Flying private is one of life's ultimate luxuries. Not so long ago, traveling by plane was considered glamorous. Now, having a plane to yourself is considered a status symbol. The good news it's an experience that anyone can enjoy.
It's also an experience that's more convenient than booking domestic flights. The lengthy queues at airport security, combined with delays and the eternally diminishing quality of airline food, make flying private an enticing idea for every traveler.
Here's what you need to know about flying private in a jet and whether this experience will be worth it for you.
Traveling first-class on a commercial flight can be an incredibly luxurious experience, depending on the airline. However, flying private takes the edge in several aspects:
You can travel everywhere you want in lovely conditions with a commercial airliner. What you can't do is speed up the flight or improve the stock meals they're serving.
You still have to go through the same bothersome security processes, and this can seriously impact your plans when you're always busy. It's much less hassle to call a reputable private jet company and arrange for a jet to be ready in a few hours than to pray that the 3-hour delayed inbound flight from London puts on a speed burst.
A commercial airliner is beholden to commercial routes. This means that if you want to fly internationally, you might have to make a change. Changes aren't just boring — the lateness of inbound aircraft can mean that your whole schedule is shot.
However, you can charter a private jet to fly directly to your destination. Some commercial airline routes don't actually go as ‘direct’ as is possible. Flying private can reduce your travel time as such,
Also, if you'd rather take a bit of time to soar over some glorious terrain, you can do that with a private jet. Want to take an extended look at the Rockies? No problem. Flying private gives you flexibility.
The short answer: no. You won't have to stand in a queue of thousands waiting to be told that your laptop was in the wrong part of the plastic tray.
You will still have to pass through Customs & Immigration if traveling abroad, and if you're carrying items such as firearms, these will be checked. On any flight, it's best to have any ammunition stowed away separately in hold luggage, as there are laws surrounding firearms on any aircraft.
There are certain rules that everyone must abide by, but you can expect a more relaxed and less rushed security visit. You won't have to take your shoes off and place them in a tray. You won't have to explain that your ski poles aren't lethal weapons.
You can expect a range of services on your private jet — just ask the airline how they will accommodate you. One of the great luxuries of flying private is that you can tailor your entire flying experience to your preferences without worrying about other guests.
Regular services offered when flying private include:
One thing you can certainly count on is that the flight crew are going to be in a different class to when you fly commercial. Flying private, you're the center of attention, and the flight crew loves to provide great service. It's much easier when they're not dealing with a host of oddly difficult commercial passengers.
The best advice is to discuss your preferences with your flight provider in advance. If you're booking flights days or weeks in advance, it's fairly straightforward. It's a bit more complicated if you need a jet in just a few hours' time.
Flying private offers you an air travel experience you can't get by flying domestic, even if you purchase first class seats. You can expect improvements in:
Flying private reduces your flight time, avoids layovers, and is more personalized and luxurious overall. It's well worth the cost just for the perks — and hey, if time is money, flying private is a great investment.