Commercial Airlines vs. Private Jet Charters

James Morris - Mar 26, 2012
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In recent years there has been much media coverage of the worsening performance and service of commercial airlines. Even more recently there has been a negative public reaction to the increase in TSA screening and security procedures such as full body x-ray scans.

To most, these ever deteriorating airport conditions mean more headaches and less vacation time, but for those who can afford to do so, it becomes just another reason/excuse/justification to spend extra on private jet charter flights.

So why do people spend so much money on private jets? Is a charter flight really that much different than flying commercial? In hopes of answering these questions and clearly illustrating the differences between traveling on a commercial airline and a private jet; we have compiled a list of the top ten reasons why private jet charter flights are better than commercial.


It’s one of the oldest sayings in every book, “time is money” and whether you have a work deadline or you’re on vacation, most people want more of it. When you travel by private jet time is on your side.

The aircraft leaves when you are ready to go and will never depart without you. In most cases you will be provided with one of the pilot’s cell phone numbers that you can call if you are going to be early or late.

Although every airport is different, at most executive or smaller ones you can literally have your ground transportation drive into the hangar or adjacent to the aircraft, unload/load your luggage and be on your way.

There are several other advantages of using smaller airports. Depending on the trip, most often one can find a local or county airport that is nearer to your end destination. In addition, airports that cater to private jets typically have a lot less traffic both on the ground and in the air.


Anyone who travels frequently for work knows the value of a window seat or even an upgrade to first class. Being even a little bit more comfortable can make a huge difference over hours and hours of sitting still.

When you charter a private jet you are renting the whole aircraft, many of which have couches and even optional bedding. Although every aircraft is configured different, it is safe to say a majority of private jets available for charter have seating far more comfortable than commercial airlines.

Not to mention you are in complete control of the cabin temperature. If you charter a heavy jet, such as a Gulfstream V, you will most often have a complimentary cabin attendant.


Most top C level executives lead busy lives. Things come up, schedules change, meetings get pushed back. For the CEO who is always on the go a private jet can be a godsend. As long as you are paying for it you are free to make last minute changes to your itinerary. You are not subject to the airline schedules, delays and cancellations. Bad weather coming in? No problem, leave a day early or change the flight route. When you charter a private jet you make the schedule and you are free to break the schedule.


Although this applies more to celebrities and public figures than to the everyday business man, chartering a private jet offers you the ability to fly without being noticed. These days everyone from little kids to seniors is equipped with at least one digital camera. Using a private aircraft is the only way to travel incognito. The FBOs at executive airports are VIP only and they defiantly do not let the guys from TMZ hang out and loiter.


Need to impress someone? Maybe you have a potential client or love interest that you want to make feel special. What better way to do it than to rent them a private jet? Remember your friend from high school who has the really nice car? Remember how cool you felt sitting shotgun driving around in laps? Now imagine how important you could make someone (or yourself) feel flying them on a private jet.


Dogs are known as man’s best friend so why not treat them like it? Most times, when you bring a dog with you on a commercial airline, they are treated the same as luggage. Some airlines even transport them in the storage compartment underneath the aircraft which, at high altitudes, can get extremely cold.

When you rent a private jet, as long as you get prior approval your beloved pets can relax in the cabin with you. You may be asked for an additional deposit or cleaning fee, but knowing that the four legged family members will be safe and sound is well worth it.

Extra Luggage Room

Taking the family on a ski vacation? Maybe you and some friends are going on a golf vacation. Imagine the hassle of lugging all that equipment around an airport, praying that your brand new skis or carbon-fiber big Bertha isn’t damaged in the process. When you fly private the only restrictions you have with luggage are based on the payload and baggage capacity of the aircraft. You can even have your prized possessions ride safely with you in the cabin, no wondering if they will get left behind and you will be stuck with a rental.

Commercial Aircraft Is Old

The average age of a commercial aircraft is 25 years old. They are run like taxi cabs and just the same, often break down. When chartering a private aircraft you can request only later models to be presented with all the details of the aircraft including year of manufacture (YOM), date of the most recent refurbishment, amount of insurance, and any other important information.


Although all aircraft, private and commercial, are subject to FAA regulations they are not all equally safe. Private aircraft operators are audited by several third parties and rated according to a variety of factors including history of incidents, aircraft maintenance and upkeep, crew experience/certifications and more depending on the auditing agency. ARG/US and Wyvern are two of the most recognized third party private aircraft operator auditing agencies.


Although it may not be your number one concern when traveling, nobody likes bad food. Over the years the quality of the food served on commercial airlines has been increasingly worse. If you are lucky enough to get a meal these days, it is most likely a dry sandwich with a mini bag of chips.

When you charter a private jet, you can request food from your favorite restaurant or even bring your own personal chef along with you. Even the smallest business jets usually have a small oven for heating food. You can choose to eat right away or wait till later and the crew will warm and serve you whatever has been arranged. From your favorite bottle of champagne to pastrami sandwiches from the Carnegie Deli, you can have whatever you desire provided you are willing to pay for it.

By John Henry Logan

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