At PrivateFly.com we are often asked the same questions about chartering a private jet. So here are my private jet FAQs:
- Can I buy a seat on a private jet aircraft?
When you charter a private jet you are hiring the entire aircraft. The charter price for the aircraft does not change if you fly alone or with every seat occupied. The only slight variation in cost will be when airport passenger tax is applied on the flight. Each country has different regulations for passenger tax and this will be fully explained during the quoting process.
- What happens when I get to the airport?
Most larger airports have either separate private jet terminals or buildings called FBOs (Fixed Based Operators) where private jet passengers check in for their flight. At many airports, private jet passengers can be driven straight through security to their aircraft. The time from arriving at the private jet terminal to boarding your aircraft is normally less than 5 minutes. If however there is a delay to your flight or perhaps you have chosen to arrive early, the FBOs will normally have private executive lounges for you to relax or work in.
- How long before my flight do I need do check in?
PrivateFly recommends that our passengers arrive at the airport 30 minutes before the expected departure (airborne) time. At some airports such as London City Airport, this can be reduced to 15 minutes.
- Are private jets quicker than scheduled airliners?
The flying speed of a private jet varies dramatically depending on the type of aircraft. For example the fastest civilian aircraft in the world is the Citation X (ten), however many smaller jets including the range of aircraft called VLJs (Very Light Jets) are relatively slow compared to airlines. The time saving of flying privately is made on the ground. With minimal check in times and no delays waiting for luggage and clearing customs, flying by private jet is much faster than using a scheduled airline. Also on longer flights Air Traffic Control (ATC) will be able to offer private jet many more short cuts than a scheduled airline. This is because most private jets have a higher rate of climb and can fly higher than a normal air scheduled airline.
- Do I still need to show my passport when travelling by private jet charter?
Depending on your flight destination and nationality you may not require your passport when travelling by private jet. However PrivateFly always recommends that our clients travel with a passport, even for domestic flights within their own country.
- What’s the difference between private jet charter and fractional ownership?
Private jet charter involves paying to use someone else’s aircraft when they are not using it. This is normally a one off adhoc charter agreement with no long term financial commitment. Fractional ownership involves sharing the full cost of purchasing and operating an aircraft. As such chartering a private jet can is often described as subsidised flying as the fixed costs (such as aircraft purchasing and depreciation, pilot salaries, aircraft maintenance and insurances) are paid for by the owner. When you charter someone else’s aircraft you are only paying for the fuel, airport fees and a small amount of extra cost to allow the aircraft owner to offset some of his annual tax bill.
- How do I know my aircraft is safe?
PrivateFly has a safety policy that maximises the safety and security of our registered members. The aircraft operators who quote for your flight through the PrivateFly network are licensed to commercially charter their aircraft and are governed by their national civil aviation authority. PrivateFly is able on request to send detailed reports concerning the companies and crews that operate your selected aircraft.
- What sort of aircraft do I need for my trip?
The type of aircraft that is most suited for your itinerary will depend on many factors including; flight distance, number of passengers, runway lengths, global region and of course your budget. Please do contact a PrivateFly representative to ask more about the type of aircraft required for your private flight.
- How much does it cost to travel by private jet?
The cost of flying by private jet depends on many factors including; flight time, aircraft hourly rate, positioning sectors (where the aircraft is flown empty before or after the passenger sector) and airport fees. To find out how much it costs to fly by private jet, use PrivateFly’s private jet cost calculator, which gives all-inclusive price estimates for any global trip. All prices that you receive from the PrivateFly network are fully inclusive, there are no hidden costs.
- Which private jet airfield is closest to my home?
Using the closest airport to your house or work can save hours on the length of a journey. Private jet passengers are not limited to the same airports that scheduled airlines use and therefore can often use airports much closer to their final destination. To find your closest airport use PrivateFly’s easy to use airport finder.
- Can I take my dog with me?
Flying with pets is possible when using a private jet as long as the animal has the required documents and when required dedicated pet airports are used. Please do contact a PrivateFly representative to ask more about travelling with your family pets on a private jet.
- How many pilots will there be on my aircraft?
