among the most important pieces of information to give to the director or broker include the time and date on which you wish to travel as well as the number of passengers who will be traveling.

The destination also matters, and can be a huge money-saving opportunity. Charter directors and brokers may know of airports closer to the destination than the one proposed by the client or the sources suggesting that airport to them.

Special Perks and Requests

Then there are those aforementioned perks and requests.

As stated, these must all be cleared before a plane can be chartered, but the chances of this occurring with charter services, for reasons alluded to, are much greater than with commercial airlines.

That being said, the more specific a party can be about their requests, they greater the likelihood of it being cleared.

What’s more, many of these requests may already be offered as part of a specialty package offered by the charter service.

For example, catering and special onboard amenities are sometimes offered as part of special preset packages.

Negotiating The Price

Following this initial conversation with the director or broker, they will typically send a quote to the interested party. This should not take long to calculate, perhaps only an hour or two.

The party requesting a chartered flight may attempt to negotiate prices, though there is of course no guarantee of success. Once a price has been agreed upon, it is typically paid up front.

Last but not least, even in the age of the Internet, chartering planes remains a service which, to an extent, still requires a degree of face to face or phone communication.

Given the special nature of the arrangements, this degree of close communication is necessary for making sure that the details are all accurate before the deal is set.

That said, the past few years have seen the rise of online charter jet services.

Services such as Charterscanner, JetSmarter, and PrivateFly being among the most prominent charter companies to do business online.

These companies and other online chartering services tend to model themselves after Expedia in terms of accessibility, online experience, and convenience.

Hopefully you’ll be able to enjoy a flight on a private jet soon, or even better, switch out all your scheduled flights for chartered flights. Never endure a long haul flight in economy class again, fly like a king instead!

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