Charter Jet Reviews
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About Private Jets

Private Jet Advantages | Aircraft Types | Charter Companies | Fractional Programs |


There are many advantages to flying on a private jet. It is truly a remarkable experience, and if you can afford it, you will surely never go back to commercial airlines.

Here are just some of the advantages of flying in a private jet:

  • Flexibility in destinations - Commercial air travel is generally reserved for the largest 500 airports in the country, with 75% of all traffic directed through the 30 major hubs. Private aviation broadens prospective airports to over 5,000 in the U.S.

  • Terminals - Even at major airports, private planes are handled separately, with a special terminal that offers greater service, comfort and amenities.
  • Flexibility in scheduling and flying - Depending on the program, private aviation can be available within 1–48 hours of your phone call. This availability is a core benefit of private jets.
  • Airport process - Most airports allow you to skip the terminal and drive right up to your plane. Your bags go directly from car to plane.
  • Time savings and in-flight productivity - These are frequently cited by clients as the dominant benefit, and come in three forms: gaining access to more convenient airports, scheduling flights according to one's dayplanner, and simplifying the process of getting in and out of planes and airports. Nearly all flights are nonstop, and there are none of the commercial hassle of layovers, connections and reboarding. In-flight time on a private plane is considerably more effective for conducting meetings, conference calls and brainstorming sessions.
  • Business Entertaining - Private jets offer a special intimacy and prestige, and provide a unique environment for candid discussions and social bonding.
  • Security - All pilots, crew and maintenance staff are required to have photo identification that can be verified on-the-spot. Each employee is typically subject to numerous background checks. Overall, general aviation lacks the passenger anonymity and sheer size that has made commercial aviation more of a target. A secondary security benefit stems from the owner's control of schedule and itinerary. A customer has the ability to quickly fly into business emergencies that might require their on-the-ground attention, or to quickly depart from unpleasant surprises such as riots or political upheaval.
  • Consistency - Depending on the company and program, passengers can fly in the same model of aircraft with each flight. This provides familiarity and comfort.
  • Five-star Service - Charter jet programs provide on-call concierges to attend to all travel requests, and some non-travel needs. Food, beverages and media choices are all tailored for each mission.
  • Ego - For many fliers, an unstated benefit is that the provider works carefully to make them feel that whatever plane they’re traveling in is their personal plane. There are no company logos on the fuselage or the napkins. Guests may easily assume that the plane they’re boarding is fully owned by their host.


Private Jet Aircraft

Almost all production business jets, such as General Dynamics' Gulfstream, and the Gates Lear Jet (now built by Bombardier), have had two or three engines, though the jetstar, an early business jet, had four. Advances in engine reliability and power have rendered four-engine designs obsolete, and only Dassault Aviation still builds three-engine models (in the Falcon line). The emerging market for so-called "very light jets" and "personal jets", has seen the introduction (at least on paper) of several single-engine designs as well.

Almost all business jets have rear-mounted engines, because the wing (mounted low for performance reasons) is too near the ground for engines to be slung underneath it.

Gulfstream is generally considered to make the finest, most luxurious and safest aircraft. Charter companies that own and operate Gulfstream jets are considered the best.

Many charter companies do not own their own jets... the cost of a single Gulfstream can be $45 million or more. These companies are simply brokers that find flights with other companies and airplane owners, and charge the customer a fee for this service.

Sophisticated fliers seek out companies that own their own aircraft, as this provides a higher measure of reliability, safety, consistency, and service.

Commercial airlines aircraft are sometimes converted into luxury business jets. Such converted aircraft are often used by celebrities with a large entourage or press corps, or by sports teams, but airliners often face operational restrictions based on runway length or local noise restrictions. 


Charter Programs

Chartering a private jet is the easiest and most cost effective method of flying on a private jet. There are no long-term commitments like there are with fractional programs and pre-paid card programs. However, one key item is making sure that the charter operator is not simply a broker. It is important that they own and operate their own aircraft.

Charter programs run the gambit from brokers to large fleet owners and operators. Look for one that owns their own fleet, has their own pilots and crew, performs their own maintenance (doesn't subcontract this critical function), has a perfect safety record and has years of experience.

When you charter a private jet, you have access to more destinations. Commercial airlines fly to only the largest airports in the world and most of their flights have connections segments in between. Charter flights can land at more than 7,000 airports/ This affords you the flexibility to get closer to your destination, in much less time and effort.

On a private plane, you not only have the utmost luxury, but you also have privacy. With no other strangers on the plane, you can conduct a meeting without being overheard. Or you can retreat to the private bedroom for rest, relaxation, or other activities. 


Fractional Programs

With fractional jets, customers (referred to as "owners") buy a “share” of a plane, rather than an entire plane. The price is pro-rated from the market price of a full aircraft. Owners then have guaranteed access (50–400 hours annually or a certain number of days of the year, depending on share size) to that plane with as little as four hours’ notice. Fractional owners pay a monthly maintenance fee and an “occupied” hourly operating fee. Usually the latter is charged only when an owner or guest is on board, not when the plane is flying to a pick up point, or returning to base after completing a mission.

Owners have access to the full fleet of planes and may upgrade or downgrade for specific flights. At the end of the contract the owner can sell their share to the market whether that be the company or another owner waiting for a position, some companies charge a re-marketing fee to have this done.

In the fractional model, customers purchase (or lease) a fraction of an aircraft, alongside numerous, anonymous others. Depending on the company, the plane may be split into 16ths or even 32nds of a fractional share. These fractions translate to a number of hours per year, with a full 100% share equating to 800 annual hours. Most shares are sold at the 1/16 (50 hours) or 1/8 (100 hours) level.

However, owners rarely end up flying the specific aircraft in which they hold shared title. More likely, they will travel on other identical planes in the company’s fleet. This is a natural consequence of the fractional model: since many owners “pull” on the same plane, it’s likely that "their" plane is either in use by another owner, or that another plane is positioned in a more convenient location for deployment.