Given the current state of the commercial air travel industry, it’s understandable that a lot of people are scrambling to find alternative ways to get to their final destinations. Some people are driving, but gas prices are making that option expensive. Some people are taking trains, buses, or just staying at home. For people with money in the bank, there is another travel alternative. That would be to charter a private jet.
If, by chance, you are interested in chartering a jet, your number one concern will likely be the cost of doing so. That’s a fair concern. However, you might be surprised that private jet air travel isn’t as expensive as most people would like to believe. As you contemplate your next move, ask yourself: “Is the convenience and benefits you would get from flying private going to be worth the price you would have to pay?”
Estimating the Cost of Chartering a Private Jet
When pricing a charter flight, you’ll soon realize that a lot of the top jet charter companies will offer you hourly rates. Of course, the hourly rates hardly tell the tale when you have to contemplate the value you would derive from the financial investment. With that said, you have to start somewhere, and going with an hourly rate is as good a place to start as any.
The charter agents try to keep the cost estimation process simple. Most companies use a private jet cost estimator to give quick estimates. They’ll ask you for some basic information like the kind of plane you want, your itinerary (where and when you are flying), and how many passengers are flying. They will put that info in the estimator, and they can give you an estimate. The rough estimate equals an hourly rate times the estimated number of flight hours.
What Goes Into Creating an Hourly Rate
Now, you would like to know how jet charter companies come up with their hourly rates. Yes, there is a bit of science to the process. They accumulate all of the anticipated costs and add a profit margin to create an hourly rate range per plane.
In case you are wondering what’s included in the accumulated costs, here’s some of that information:
- Fuel costs and landing fees
- The cost of the crew for a particular jet
- Layover costs for the crew
- The distance of the flight in total miles (wear and tear on the jet)
- The cost of available amenities like food/beverage, WiFi, cell service, etc
Do the Benefits of Private Ait Travel Justify the Cost
Once you have a reasonable idea of the estimated cost of your private jet travel, it’s up to you to see if the benefits you would get from chartering a private jet are worth the price you would have to pay. With that in mind, it might help your “cost/reward calculation” if you understand exactly what benefits you could get. The benefits might include:
- The luxury of being able to avoid long lines at the airport and constant flight delays
- Access to the kinds of amenities that can make flying pleasurable – comfortable seating, sleeping quarters, showers, workspace, and privacy
- The ability to dictate your itinerary – when, where, and the number of stops
- Time saved by being able to use smaller airports and landing strips to get closer to your real destination(s)
- Won’t have to deal with ridiculous luggage and cargo restrictions
- You determine who and how many passengers will be joining in the fun
This writing isn’t the place to give prices, even estimated prices. Why? Prices will vary based on where the charter will originate, the time of year (summer and holidays are higher), the type of jet selected, and all the little extras you might request. This writing intends to make you think about the cost of chartering a private and whether or not you can extract the value that would make doing that a good decision. Indeed, there is a cost associated with being able to avoid commercial air travel.