What is A Charter Flight

What Is A Charter Flight? 

Travelers today have more flight options than ever before. While commercial airlines remain the standard choice for most, each type of air transportation comes with unique strengths and limitations. 

Private aviation through aircraft charters is growing significantly in popularity as an alternative to commercial transportation or fractional ownership. Charter flights deliver flexibility and amenities not found on scheduled airlines. Even more, passengers gain privacy and comfort that cannot be rivaled by other types of flights. However, they also involve higher costs per passenger. 

This post provides an overview of private charter flights what they entail, various charter styles available, operating procedures, average pricing, and the booking process. We will also compare the key differences between chartered and commercial travel, to help you understand if chartering could meet your travel needs better than traditional airlines. 

Could charter flights, stocked with a Jetbed of course, be the solution to all your aviation woes? Let’s find out below!

What is A Charter Flight

What Is A Charter Flight? 

A charter flight can be defined as renting or leasing an entire aircraft for personal travel needs, instead of purchasing individual tickets on scheduled commercial airlines. A charter flight offers a flexible private aviation alternative to commercial flights operated by air carriers. Thus, providing exclusive use of the plane for charter clients. 

Chartering a flight differs considerably from commercial options in terms of flexibility and control. Rather than navigating crowded airports on a fixed flight schedule, charter flights allow you to fly privately on your own terms. Passengers can set their preferred departure/arrival airports, times and customize the itinerary rather than following pre-set airline routes and schedules. The aircraft type can also be chosen to suit the passenger numbers whether a small private jet or a large charter plane cabin accommodating different group sizes.

There are different kinds of charter flights, with each one having its own peculiarity when compared to others. From exclusivity with the private charter to organized structures with affinity charter, there is a charter flight option for every need. Let’s explore some options below!

Types of Charter Flights

Types of Charter Flights

The main types of charter flights include:

  • Private Charter: An entire aircraft is rented exclusively for a group’s private travel needs. On a private charter, passengers are offered complete customization of itinerary.
  • Public Charter: These are chartered flights offered by a tour operator or charter company. They fly set routes at scheduled times but may have fewer passengers than commercial flights.
  • Affinity Charter: Organized for shared-interest groups like sports teams traveling together for games, passengers get to have private charter benefits with a unified travel party.
  • Air charter: This refers more broadly to any charter flight, whether private or public. It involves renting or leasing an entire aircraft rather than buying individual tickets. Air charter can operate on set schedules with empty seats sold publicly which makes it less costlier than private charter. 
  • Air Ambulance: Medically equipped aircraft used for emergency transportation of patients and medical workers.
  • Cargo Charter: Aircraft rented solely for cargo transportation without any passengers. Cargo charters are configured for bulk shipping of goods.
  • Ferrying Charter: Hiring a plane simply to reposition it, such as delivering a new aircraft from the factory to a buyer.

Overall, each type offers a unique value proposition. Private charters provide total privacy and customization while public charters pair scheduled convenience with private aircraft experience at a lower cost per seat!

How Do Charter Flight Work? 

Chartering a flight is quite different from booking a commercial airline ticket. Here’s an overview of what typically happens:

  • Research and Contact – Passengers research aircraft options that suit their travel needs and contact a charter operator or charter broker. 
  • Itinerary Planning – Preferred routes, dates and times are specified. The size of the travel group is provided.
  • Aircraft Selection – The operator recommends suitable aircraft types based on parameters. Options are quoted.
  • Booking and Contract – A non-refundable deposit reserves the selected aircraft. A charter contract is signed.  
  • Payment – Final balances are paid prior to the departure date, usually by bank wire or cheque.
  • Custom Clearances – The operator files the flight plan and handles applicable clearances with overflying countries.
  • Picking Up Passengers – A car or van transfers the group to the originating private terminal.
  • Private Flight – Pilots fly the detailed itinerary, and travelers enjoy amenities like food service. 
  • Returning Home – Upon arrival, transportation returns the group back from the destination airport.

This process entails advanced coordination but provides a seamless end-to-end air travel experience under the group’s control. As a passenger, all you need do is to simply show up and fly in total comfort and privacy.

Benefits of Charter Flights

Benefits of Charter Flights

Scheduling Flexibility

One of the biggest advantages of charter flights is the ability to customize travel schedules. Passengers work directly with the operator to set departure and arrival dates and times that align with their needs, rather than being restricted to commercial flight timetables. Last-minute itinerary changes are also easier to accommodate. This level of flexibility allows events, meetings or vacations to be planned around the group’s availability. 

