How to book a last minute ‘go now’ private jet

Private aviation is set up to meet the needs of the last minute traveller, and over half of our flights are booked with just a week’s lead time or less (see more lead time stats in our quarterly trends reports).

Unless it’s for a high profile event (such as the Super Bowl or Cannes Film Festival), there’s usually no need to book too far ahead. Aircraft are generally available and there’s no significant price advantage to booking very far in advance, unlike for airline tickets.

Citation XLS+ take off

But sometimes a customer will make contact and want to take off as soon as possible – 12% of our flights are for customers who book and fly within 24 hours, with some looking to take-off as soon as one hour later. We call this a ‘go now’ flight.

Sometimes this might be because the client’s airline flight has been cancelled. In other cases it may be a medical emergency or evacuation flight, and our team are highly experienced at dealing with these. But many times, the client simply needs or wants to fly very quickly.

As we have access to a network of over 7,000 global accredited aircraft, there will almost always be aircraft available, and our technology allows us to identify them immediately.

Our team are available 24 hours and very used to arranging flights very quickly at the last minute – the way PrivateFly works means we can do this much quicker than our competitors.

But how is last minute private jet flight arranged so quickly? Here’s an example of how it works:


Time since enquiry

Local Time

What’s happening now?

 0 minutes  11:00 A client in Ibiza Town sends a flight request via PrivateFly’s iPhone app for Ibiza to London, departing ASAP.
1 minute  11:01 The Flight Team calls the client back within one minute to verify the requirement.
2 minutes  11:02 PrivateFly’s technology pinpoints aircraft already at Ibiza and those due to arrive there shortly. Our technology is integrated with aircraft operators’ scheduling software and identifies the best available aircraft.
10 minutes  11:10 The client receives an update and leaves by car for the short drive to the FBO (private terminal) at Ibiza airport, so they can be ready for boarding as soon as the aircraft is ready.
12 minutes  11:12 Six aircraft are available and quotes are submitted within 10 minutes (some within seconds). The client sees each quote immediately and chooses the most competitive aircraft, a Citation Mustang. The aircraft is already on its way in to Ibiza from Nice, due to land shortly.
14 minutes  11:14 The client confirms the booking, paying by credit card. The passengers have flown with PrivateFly before so we already have their passport details to pre-clear for security and immigration, saving time on landing.
40 minutes  11:40 The aircraft has landed in Ibiza. The Captain introduces himself to the client in the FBO lounge while the aircraft is prepared for departure. A flight plan is acknowledged with the authorities, with a take-off slot at 12:00 local time.
50 minutes  11:50 The passengers are taken directly to the steps of the aircraft and they board. The aircraft is now ready for take-off, with all checks complete.
1 hour  12:00 The aircraft takes off from Ibiza, heading north to London Luton. Our Flight Team liaise with the FBO at Luton, to arrange to have a car waiting at the other end for the passengers to make a quick exit.


FAQs: Last minute ‘go now’ private jet flights

How quickly can a private jet take off?

This does depend on the route but within a few hours is usually no problem and many flights can be arranged within one hour (see example above). In fact, our record at PrivateFly is 43 minutes. Our technology means we can rapidly identify the closest available aircraft, at the lowest prices, for your flight. And it also streamlines the paperwork requirements when a booking is confirmed.

Can I have catering on board for a last minute flight?

Catering can certainly be arranged, and specific requests can be accommodated but can add extra preparation time, which you might wish to avoid. Snacks and drinks are always available and in most cases standard VIP catering will be provided.

Why is a passport scan required?

A passport scan is required to verify your identity for security reasons. It is also useful to customers, who can clear immigration faster.

My airline flight is cancelled so I have booked a private jet flight instead. How do I get to the private terminal at the same airport?

Our team will send you full, clear directions to the FBO (private jet terminal). For larger airports, car transfers can be arranged within the site.

Can I pay by bank transfer for last minute flights?

Absolutely. A credit card hold is required to secure the aircraft for flights at very short notice. But customers can choose to pay by other methods after the hold is taken. Find out more about PrivateFly’s accepted methods of payment.

When will I have crew details for a last minute flight?

As soon as you confirm your booking, the crew will be arranged. Usually they are on standby nearby and full crew details will always be provided before the flight. The Captain will meet you at the FBO before boarding.

The aircraft is ready, when can we take off?

All departures are subject to approval by Air Traffic Control. So while many flights can be off the ground almost immediately, sometimes there will be a wait for a take-off slot, while the aircraft is cleared. At smaller airports, there are fewer slot restrictions and the runway is less busy, so take off can often be faster.

Need a last minute ‘go now’ private jet? Our 24-hour Flight Team are ready and waiting to assist. Contact us or call +44 1747 642 777.