Against the backdrop of the current global crisis, private jets have quickly become less of a luxury and more of a necessity than ever before, with the world’s ultra rich opting for this elite form of air travel over commercial flying, even choosing them over the opulence of first class.
Travelling in a pandemic stricken world comes with its challenges, in spite of the fact that more restrictions are being lifted by the day – and from having to deal with overcrowding and queuing in terminals, to concerns around social distancing on a commercial plane posing a potential health risk, it’s easy to see how those who can afford to splurge are looking for alternatives.
Now, private jet companies worldwide are offering a means of continuing to travel safely in the current global climate. The private jet charter world has safety already built into the system, and most airports allow private jet passengers to be driven directly to their aircraft and be picked up on the runway, avoiding the risk of entering the terminal altogether and thus reducing the potential of getting sick from other passengers. With the added benefits of reduced waiting times in the terminal and no queuing to board or disembark, plus the impeccable one-on-one service you can expect on board, it is perhaps unsurprising that it’s now a more attractive prospect than ever before.
If you’ve yet to charter a private jet then there is no time like the present, and if you have a special trip coming up – whether domestic or international – then it’s the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Here’s all you need to know before you do – but be warned, because after a taste of the high life, you may never want to fly commercial again.
Do I have to travel light if I travel privately?
Whether you are looking to charter a jet for business or for pleasure, it’s important to know the number of bags that you can carry, and the number of people allowed on board to avoid any avoidable stress at the airport.
The average private jet accommodates up to eight passengers, excluding the captain and the crew, with each seat on a light or midsize jet taking one passenger and one item of luggage. Luggage should be the standard 23-50 kilograms, so be sure not to go overboard with your choice of outfits for the trip.
Larger jets can accommodate 18 or more passengers, and allow travellers to carry more than one item of luggage per person – the perfect choice for corporate travel, tours, and sports teams, as well as those who just can’t bear to travel light.
Is private jet travel safer?
Hiring a private jet as a safety measure is becoming increasingly common amongst those concerned about their health in light of the ongoing pandemic. After the introduction of widespread travel restrictions and on-board social distancing measures in 2020, a growing number of people now prefer flying private in order to eliminate concerns around contracting illnesses while sitting next to strangers.
If you’re one of the lucky few who can afford to travel privately in the current crisis, then taking advantage of the privilege is advisable. Finding the right company to meet your travel needs can be difficult, but several private jet companies have made the process pretty straightforward online, and offer free quotations on their websites.
The future of air travel
Over the past 18 months, we’ve also seen a spike in the number of new private jet passengers due to the decrease in global airline operations. Even now, commercial flight numbers are 40 per cent below the pre-pandemic normal for this time of year, and many journeys continue to be cancelled at short notice due to changing restrictions and low passenger numbers, so it’s perhaps little wonder that those who can are looking for a more flexible and reliable alternative.
During the first quarter of 2021, private jet companies reported an increase in the number of newbie flyers specifically for domestic movements. There’s no denying that the number of people investing in their comfort and safety has gone up since the pandemic began, and private jet charter seems to be the only viable option for those looking for a robust travel solution.
Private jet charter is not a luxury anymore, but a necessity for some – and for many, the pandemic has served as a catalyst for a new era of travel.
How much does it cost to hire a private jet?
So, how much should you be looking to spend on hiring a private jet? Most charter companies charge by the hour, and a brief estimate in an article written by CNN travel outlines the kind of rates you can expect to pay.
A light jet (four to six passengers) can be secured for between $4,000 and $5,500, while a medium jet (six to nine passengers) is a little steeper, ranging anywhere from $5,500 to $9,500 depending on flight time and destination. If you’re travelling in a larger group or simply want more space in which to luxuriate, then a heavy jet, which takes between 16 and 19 passengers, comes in at somewhere in the region of $11,000-$20,000.
Chartering a private jet will certainly cost more than a first-class ticket – but regulars will tell you that it’s worth the extra expense – if not simply for the increased privacy and reliability, then for the additional safety it provides. A first-class ticket costs anywhere from $1,300 to $64,000, which is fair enough for a single comfortable seat on a commercial airline. However, if you are travelling as a group, then it can quickly add up.
Rather than pay for separate business or first-class tickets, you can charter a private jet and get the whole plane to yourself with a private crew. It’s possible to save a few thousand dollars in the process, and with an increased level of luxury for the price tag, for many, it’s a no-brainer.
The bottom line
Despite the fact that we’re placing an increased importance on protecting our health during air travel, the benefits of private jet charter flights are not limited only to decreased exposure to germs from other passengers.
Passengers can drive up to the aircraft in style and in the safety of their own car, board the aircraft without being touched or patted down, fly non-stop to almost anywhere in the world, get picked on the runway, and go directly to their destination – making for a smooth, seamless and speedy process from start to finish.
Private jet charter is changing the way we travel in our current climate, proving to be safer and more reliable than commercial airlines. So, it is possible that, in the coming years, private jet charter will be common practice for more travellers who have the bank balance to match the price tag.
Why not get ahead of the curve and charter a private jet today?