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The world of flying by private jet has always seemed far removed from the plans of the ordinary traveler. However, a closer look at this travel niche reveals an interesting shift over the years.

In the past, private jet travel was unfathomable for the overwhelming majority of people. Individuals who flew by private jet owned a private jet. The proliferation of private jet charter however has expanded the pool of private jet travelers (you can see an example of private jet charter options at this link: https://www.chapman-freeborn.com/en-us/private-jet-charter).

If you’ve been considering flying by private jet, it’s important to note the differences between private and commercial flights. We have listed the 6 most profound differences here.

6 Differences Between a Commercial and Private Jet Travel

Tickets

To board a commercial flight, you have to purchase a ticket. The earlier you do it, the better. Even if your need to travel came up abruptly and you had to dash to the airport to catch the earliest possible flight, you’ll still have to secure a ticket.

For private jet travel, flight tickets are superfluous. Flight details and the reservation process can be commenced and finalized online or via a phone call.

Passport airport champagne

Pricing Model

When you book a commercial flight, there’s a fixed price for the day and time you choose to travel. Once you pay, that’s it. Unless you exceed the luggage limit, you are unlikely to pay anything more.

Private jet travel follows a different pricing model. Payment is by the hour. How much the flight will eventually cost you depends on the duration the jet is assigned to you.

Flying private jet is still much more expensive than flying coach but the ability to charter has greatly enlarged the potential number of people who can do so. It’s no longer the exclusive preserve of people with a net worth of at least hundreds of millions of dollars.

Leg Room

Leg room is one of the biggest pains of commercial flights. Unless you can afford business or first class, you can expect to be seated in an uncomfortable position for much of the flight. With people seated on one or either side of you, you cannot really adopt a sitting posture of your choosing.

Private jet leg room on the other hand is a world away from such discomfort. In fact, on a private jet, it feels as though you have more space than you know what to do with.

Privacy

On a commercial flight, you have to be conscious about what you say and do because you are sharing the trip with dozens or hundreds of fellow passengers.

You need to think twice before doing even relatively ordinary things like sneezing, laughing and mild snoring. And forget about kicking off those smelly shoes!

In fact, privacy is perhaps the number one reason the rich and famous prefer private jet. You can, for instance, read a confidential document on your laptop without worrying about someone next to or behind you stealing a glance.

Flight Singapore Airlines

Food

When you are on a commercial flight, your meal options are limited to what is available. You have to eat what is offered or be ready to do without, as there are very few foods you can bring through security yourself.

This can be particularly disconcerting for people with a sensitive stomach or allergies especially because airline food doesn’t have the best of reputations for it’s ‘plastic’ food.

On a private flight, you have much greater leeway in determining what you’ll eat. Days or weeks before your trip, you can let the charter company and the flight crew know the exact meals you’d want to have.

Baggage Handling

For a commercial flight, you are more likely to experience anxiety over locating your baggage when you arrive than you will be about the plane’s take-off and landing.

If you are on a large flight or landing at a busy airport, you not only worry about finding your bags safe and sound but also have to contend with fighting your way through the crowd in the baggage claim area.

On a private jet, your bags are ready for pickup as soon as you walk out of the plane. If you arrange for a car to meet you on arrival, it could be minutes between disembarking from the plane and arriving at your hotel room.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

    20 Comments

  1. This is one of the reasons why I happy hustle Meg 🙂 When my eBook is in 1 million places online – or more – I will private jet everywhere. Will jump right from coach to private jetting it LOL, as first class is cool but really, unless it’s a private deal I am happy to sit back and watch movies for hours. Loving this post.

    • So glad you enjoyed the post Ryan! Your eBook will be in a million places online in no time 😀

  2. What I would give to fly in a private jet one day – I find most people dream of eventually flying in business or first class – I say dream higher!

    • Haha I’m with you on that one 😀

  3. Do you need a passport to fly in a private jet?

    • Yes, you will still need to present your passport and any required visas to immigration when you land 🙂

  4. Another benefit – private jets are usually designed to climb faster than airliners, so they’re above crummy weather sooner. They usually fly faster, too. Commercial jets cruise around 35,000 feet, smaller jets typically fly higher.

    • I’m for anything that gets me to my next stop faster 😀

  5. Haha I read this week that keeping a private jet is one of the main reasons Johnny Depp went bankrupt.

    • I heard that story too. I’m always amazed when such high paid celebrities like that blow through their cash!!

  6. A girl can dream! – I think I would settle for even being able to step inside one – doesn’t even have to fly, just let me sit down for a little bit and I can let my imagination do the rest 😀

    • Haha you can probably sign up for emails from various private jet companies or manufacturers – sometimes they might throw open days or put a new jet on display when they launch it 🙂

  7. I can’t help but think that for most people this would be out of reach. I’m happy flying economy. I don’t dream impossible dreams.

    • Probably – though it may be a lot more affordable than you’re imagining, especially on short haul domestic flights through a country like the US 🙂

  8. Flying private jets is glamorous, but it is slightly riskier than flying commercial. There were no corporate crashes last year, but there were three crashes classified as “business” aircraft, which accounted for 8 fatalities.

    • That’s so tragic 🙁 I am actually surprised by how low the fatalities are for air travel in general when compared to how many routes run and planes take to the sky.

      Interesting info though.

  9. You inspired me to check the most expensive private jets in the world – there’s one called the B-2 Spirit that’s worth $737 million :O!!!!!!!!!

    • Crazy isn’t it!! That must be one hell of a jet!

  10. A lot of companies are sending their employees via private jet nowadays … it saves time and money, but the biggest thing for me is the privacy. It’s so much easier to make yourself comfortable and get work done in the air when you’re alone. And it’s always risky working on confidential projects when you fly commercial, even in business class.

    • Makes sense, especially if you’re running high volumes of employees across country / internationally. Very good point on the privacy – definitely makes for a more productive environment.

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