Flight delays, crammed fuselages, overbooked passengers and screaming children are enough to wear away the resolve of even the most intrepid traveler. For those travelers who have a little bit of spare change in their pockets, a private jet may be the answer they are looking for.
Space, comfort and time
Private jets truly boast some impressive amenities for their riders, including the space and ease that most travelers long for as they curl up for a nap with their faces pressed firmly against the stranger sitting next to them. Travelers who book commercial flights are largely at the mercy of airlines and security teams at the airport. And once commercial travelers make it into the airplane, they must contend with the unpleasant packing of a carry-on bag into a tiny space and the awkward dance of stepping over a sleeping passenger in order to make it to the restroom. Not so with a private jet. Flights are scheduled when they are convenient to the passengers, and there is no need to jam a carry-on bag into an overhead compartment because there is plenty of storage space for most pieces of luggage. Furthermore, even small jets have ample leg room for all passengers, and the larger planes often have room for full-size beds.
The all-star treatment
Ease of scheduling and personal comfort is only the beginning of the private jet experience. While some jets are sparsely furnished, most jets offer luxurious options that are simply unheard of on commercial flights. Private jets usually feature large-screen televisions, catering and beverage services (and you only have to eat peanuts if you want to), ambient lighting, wireless internet and phone access, comfortable recliners and entertainment areas. While the owner of a jet can decorate the aircraft however they desire, most owners do not get their inspiration from Soul Plane. Typically, private jets are nicely decorated and contain enough luxury to promote comfort while also remaining a practical travel option.
So how does one even go about reserving a private jet?
There are several options for consumers, and prices are widely varied depending on the service.
- Charter memberships. While this option is a fairly new business idea, it is the least expensive and therefore the most accessible. A passenger can purchase a membership with a charter company for $2500 and up per month, which includes chartered round-trip travel to a set number of destinations per year.
- Brokerage services. Many companies offer brokerage services for passengers interested in private jet travel. These services allow clients, who are most often businesspeople, to book a private flight on short notice. The service assigns the traveler to one of the planes in the company’s fleet or a fleet the company can access. For a cross country flight for one person, a consumer can expect to pay roughly $30,000 for the service.
- Jet ownership. Think rock stars, the president and Oprah. Jet ownership is extremely expensive and requires a great deal of maintenance and staffing. New planes cost anywhere from $1.5 to over $50 million. But if you really need to decorate your chartered jet with zebra print and a stripper pole, jet ownership is probably your best bet.