Introduction to Private Jet Travel. Types of Jets, Flight Costs, Departure–Onboard–Arrival Experience.

Private jet travel was once limited to jet owners and the 1%. Now, flying private is on most travelers’ wishlist. No lines, catered food, light security check, and so much legroom. While there’s no debate that the cost is higher than regular flights, it is becoming more affordable and available. If you’re just getting started, don’t worry. We have outlined here the private jet service experience, prices, top players, best destinations, and everything else you need to know to get started.

5 February 2022
Eli Espinas

Flying private is on most travelers’ wishlist. No lines, catered food, light security check, and so much legroom. This is why there are now studios with fake jets where you can take Instagram photos – just so they can briefly experience what it may be like to live the coveted jet life.

Private travel tours were once limited to jet owners and the 1%. While there’s no debate that the cost is higher than regular flights, it is becoming more affordable and available. Uber has plans to launch commuter aircraft (“air taxis”) that shuttle between cities and more startups are venturing into democratizing jet access.

Flying private: better than you can imagine

Flying private has many benefits as you can imagine. You can customize your itinerary much better to ensure zero or minimal layovers, expect better food, and decide your departure time. You have complete control over your itinerary. It is especially useful when you’re traveling between locations where commercial flights are scarce such as island hopping in the Philippines.

The rise of the private jet industry

This travel style is becoming increasingly popular due to the pandemic. The private jet industry saw a 300% jump in first-time leisure customers in 2020. The unprecedented health crisis in the past couple of years has fueled the expansion of chartered international flights. People are choosing private planes to avoid thick crowds and to stay away from the risk of getting sick. Privacy has become a necessity.

Marine Eugene (Managing Director of Private Jet & FlexJet) commented that the usual influx of private flights used to decline by August in previous years. But in 2021, it has broken all the earlier records with a record number of bookings even in the off-season. The current number of jet planes cannot meet the sudden increase in demand. However, experts predict a rise of supply in this number by 2022 and the trend to sustain some level of its most recent growth.

If you’re just getting started, don’t worry. We have outlined here the private jet service experience, prices, top players, best destinations, and everything else you need to know to get started. Check out the included videos to learn even more.

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Life onboard a private jet.

What is it like to fly private: the private jet experience

Traveling with private jets lets you unfold many new experiences for the first time in life. You are free to choose your jet interiors, amenities, and pick up and drop off airports. Enjoy zero stopovers, and an expansive food menu dedicated to you. You can also enjoy additional offers such as private land tours, land transportation, and accommodation bookings. As a first-time traveler, you must be curious about jet trips’ departure, onboard, and arrival experience. Let’s take a look at what you can expect.

Departure

Flying with private jets always saves a lot of time on your behalf. No early arrivals for boarding, no time wasted waiting for the plane, faster check-in, and a considerably faster flight together create a smooth travel experience.

The departure protocol for passengers boarding on private jets is quicker and easier. But you will still require a passport and visa and will also need to complete the immigration process. However, you will not be waiting in long lines. You can also bypass take-off shoes for security checks and passing through the metallic scanner. The security check for private jet passengers is simpler and is completed just before boarding the plane. With some jet companies, it is often completed on the aircraft. Moreover, no boarding passes are required.

Private Jets have no weight and liquid limitations by authorities. So, you are free to bring alcohol, makeup, and big bottles of your favorite shampoo or snacks. However, the size of the jet controls the maximum allowed luggage. The pets and luggage will have to remain with you in the cabin area due to the absence of a cargo room. You will have to ensure your pet’s visa and vaccination requirements before flying.

Traveling with private jets offers you the flexibility to reschedule your flight within the 2–3 hours window while making sure that it does not collide with the next scheduled flight or the crew duties. If there are any restrictions by the airport on jet take-off time, the passengers are informed in advance. Private jets have access to all the airports in a country so feel free to share your nearest airport destination with the pilot.

Onboard

Even business class commercial flights cannot beat the comfort and leisure of a private jet.

Spacious reclining seats with more legroom and the availability of sofas or beds in some instances offer the best onboard experience. The seating is not marked so that anyone can sit anywhere in the jet, but the priority is given to the lead passenger.

