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Charter Private Aircraft

Many executives and high-level officials choose to charter private aircraft for travel.

Small twin-engine jets are popular private aircraft. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Small twin-engine jets are popular private aircraft.

Charter Private Aircraft

For those who need a speedy flight to a last-minute vacation spot or an impromptu business destination, they may want to charter private aircraft. Chartering an aircraft is more convenient, less stressful and more time-saving than commercial flying.

Benefits of a Charter Flight

Charter flights are convenient and often comparable in price to commercial flights when travelers need to leave on very short notice. Private jets offer travelers flexibility in their schedules and provide a high level of security and confidentiality. Other benefits include:

  • 24-hour availability
  • Nonstop direct flights
  • Routes not offered by commercial airlines
  • Personal attention of flight attendants
  • Catered meals and beverages to passengers specifications
  • Plenty of extra leg room

Scheduling a Charter Flight

Passengers wanting to schedule a private charter should call local airports to find regional, national or independent companies offer jet charter services. Passengers should also decide on the details of their destination before contacting a charter jet company.

Charter flights may impose a maximum number of people per plane and a weight limit for luggage. They may also require government and international forms for passengers to fill out, valid passports for all passengers, additional landing fees, departure and arrival taxes and overtime charges on the weekends.

Cost of Chartered Private Aircraft

Flight costs vary depending on destination, miles traveled, length of stay and size of aircraft. Prices may sound prohibitive, considering the per-hour cost of chartering a jet; however, a high-capacity plane of eight passengers makes the per-person cost more reasonable.

According to Chief Executive Air, light jets cost an average of $2,500 per flight hour; mid-size jets are about $3,200 per flight hour; and heavy jets cost $4,500 or more per flight hour. The charterer is also responsible for additional fees, such as landing fees, which can run $150 per landing (or $300 for round-trip); international permits and fees; customs fees; parking fees for the plane for overnight stays; over-night charges; employee payment; catering charges for food and beverages; and flight-phone usage.

Low- and High-Cost Flights

Businesspeople, families and individuals can charter private aircraft for trips from mainland United States to the Caribbean islands, Mexico and Central America for weekend trips or longer vacations. Flights may leave from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., or Miami, and costs vary. For example, Island Air Charters Flights base rates for aircrafts run from $650 for a flight to the Bimini Islands to $3,100 for a flight to San Salvador.

For those with a bigger wallet or expense account, a chartered Learjet is the symbol of luxury. Learjets, which can hold up to eight passengers, have a 1,300-mile range, leather seats and portable DVD and CD players. Prices are around $1,700 per hour.

Private Charter Memberships

Frequent travelers will want to obtain a private jet membership or sign up for a jet card with a charter jet company. As cost-effective options, memberships and cards allow the traveler to share the use of a jet among other businesses and executives. According to Gaebler Ventures, the sign-up costs for a typical membership or card is $100,000 for 25 hours of flight time. This price may work out to be cheaper than commercial airfare if 10 people are flying on short notice.

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