Commercial airline travel is nothing but rules and regulations. There are more things that you can't do than things you can. The lack of private jet rules is part of what makes flying private so appealing.
However, there still exists what we might call private jet etiquette. The good news is that you already know most of it. Think of how you'd behave when visiting someone's home: private jet etiquette follows the same common-sense approach.
Here, we list 10 private jet etiquette rules for the smoothest, most enjoyable experience when you fly private.
As we say, just like when you pay a social visit — you let your host enter their home first. You let them show you around.
When you're boarding a friend or colleague's jet, let your host and their family board first unless they insist that you take the lead. It's the simplest of private jet rules, but it sets a respectful, friendly tone for the trip.
Private operators cater to their client's exact tastes. Special requests are both expected and welcomed. For instance, you could request:
Good private jet etiquette means asking for this in good time. Operators will go to great lengths to source all your requests, but they can't do it when you're already in the air! Asking ahead ensures that all your in-flight preferences can be met.
When traveling on a friend or colleague's aircraft, it's just good manners not to appear too formal. Casual dress is usually the best idea — you belong on this jet, and being comfortable and confident is always a good dress policy.
Feel free to relax in-flight. As long as you're not putting muddy shoes on the seats, there's nothing to worry about.
Likewise, pets are welcome aboard, but good etiquette is to have them groomed before they travel. If your pet is prone to scratching, it's probably best to keep them off the seats out of politeness.
Your pilots will be happy to answer any of your questions, as will the crew. Private pilots and staff love their jobs, and they love to get to know you! It helps them to tailor your experience just as you'd like it.
On the other hand, if you'd rather relax undisturbed, this can be guaranteed. No-one is going to bother you if you need quiet.
With domestic flights, you can arrange ahead for a car or helicopter to pick you up directly after you land. Your pilot can even radio ahead for a car if your plans are last-minute.
Private jet rules allow you so much more freedom. Take advantage of not having to face tarmac delays, trundle your luggage through endless terminal corridors, or struggle to wave down an overpriced taxi outside.
You don't have to carry your luggage on board or even offer to. It's part of the staff's role to board your luggage, and they will take excellent care of it. Let them know what luggage you'd like within arm's reach or if anything is especially delicate, and trust them to do the rest.
This is a slightly delicate part of private jet etiquette. Jets will include beautifully-maintained restrooms as a matter of course, but they still exist within the plane's enclosed space.
If you're flying with business partners or taking a meeting, you may wish to take an extended bathroom break before or after the flight. This is less of an issue on very large jets that may have more facilities, but it is always worth considering.
Good news — you can use phones, tablets, and laptops to your heart's content. Most jets include Wi-Fi, and you can certainly stipulate in advance that you need good internet access.
Mobile phones usually work well unless you're flying over an especially remote area or the ocean.
One of the cardinal private jet rules is that you don't post any pictures or information to social media if you have company. Respect your hosts' privacy and fellow flyers, as they may not want their arrangements to be in the public domain.
Of course, you can always ask — if everyone's happy to share, it's a great place for a group photo!
You probably already knew all of this. Showing good manners and letting the crew show you a wonderful time is the easiest thing in the world. Sit back, don't worry about switching off your phone, and enjoy the ride.