Wi-Fi is usually available, but some budget flights may not provide it. Food includes refreshments such as colas, snacks, coffee, juice, ice, etc. Customized orders need to be booked in advance and are very expensive. The cleanliness of the plane is the responsibility of the passengers. Even if you spill something accidentally, you will have to pay for it.

The toilet facilities depend upon the size of the plane. Smaller jets flying over shorter distances (2–3 hours) usually do not have toilets. Even if they have, they are tiny and congested. Bathrooms on larger jets are generally well equipped and luxurious. It is always best to check the amenities section of the plane before booking the flight.

The availability of the flight attendant is subject to the size of the jet. You can even have personal flight attendants in large-cabin jets, but no assistance facility is available in smaller jets. The personal flight attendant charge is around $500 for a day in large-sized jets.

Arrival

Private jets allow flexible car parking to facilitate passengers boarding and taking off the plane. The aircraft crew is available to help passengers with the luggage shifting. Some airlines have contracts with city services such as accommodations, taxi transfers, other transportation portals, etc. Therefore, you will face no difficulty in getting to your destination. Feel free to discuss your requirements with the jet representatives, and they will make arrangements for you.

Types of private jets

Private jets offer several different types of flying options to customers. How a private jet can fly depends upon its size. So, let’s check out what suits your needs most. Private jets for executive, personal, and corporate use are available with varying features and prices:

  • Large Cabin Crafts. Heavy, large, and heavy cabin jets come under this chartered category. These jets can fly up to 12 hours with a seating capacity of 18 individuals.
  • Super Midsize. With a seating capacity of 12 individuals, these jets offer a maximum of 7 hours of flight. Equipped with much lesser facilities, they are suitable for national or transatlantic flights.
  • Mid Cabin Jets. With a flying capacity of 5 hours and eight passengers, mid-cabin jets are perfect for travelers looking for spacious cabins, reclining seats, and more accessible communication with fellow passengers.
  • Small Cabin Jets. They are very lightweight and cost-effective jets that can accommodate up to 7 passengers and are suitable for much shorter trips (3 hours). No galleries and flight attendants are available onboard.
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Private jet manufacturers are starting to create faster, more affordable, and more economic aircraft. Here are the top 5 medium-size private jets.

How much does private jet travel cost?

The fare of booking a jet trip generally ranges between $2000–$23,000 per hour. It is calculated based on flight duration, the number of seats in the plane, the type of plane, airport landing fee, and the type of booking (i.e., chartered, on-demand, or membership, etc).

One great piece of news about the cost of private jet tours is their one set cost which gets divided by the number of total seats in the planes. For instance, if the fare of a particular aircraft for one hour is $5000, then for a 3-hour journey, it will be $15000. If there are six seats on the plane, each person would have to pay $2500 for the flight.

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Cheapest ways to fly in a private jet: starting from $100.

Cost by aircraft type

Longer flights on large cabin crafts cost between $6000–$10,000 per hour within the US. The mid-cabin jets cost much less, i.e., $2900–$5800 per hour. Small cabin jets are the most economical, costing only $2000–$2800 per hour.

Alternatively, you can opt for a membership.

Private jet memberships

You can opt for a membership if you fly more than 100 hours a year. Members are usually offered the benefits of fixed rates, 24/7 jet availability, and no hidden or peak hour charges. The cost may seem higher to an average economy class traveler, but it is nevertheless less than owning a private jet. Nearly all personal jet services offer private jet memberships. The memberships differ in their plans, costs, and benefits.

As an example, we provide details about the membership offered by the much renowned NetJets – so you can understand the membership tiers, fees, and amenities offered.

