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Are you someone with a fear of flying commercial? Perhaps you’re worried about exposing yourself to germs and long lines at an airport. Or, perhaps you’re looking to close a business deal and are looking for a way to impress your prospective client.
Whatever the reason, you may want to consider plane renting. The cost to rent a plane may be more affordable and convenient than you think. In this article, we’ll present a complete guide on how to rent a private jet charter for your next trip.
- The Benefits of Plane Renting
- The Cost of Flying Private
- Different Types of Private Jets
- How to Rent a Private Jet
The Benefits of Plane Renting
Renting a plane offers numerous benefits, no matter if you’re used to flying commercial or if you are already accustomed to private jet travel.
Benefits to Commercial Flyers
If you’re used to flying on a commercial flight, you’ll find that renting a private charter flight makes a world of a difference. For one, your entire trip will be much more luxurious. You have the option to fly alone and won’t have to deal with crying babies, sick passengers, or cramming into a middle seat.
Similarly, you won’t need to deal with extensive security lines at the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends you arrive to your airport one to two hours in advance so that you can get through security.
When flying private, you can arrive in as little as 15 minutes before your flight. You’ll have access to a private terminal and security so that you can board minutes before your scheduled departure.
Furthermore, a private jet rental gives you more flexibility in when you can fly. Commercial flights force you to adhere to predetermined flight hours. However, private jets allow you to fly at a time that’s most convenient for you.
You also have more flexibility in where you fly. Need to fly from Houston to the Bahamas while making a quick pit stop in New Jersey in between? This trip could take a day or more when flying commercial. Private jet companies can make it happen in a matter of hours. And, you’ll have access to thousands of smaller airports across the country that larger planes don’t have access to.
Lastly, renting a private jet allows you to choose your aircraft type. If you wish to do this when flying commercial, you’ll find your options severely limited. However, larger charter companies can offer upwards of 150 different types of aircraft, so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Benefits to Frequent Private Flyers
If you find that private jet flights are your favorite way to fly, you know that there are three ways to do so — by booking an empty leg flight, by renting a plane, or by owning an aircraft. Once you rent a jet, you may never go back to the alternative methods. Let’s dive into why this is the case.
Perhaps the most common way to book private air travel is by purchasing an empty leg flight. Booking an empty leg flight is only possible if there is a charter aircraft traveling to your proposed destination. This means that you often need some flexibility in your desired flight schedule.
Additionally, because someone else owns the aircraft, you’re at the liberty of their schedule. For example, there may have been an empty leg charter flight from New York to Los Angeles that you booked. However, the jet owner’s schedule changed, and they now need to fly to Miami. You’re now without a flight. Unfortunately, this often occurs at the last minute. While convenient and affordable, empty leg flights are not reliable.
The other way to fly privately is by owning a plane. Owning a private air charter can cost anywhere from $1.4 million to $20 million. You can cut down on this cost by co-owning a plane with other individuals thanks to services like NetJets. However, this too can pose its fair share of problems. Co-ownership creates problems like:
- Scheduling conflicts
- Financial disputes
- Maintenance disagreements
Owners in a leaseback agreement find that they often have to book flights just like any other passenger, thus taking away the primary benefit of ownership. And, if a plane goes down for maintenance, there may not be a backup available.
So, why is renting beneficial? It’s all based on reliability. Renting a flight guarantees that your charter service is available when you need it. This makes it more trustworthy than empty leg flights, which are subject to last-minute cancellations and co-ownership, where you only have one plane to work with.
The Cost of Flying Private
Private jet charter prices vary depending on the type of plane you use and the distance you travel. Typically, the hourly rate of a private jet ranges from $300-$10,000 per hour, including fees and optional add-ons.
However, that tends to be for the cost of the entire plane. If the entire plane fills its seats, the cost is reduced. Companies allow you to “crowdsource” when renting. The more people who join the flight, the lower the cost.
A crowdsourced flight tends to max at about $2,000 per person for a one-way trip. This often includes amenities such as meal service and in-flight Wi-Fi. It also accounts for the fees, surcharges, and various options that you have that can influence your cost, which we’ve detailed below.
Type of Aircraft
The biggest determining factor in cost is the type of aircraft you need. The larger the air carrier, the more it is going to cost. Additionally, there are variations within each aircraft category type. Variations within each category can range between $200-$2,000 per hour.
