Choosing Private Charters vs. First Class

How often do you charter a private jet? For most business professionals, the answer is once or twice per year — usually in dire circumstances. Ask this same group how often they fly first class and the answer will be much more frequently. This shines a light on a common misconception: First class isn’t always a cheaper (or better) option than a private charter.

The misconception is an easy one to make. How could chartering an entire jet be more convenient or affordable than lounging in first class on a commercial flight? As it turns out, chartering a jet has become easier, more convenient, and more affordable in the past decade.

The rise of charter options

Jet charters are easier to book than ever before. The availability of jet cards and competitive booking services have made a chartered flight just a few clicks away for most business professionals. In fact, revenue from chartered flights may top $33.8 billion by December 2020!

Like ride-sharing has disrupted car transportation, the availability of chartered flights is disrupting air travel. The effects are similar: lower booking costs, widespread appeal, and more reasons to choose private transportation, rather than settle for public.

With the rise of charter options, the first and biggest variable affected is the number of first-class seats booked each year.

But what about the cost?

Trip cost is the first (and only) variable many people consider when booking a flight. And many times, even when a chartered flight is priced competitively, it suffers from the perception of luxury. People assume hidden fees and costs beyond what they can see.

Cost shouldn’t be the only variable a flier looks at! There are several other key variables that are just as important — variables heavily in favor of chartering a private jet:

  • The convenience of a flight tailored around your schedule. Even first-class passengers are at the mercy of everyone else on a commercial flight. Chartered jets leave when you’re ready, dramatically reducing pre-travel time and stress.
  • Speaking of reduced time, travel time itself goes down when you charter a flight. Private jets cruise to altitude much faster than commercial jets and speed to their destination at Mach .80 or .90.
  • How much leg room are you getting in first class? It’s nothing compared to what you’ll get on a chartered jet. Plus, you’ll benefit from loads of other amenities no amount of money can buy on a commercial flight.

All these things contribute to the cost of a private charter. But instead of looking at cost alone, look at value. Consider that the cost of a first-class ticket is roughly one-third of a charter’s cost — then look at what you’re getting. Time, convenience, and luxury pay for themselves very quickly.

Also consider variables such as the number of people flying and when you’re booking a flight. Try booking four first-class tickets two days before a flight and compare that cost to a private charter! The difference in cost is likely to be marginal, with the benefits in favor of chartering.

Take to the skies in style

There’s a lot to love about flying first class. But it’s nothing compared to chartering a flight! Don’t assume a private charter is unrealistic for your travel plans until you truly stack up the variables. Remember, there’s a reason people buy private jets! The cost of air travel can add up fast if you’re always in the air, flying first class. Sometimes, the best solution is one tailored to your needs.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

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