  • NetJets Share. With a minimum commitment of 36 months, this membership offer is perfect for travelers with a travel time of 50+ hours a year. It assures aircraft availability when notified at least 4-6 hours in advance. However, the aircraft availability depends upon the share size and aircraft type. NetJets Share also offers ten peak period days with predictable and fixed costs for flights. You can easily change the flight with an absolute confirmation of a downgrade flight. The upgrade is subject to flight availability.
  • NetJets Lease. NetJets Lease operates on similar terms as NetJets Share. However, it offers flexibility to travelers who want to avoid the upfront capital amount or the acquisition fee. The minimum commitment period extends to 60 months with ten peak days. Aircraft is guaranteed to be available on 4-6 hours’ notice with a surety of downgrade flight changes.
  • NetJets Card. This card program is ideal for travelers who travel fewer than 50 hours a year and thus prefer a shorter commitment. The membership requires customers to pay the fixed price for 25 hours of travel at the subscription time. The 25 hours of travel is extendable for 24 months with 45 peak period days. A notice time of at least 10 hours is appreciated for domestic flights on non-peak days.
  • Corporate Angel Card. NetJets collaborates closely with Corporate Angel Network to offer ailing passengers a comfortable travel experience. NetJets Corporate Angel Card is available for a shorter commitment of 25 hours flights. The subscribers will donate one hour to the cancer patients commuting to and from the treatment. The subscribers will be offered XLS flights for a commuting time of fewer than 3.5 hours. Besides 45 peak days, flights are readily available on at least 10 hours' notice.

NetJets Flight Charges

NetJets does not impose any minimum flight charges on travelers. The fuel cost remains variable depending upon the runway conditions and weather. The occupied hourly fee includes the cost of maintenance, fuel consumption, cleaning, catering, and landing fee. The monthly management fee is also paid from the members, which accounts for insurance, pilot salaries, and other amenities.

Empty leg deals

Empty leg deal is an exciting offer to enjoy a jet trip at a considerably low cost.

Let’s take an example to understand the term empty leg. For instance, a person booked a plane from A to B location. Another person booked from the C to D location. Now, the plane has to travel to the C location to pick up the passengers. There are generally no passengers in the journey between B to C, and such flights are defined as repositioning flights. Private jet companies put those empty seats on sale as “empty leg deals” at 50–75% lower cost.

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Empty leg private jet deals – what they are and how to get them?

Empty leg deals do not come with a “last minute-changes” guarantee. Their schedule is subjected to the time frame of the originally booked flights. Secondly, services such as refreshments, hot meals, beverages, etc. are not included. Empty leg deals are usually dedicated to one person (no sharing available). Some private jet companies offer nearly-free empty leg deals to their members, e.g. Delta Private Jets Sky Access Membership.

Empty leg deals are published at the last minute and are often only available to members. However, some companies like Victor, VistaJet, and Jettly regularly posted empty leg deals on their sites. XO offers per-seat empty leg deals suitable for couples or individual travelers.

