Tips for First Time Private Jet Fliers

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we travel for the foreseeable future, we’re seeing a real shift in our private jet charter client base. Usually three quarters of our flights are for existing clients who have flown by private jet before. But we’re now seeing more and more requests from people who are considering private aviation for the first time.

We know private jet charter can be confusing if you’ve never booked a private flight before. So here are some key tips to get you started.

Ready to jet? Call our Flight Team at (866) 726-1222 or contact us online.

1) Aircraft Considerations

Private jets come in many different types and sizes. The right aircraft for you depends on your group size, budget, luggage requirements, and route. But some clients have a preference for certain aircraft.

– Light & midsize jets seat 4 to 8 people such as the Nextant 400XTi, Embraer Phenom 300 or Citation XLS. These smaller jets are fast and efficient, perfect for couples or small groups on flights of up to 2 – 3 hours. Most light jets will have a small private lavatory onboard.

Phenom 300E new interior

– Super-midsize & large cabin jets such as the Challenger 350, Legacy 500 or Legacy 600 are a great choice for larger groups of up to 13 people, and can fly further nonstop – up to around 5 – 6 hours.

– Ultra long range jets are suitable for long haul flights and for larger groups. Large cabin jets can come with flat bed options for sleeping, larger bathrooms, and multi-zone cabin configurations.

2) Your Private Jet Provider as a Partner

Private jets available for charter are run by a private jet operator, a company which either owns a fleet of aircraft outright or manages the charter of an aircraft for its owner.

With hundreds of independent operators in the US alone, it’s a fragmented market that can be difficult to navigate – so it helps to work with a charter broker like PrivateFly. Our role is to help you filter and find the best aircraft for your trip. That’s a position of great trust and responsibility – one that we take very seriously.


A good broker will only work with accredited operators who meet the highest levels of safety and service. And as part of Directional Aviation, one of the world’s largest private jet groups, PrivateFly’s rigorous approach to safety goes well beyond minimum industry standards and often even regulatory minimums.

Our due diligence now also includes assessing operators on their additional hygiene and health protocols in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

3) Pricing

With an on-demand private jet charter, you don’t pay per seat, nor do you have to pay into a membership – the price you pay is for rental of the whole aircraft for that specific trip, regardless of how many people are onboard. You can book a one-way flight, a return, or a multi-leg itinerary.

We will quote for your trip based on a number of factors, including: the hourly rate for that specific aircraft (this covers the cost of crew, fuel, aircraft maintenance, and other overheads); any repositioning needed to put the aircraft into position at the start of the flight; airport landing fees; and any applicable taxes.

pf car and jet on runway

PrivateFly’s unique technology platform invites accredited operators to quote rapidly for each trip, in a competitive marketplace. In addition, we offer family fleet pricing on aircraft that are operated within our parent group, Directional Aviation. We’ll share a range of options with the client with photos of each aircraft.

All of this can take place online or with support over the phone – whichever works best for the customer. Our flight experts are available 24/7 for advice and booking at (866) 726-1222.

To give you an idea of pricing, private jet charter prices range from around $6,000 for a short 1-2 hour flight in a small jet to $100,000+ for a return long haul flight.

4) On-Board

Private jet travel is all about bespoke service, and you can make your trip your own – whether you are flying with family, pets, or colleagues. The crew (always two pilots and sometimes a flight attendant on larger aircraft) are there to make your flight enjoyable and safe.

Catering is prepared by specialist premium suppliers, with options depending on the size of the aircraft and thus the space for a hot or cold galley.

In most small and medium jets, options such as pastries, fruit, sushi, sandwiches or salads can be ordered in advance with our Client Services team.

on air catering

Larger aircraft allow more options, including hot meals prepared by a flight attendant. A range of hot and cold drinks are always available, including coffee, water, sodas, wines, champagne, and spirits.

Currently, we recommend a simplified catering service so that passengers can serve themselves and maintain social distancing per health & safety guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Entertainment options onboard include music and multimedia, with larger aircraft offering WiFi so you can stream your own entertainment or stay connected during the flight. Aircraft will always be stocked with a range of magazines and newspapers.

Beyond that, our Client Services team can help with other ways to make your flight extra-special, such as gifts, cakes or flowers; decorations for special occasions or corporate branding; and toys for children or pets (your animals can travel with you in the cabin).

5) Airport FAQs

When you fly by private jet, you don’t use the main terminal at the airport. In fact, you don’t always use the same airports at all as airline flights, since private jets can also access smaller airfields and those that are dedicated to private aviation – such as Teterboro or Van Nuys.


The private jet facilities at an airport are called FBOs (Fixed Base Operator). Using an FBO makes it easier and faster to board your private flight. You can park your car right outside, meet your captain and then move through to boarding your jet in a matter of minutes.

You’ll still need to pass through security and immigration as appropriate, but it’s quiet, seamless, and fast – you also avoid being exposed to crowds and queues.

The same happens at the arrival airport. After you land, you’ll move through the FBO and be on your way very quickly. PrivateFly’s Client Services team can arrange car transfers with trusted suppliers at either end of your trip.

Still have questions? Contact us online or call our team at (866) 726-1222 for more information.