Furthermore, the age of the aircraft will impact your cost. The newer the plane, the more expensive it will be. These variations can range between $100-$1,000 per hour.
Not only do you have to be concerned about time spent in the air, but you must also consider things such as ground transportation fees, which is the time spent traveling between the hangar and runway. The billable hour time only reflects the time spent in the air. The industry standard for private jet companies is a minimum of two hours of billable air time.
If you book a round-trip flight, you’re also going to have overnight fees. This tends to cost a couple of hundred dollars per night for each crew member. If you opt for a single-leg flight, you’ll need to pay a repositioning fee to have the plane flown back to its home base.
In-Flight Service and Perks
In-flight service isn’t required. Having a crew on board costs around $1,500 per hour. A meal can cost between $500-$1,000. Wi-Fi is available by the megabyte. You can also expect to pay a cleaning fee at the end of the flight that costs around $400, regardless of whether you have a crew.
The airport where you land can also determine the price that you’ll pay. Each airport charges a landing fee that depends on the size and weight of the aircraft. This can range between $150-$500.
Different Types of Private Jets
As mentioned, charter brokers can have dozens of different aircraft types in their fleets. Below are some of the different types of private jets you can book when renting a personal plane:
- Turboprops — These planes have a propeller and can seat two to four individuals. They cost a few hundred dollars per hour.
- Very Light Jets — These jets can seat up to four and cost around $2,300 per hour.
- Light Jets — These jets seat up to seven and cost around $3,000 per hour.
- Super Light Jets — These planes seat up to eight and cost around $3,500 per hour.
- Midsize Jets — These aircraft seat up to nine and cost around $4,000 per hour.
- Ultra Long Range Jets — These jets seat up to 16 and cost around $6,000 per hour.
As mentioned, private jet prices can vary greatly depending on how far you need to travel and the age of the aircraft, among other things. Secure quotes from a chartering agency to gain a more accurate look at how much your private aviation trip will cost.
How to Rent a Private Jet
Renting a private jet is easier than ever before. You can use a site such as Rent-A-Plane, which allows you to book directly from plane owners. Or, you can contact different charter companies, such as:
There are also companies like Uber Helicopter that have begun to make flying private more accessible and mainstream.
You can also contact local airports to find out if there are any private jet charter services in your area offering rentals.
Frequently Asked Questions About Renting a Private Jet
Still curious about whether renting a plane is right for you? Consider some of the most commonly asked questions, which we’ve answered below.
1. Are there more cost-effective ways to rent a private jet?
Empty leg flights may not be as reliable as renting a private jet, but they can provide you with a cheaper alternative to renting. Empty leg flights on a luxury aircraft can cost a couple of hundred of dollars, depending on where you’re going. This is noticeably less expensive than the couple of thousands of dollars that renting will run you.
2. Can you fly the planes yourself?
Yes. Some companies will allow you to fly private jets if you have a valid private or commercial pilot license. You may need to provide paperwork like valid medical certificates and renter’s insurance. If you don’t fly the plane yourself, you’ll need to pay for an aircraft operator. Turboprops have the cheapest aircraft rental rate and are the easiest to fly. If you plan to fly frequently, you may want to consider attending flight school. Here, you’ll receive the necessary flight training to become a private pilot. You’ll need to pay for things like a flight instructor, but you’ll end up saving considerably on private flights in the long run. Many airports also have flying clubs that you can join. One of the perks offered is that you receive a discount on rental aircraft if you’re using it for personal use. So, investing in pilot training and your local aviation club could be a way to save even more money when flying private.
3. Is the rental guaranteed?
Yes. Unlike when you book an empty leg flight, your reservation is solidified. You’re guaranteed to have a plane for the reserved times unless you choose to cancel.
Is Renting a Private Jet Charter Worth It?
Renting a private jet could be more affordable than you think. If you can’t stand the thought of flying commercial or are looking for a business jet to close your next deal, an air charter service may be worthwhile.
Make sure that you compare costs before flying. Private jet charter flight costs can vary considerably based on the type of aircraft you prefer and the distance of your trip. Request a few quotes from local charter companies to see if there is a price that meets your budget. If so, book your reservation, relax, and enjoy the view!
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.