PrivateFly always recommends that you have 2 pilots on every flight – indeed this is often a legal requirement depending on the type of aircraft. There are some examples of when only having one pilot is acceptable, such as daylight helicopter flights.
- What happens if I want to change the time of my departure?
Private aviation is all about flexibility, so if you need to change your departure time it is generally not an issue. However, please do give PrivateFly as much notice as possible so that we can arrange new Air Traffic Control and airport slots to match your schedule.
- Can I add a last minute passenger onto my flight.
For most private jet journeys it is normally easy to add extra passengers onto the flight at the last minute. However to save any embarrassment or delays for your guests, it is advisable to check with PrivateFly first. Some destinations (such as Russia) require pre-clearance of customers. Also for shorter runways, there may be a limitation on the maximum number of passengers due to the aircraft landing and take off weight limits.
- What catering will I have on board?
VIP catering suitable for the time of day will be provided on-board. For small cabin aircraft this will normally be pre-prepared buffet style options. All flights will also include a fully licensed bar and soft drinks. For larger cabin aircraft which have galley facilities, catering can be prepared on-board and hot meals served. Special catering requests will always be accommodated when possible.
- Can I order specific food on my private jet?
Special catering requests can nearly always be sourced as most private jet hubs have arrangements with catering companies or nearby restaurants and hotels.
- I only want to travel in new aircraft, can I specify that?
PrivateFly is able to filter your aircraft options by the aircraft’s year of manufacture. This is a very common request by many of our private jet customers.
- How long will it take to get quotes back for my flight request?
The speed of response of our registered aircraft operators depends on the complexity of your flight request. For simple flights in Europe and the USA you can expect quotes to be submitted within minutes. Requests for larger airline aircraft and for flights in particular regions of the world, the response time may be longer.
- Can I see actual images of my private jet?
Actual aircraft images will be sent with every quote. PrivateFly also is building a library of 360 degree virtual panorama images of our registered aircraft.
- Can I also book helicopters with PrivateFly?
PrivateFly has an extensive network of helicopters. Helicopter landing sites outside of airports require the landowners permission. Please contact your PrivateFly representative to discuss your helicopter charter requirements. Private helicopter charters are organised as an offline service only.
- How much luggage can I take on my private jet?
The amount of luggage that can be taken on a private jet depends on the size of the aircraft and the number of passengers travelling. For a small jet the normal baggage limit is one per passenger seat plus cabin luggage. Larger jets such as a Gulfstream have large baggage holds which can have up to 20 large suitcases.
- How many different operators can quote for my flight request?
PrivateFly has over 2000 aircraft operators globally with over 7000 aircraft in total. The number of aircraft operators quoting for your flight will vary depending on the region and the type of aircraft you are requesting.
- Can I know the name of the operator?
PrivateFly is a completely transparent booking network and we can give you full information on any of the aircraft operators who are quoting for your flight.
- Who will meet me when I arrive at the airport?
At your departure and arrival airport you will be escorted to/ from the aircraft by both the aircraft captain and a representative from the handling agent (or FBO). If you require ground transportation to or from the airport please ask your PrivateFly representative who will be happy to arrange this for you.
- How do I know where to go when I arrive at the airport?
Most airports have dedicated private jet check-in facilities. These are normally provided by specialist handling agents (often called FBOs). PrivateFly will send you detailed directions to the airport facilities and your aircraft captain will be waiting for you at the entrance.
- Do I still have customs/ immigration when travelling by private jet charter?
Customs and immigration procedures must be complied with for all private jet flights. Private jet customers are often not aware of any checks as in most cases these can be completed prior to the flight. At larger airports the private jet terminal will have dedicated customs and immigration staff. At smaller airports it is rare to see Customs and Immigration officials although they will be aware of your flight and can occasionally make special visits to the airport to meet a flight.
- I’ve missed my scheduled airline flight. How quickly can I get a private jet?
Private jets can be organised very quickly, depending on the location of available aircraft. This can be as quick as 30 minutes from your flight request or may take longer, subject to availability and your location. You just need to submit your request to PrivateFly and all operators will be invited to quote instantly.