Avoiding Airport Crowds

Rather than dealing with the hoards of passengers at major commercial airports, charter flights utilize smaller private terminals with dedicated check-in areas. Groups bypass the long queues and crowded security lines that often plague public terminals. The relaxed environment reduces travel stress. Once onboard, fewer passengers mean more space and comfort.

Full Aircraft Access

With an exclusive charter, the entire aircraft is available solely for your travel party. As a passenger, you can roam freely throughout the cabin and make use of all onboard amenities as desired. Boarding happens ahead of other flyers and disembarking is quicker through exclusive jet bridges. 

Total Privacy  

Chartering delivers the ultimate in privacy. Sensitive business discussions or relaxed downtime alike are possible without disruption from strangers. Families enjoy quiet togetherness without worrying about bothersome neighbors. The secluded nature of private flights cultivates productivity and well-being.

Amenities and Comfort

Charter cabins rival luxury hotels in amenities such as satellite, multi-course meals, wi-fi, and, in some cases, Jetbeds. Jetbeds are especially important if you plan on flying overnight so make sure to request one! 

Some operators offer extravagant features like onboard showers. Passengers fly in ultimate comfort over long distances.

Convenient Group Travel

Whether a sports team, medical delegates, or extended family, charter aircraft can accommodate multiple travelers flying as a cohesive group. Larger cabins on private jets easily seat 10-80 people with their baggage and equipment, maintaining convenience. 

Bypass Layovers and Connecting Flights

Non-stop charter flights eliminate layovers necessitated by commercial routes. Direct point-to-point travel shaves hours off journey durations. No rushing through congested airports to make tight connections either.

What Is The Average Cost Of A Charter Flight? 

While pricing varies depending on specific itineraries and aircraft choices, there are some general guidelines for charter flight costs:

  • The average cost per flight hour for light jets is around $3,000-$5,000 per hour in the U.S. Bigger heavy jets range from $10,000-$15,000 per hour. 
  • Short 1-2 hour hops within a state or between neighboring states often cost $10,000-$20,000 depending on aircraft size. 
  • Multi-leg domestic trips of 4-6 hours frequently fall within $30,000-$60,000 total operational costs. 
  • International charters pack more flight hours and expenses, often exceeding $100,000 for round trips between continents.

There are also factors that impact pricing, such as aircraft size/type, distance, flight duration, and seasonal demand. Additional costs include catering, ground transportation, international overfly fees and taxes.

The average charter price covers all operational expenses like jet fuel, maintenance, insurance, hangar and tarmac fees, pilot salaries as well as 100% utilization of the aircraft cabin.

While significant upfront costs are involved, charter flights offer a worthwhile premium experience for businesses and time-sensitive clientele.

How To Charter A Flight

Step 1: Determine your travel needs. 

Decide dates of travel, destinations, group size, cargo needs, etc. Think about your budget and preferences for aircraft type/size to fit the itinerary best. 

Step 2: Research charter operators. 

Browse operator websites, check reviews and compare quotes. Ask about fleet availability, safety records and additional services provided. Request quotes from your top 3 options.

Step 3: Contact potential charter companies. 

Call operators to discuss your plans. Clarify any questions on aircraft, routes, pricing or policies. Ask for full quotes in writing. You can also book through a charter broker.

Step 4: Book your charter flight. 

Once an operator and quote is selected, sign a charter agreement and pay the deposit to reserve your preferred dates and aircraft. Get a receipt. 

Step 5: Make final payment. 

Balance payment is due several weeks prior to travel. Provide final passenger manifest and any catering/equipment requests. Confirm travel arrangements.

Step 6: Enjoy your charter flight!  

Relax and experience the many amenities. Be at the airport in advance for crew directions. Tip pilots/crew for great service. 

Step 7: Manage future plans. 

Charter additional flights as needed through the same operator for consistency. Build relationships for better rates over time.

Charter a plane and enjoy comfort beyond compare. 

When you charter an entire plane, you avoid the crowds and delays of commercial airports. Many charter flights operate out of private terminals for a smoother experience overall–one well worth paying for. Working with a charter company means customizing travel itineraries and flight schedules to meet your needs. Whether for business or pleasure, air charter is a convenient option for traveling privately. Contact a broker today to explore private aviation and book a private charter flight! 

For more information on all things about aviation, check out our blog. We have posts on some of the major talking points in the aviation sector today such as “What is a Charter Broker?”, “What is ISA in aviation?” and so on. 
Of course, always ensure your jets are equipped with JetBed. The innovative product turns your jet seats into a luxurious, comfortable bed for optimal in-air sleeping. It’s easy to use and lightweight, so there’s no reason it’s not available on every private aircraft you find! After all, every other experience will improve aboard a private jet. So, don’t settle for less when it comes to chartered flights, keep JetBed on your must-have list.

Posted in Uncategorized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *