Traveling by private jet has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Due to availability, flexibility, and relatively affordable cost, many fly private over commercial. However, if you have never done it before, you probably won’t know where to start; here is everything you need to know about booking a private jet.
What You Need To Know Before You Book
Before you start the booking process, there are a few things you need to consider and be aware of, namely, the cost, safety, onboard amenities, availability, and empty legs.
While booking a private jet charter can be expensive, there are multiple ways to get around this nowadays. One method is flying empty legs, which will be discussed next, but the second method simply splits the cost. Depending on the aircraft size, if you travel with enough friends and family, you can easily cut the cost of a ticket to around the same as a commercial flight. Flying private for a family holiday, party, or event becomes much more affordable.
While this goes without saying, it is essential that you research the operator of the aircraft as well as their safety record and precautions. While private jets are very safe to travel in, this is still a crucial step.
You will then need to decide what you need the aircraft to offer. In other words, do you just want a private flight with very comfortable seats, or do you need an entertainment area, kitchen, beds, a bathroom with a shower, etc.? Not all private jets have every feature; therefore, you will need to be prepared to opt for something bigger and better if you want everything offered.
As mentioned before, empty legs have become a popular way of flying on a private jet on a budget. A private aircraft flies back to its home base after a journey, and if the original passengers haven’t booked a return, the private jet company doesn’t want to fly with zero passengers as it will lose money. Instead, they will offer discounted prices to cover their costs and fill the aircraft, called empty legs. While there will often not be many food and drink options onboard, you can still get the private jet experience at a fraction of the cost.
Decide On Your Needs
Now that you are ready to book, you first need to decide what the aircraft must do for you. Do you need beds, do you need food and drinks? Are you returning on the same plane, etc.? Unlike a commercial aircraft, you have a lot of control over your experience, so there is more you need to decide on. It is essential to discuss your options with the operator and the cost and availability of your chosen aircraft.
Next, you will need to finalize your guest list and any special requirements they may have. Do any of them have any food allergies? Does a guest use a wheelchair or require special assistance once onboard? Using a wheelchair user as an example, some private jets can be pretty compact, so a wheelchair may not fit. Accessibility for entirely or partially blind will also need to be discussed as they might struggle once they are in the aircraft, as you can’t expect them to be seated for the entire journey.
Once you get into the booking process, there is also some paperwork that you will need to have at hand. Insurance, the names and information of all your passengers, and passports for everyone on board if you are traveling internationally. While the operator will inform you of all the necessary paperwork, getting it in advance can save time and make the process quicker and easier.
When it comes to choosing a destination, you have far more options compared to a commercial flight. A private jet doesn’t need the same infrastructure as a commercial aircraft and can land at almost any runway. Because of this, you can travel almost anywhere, including more remote and unique locations. While the destination will depend on the aircraft you choose, once again, discuss your options with your operator.
While you can most certainly take more luggage with you on a private jet compared to a commercial flight, there are still some limitations. Some private jets are tiny and, therefore, have small holds, while others can easily carry ten bags if you have them, and you can bring your dog with you. It is best not to assume what you can and can’t bring and to discuss this with the operator beforehand so there are no surprises when it comes to the flight day.
Booking a private jet is easy and is often no more than a phone call and filling in a few forms. Hopefully, these helpful tips will set you on your journey toward taking your first and most exciting private jet trip.