Top 10 private jet companies

  • NetJets. NetJets has been maintaining its legacy for the past 60 years. A high rate of return customers speaks for their exemplary top-notch services. The team actively communicates with the customers about travel restrictions, weather forecasts, exclusive events, and avoiding peak travel days. People choose NetJets for lavish in-flight dining, signature menu, ground transportation, and pet-friendly travel experience. Their travel programs with different commitment periods feature NetJets Share (36 months), NetJets Lease (60 months), and NetJets Card (No long-term commitment).
  • WheelsUp. WheelsUp acts as a communication bridge between travelers and more than 1500 private aircraft. Different sized aircraft including King Air350i, Midsize, Super-Mid, and Large Cabin Jets. The availability of capped pricing allows travelers to have real-time access to the fare at any given date and time. You can also become a regular customer of WheelsUp by opting for different membership options. Through collaborations with other travel bodies, travelers are offered an unmatched experience of customized city travel plans and private events.
  • VistaJet. VistaJet promises its customers the jets with a fixed hourly rate and confirmed availability even when notified 24 hours in advance. VistaJet offers flights to 96% of the global destinations. Choosing VistaJets opens a plethora of activities to travelers, including hotels, private residences, private islands bookings, personal yachts, and other fun opportunities. The membership option allows you to choose your fleet, access Wi-Fi, unleash limitless traveling, opt to pay in arrears, and flexible departures.
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VistaJet is the private jet company for business travelers with the deepest of pockets.
  • FlexJet. FlexJet takes pride in offering the most customized services to its customers by introducing the benefits of "Red Label." Under Red Label, flight crews are dedicated to one craft. A technologically equipped fleet and the fully trained youngest ever staff remains ready to cater to all of your needs. The 100% hand-crafted fleet interiors offer travelers the comfort of home. Private accommodations and customized dining services are available at landing terminals. FlexJet offers several memberships, including fractional ownership, leasing, JetCard, Gulfstream G700 program, etc.
  • JetLinx. JetLinx has been successfully serving its customers for the past 22 years. With over 105 crafts operating from 20 locations, it has shown exceptional performance over the years. JetLinx believes in offering local and customized services to travelers which resonate with their demands. The registered members get special access to travel, transportation, and residence. Several location-oriented wines, wellness, and fashion tours are offered under the Elevated Lifestyle Program. Subscribing to JetCard unleashes the fixed hourly rate option for the members. Light, Midsize, Super mid-size, and heavy jets are available for customized traveling.
  • XO. XO takes pride in serving its customers with value, flexibility, quality services, and peace of mind. Travelers are free to book the whole jet and list out seats they want to offer as saleable. With the mobile application, you can easily book your jet with a few clicks. Several deals are also published on the XO portal from time to time to offer the best experience to the customers. The membership options enlist a range of offers, including Rise, Select Access, Signature Access, and Elite Access.
  • Jettly. Jettly offers its valued customers three subscription plans: On-Demand Pay as You Fly, Subscription Service, and Jet Card with exclusive offers. Individuals traveling more than 100 hours a year can sign up for subscription services that unleash the benefits of similar craft each time, accessible ground transportation, and free food during the flight. JetCard promises a fixed hourly rate and immediate flight availability. The detailed benefits and bonuses for JetCards are limitless, which speak for the unmatched services of Jettly in the industry of private jet travel.
  • GlobeAir. GlobeAir has become a hallmark of chartered international flights since 2007 due to wide-scale recognition of its iconic services all around Europe. With the shortest boarding time of 15 minutes and access to 984 destinations, it is a perfect fit for business people to meet their business commitments quickly and efficiently. Moreover, helicopter transfers are available. Special packages are frequently advertised on GlobeAir to uplift the customers' experience. Feel free to visit the website or drop a message at the 24/7 WhatsApp number to discuss your travel requirements and book your flight.
  • Victor. Victor has recognized itself as one of the most reliable and trustworthy private services for booking private charter flights. Transparency (operator, aircraft's details, and cancellation terms remain disclosed), trusted experts (24/7 assistance), and customer protection (secured payments) are the hallmarks of their services. Victor offers its customers bonus points (Victor Alto) for each flight booking, which discounts future flights. Both web and app services are available for effortless communication and booking flights. Group Charters and Empty Leg Deals are available when choosing Victor.
  • Magellan Jets. Magellan Jets promises to offer the most personalized experience while ensuring the safety and health of you and your loved ones. The services are extended on the fronts of the jet card, membership, and chartered flights. The registered members can enjoy easy access to all aircraft categories, zero peak days, and guaranteed backup. The prices are disclosed upfront with 0% ambiguity of additional fees and fuel surcharges. Explorer and Premium categories are available to get registered as a member. Subscribing for a Jet Card (Light & Heavy access) lets customers unfold additional perks like a discount on empty leg deals, Wi-Fi, personal attendant, etc.

Where you can fly private in Asia?

Plenty of tourism spots in Asia and the recent tourist developments in this region have raised the travelers’ interest bar. In post-pandemic times everyone is looking forward to planning the next amazing trip. Now, you can book private charter flights to many popular tourist attractions across Asia and the Pacific. Personal jet travel can make those journeys feasible and adrenaline-rushing, which seems challenging to plan otherwise.

Singapore

A city packed with architectural wonders and touristic delights is all set to welcome you with open arms. Singapore is a multi-cultural spot that has something for everyone: food, endless shopping destinations, scenic natural wonders, and buzzing nightlife. You can land at the Changi International Airport (30 minutes to the east) and Seletar Airport (30 minutes to the north). Both airports are available for private jet flights operating to and from Singapore. Get an instant quote from LunaJets and EvoJets, as they are highly trusted and recommended by private jet travelers.

Philippines

Private jet travel is one of the fastest and most convenient ways to uncover the stunning islands of the Philippines. Your trip can be divided into four parts, each packed with the rich history of Spain and American dominance upon the area. Flying with Aircharter lets you land by the island’s stretch on Ninoy Aquino International Airport and Bacolod Silay Airport. Feel free to discuss your requirements with the representative to get a personalized quote on the cheap private jet flight. Some private jet companies also offer assistance in hopping between islands via seaplanes or boats, so do not forget to inquire about this.

Vietnam

With its glistening beaches, off-the-beaten picturesque spots, and goofy caves, Vietnam is a hotspot for travelers these days. Cut short the long travel hours, layovers, and border crossing by hiring a private jet. Air Charter Service offers customized private jet transfers to Hanoi (North) and Ho Chi Minh City (South) airports. Both these cities serve as a great starting point to explore the lands of Vietnam. Check out this exciting itinerary to Vietnam to set out on a memorable journey. Vietnam’s airports also offer an easy, private jet transfer to neighboring lands of Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

Cambodia

Cambodia’s city and rural life have retained the original Indo-Chinese print from its ancient lords. In the country’s northwest are the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire. Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (capital city) are the central locations to explore the rest of Cambodia’s hotshots. Charter a private plane from Air Charter Service or EvoJets to land at the international airports of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. The airports offer an easy transfer to adjoining Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos.

Thailand

Thailand is a complete package for all your tourism adventures. Be it snorkeling, diving, exploring cultural assets, or enjoying the nightlife vibe, a trip to Thailand will be your most memorable experience. Its capital city Bangkok offers plenty of things to see and explore as it cherishes the most authentic Buddhist history. Uncover nature at its best in the town of Chiang Rai as it is packed with picturesque scenic spots and beautiful foothills. Wipe out the summer heat by swimming and surfing the idyllic beaches of Phuket. Air Charter Service and EvoJets offer private flights to all ten airports in Thailand. Therefore, plan out your trip to choose the most convenient airport.

Japan

Japan is undoubtedly the perfect fusion of modernity and history. The bewildering architectural marvels and the award-winning food of Tokyo attract tourists from all around the world. Japan’s countryside adventures are equally exciting. The villages are loaded with glittering beaches, slanting mountains, vast rice fields, and hot springs. Be it business trips or personal trips, EvoJets & Air Charter Service offer you cheap charter jet flights with exclusive offers to commute to and back from the majestic lands of Japan.

Travel the world in a private jet

The uncertain pandemic situation had put a halt on the tourism industry. But with the improving conditions, people are looking forward to spending their vacations in an exotic location. And what can be a better way of getting to your favorite spot without having to deal with thick crowds at the airport? Cheap private jet flights are now available to many touristic locations offering you a complete sense of security and freedom.

Many collaborations between resorts and private jet tours have been seen recently. One example is the partnership between ANI Resorts and Private Jet Services (PJS). ANI resorts operate across four locations globally, i.e., Sri Lanka, Thailand, Dominican Republic, and Anguilla. The partnership offers benefits to both ANI and PJS members. ANI guests will be awarded $5000 credit on their first trip, whereas PJS members will be able to enjoy $10,000 redeemable credit on their first stay in ANI. Such collaboration allows the members to entertain themselves with various facilities such as gym trainers, massage therapists, local tours, cooking classes, sports gear availability. Each resort is curated to serve a maximum of 30 individuals, which is an excellent offer for extended families or a group of friends to buy out. They can thus enjoy complete privacy and customized services.

Another example, Four Seasons Private Jet Experience, is one of its kind. It not only offers travelers an incredible private jet experience but also lets their lodge at the most exotic resorts in the town. Its “World of Adventure Itinerary” is an electrifying journey to travel to 8 countries in 24 days.

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Bewildering: Inside Four Seasons’ A321LR Private Jet at $170,000 per ticket.

Elai Espinas

Eli Espinas


A freelance blogger who writes comprehensive travel guides, advising travelers of hidden gems, travel tips, and other nuanced know-hows from personal experiences.

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