Commercial air travel has become increasingly frustrating and time-consuming over the last 20 or so years. It seems there are more requirements to get through the security line; you’re nickel-and-dimed for everything, including choosing your seat, buying a soda, or bringing along a carry-on.
These inconveniences have prompted the independently wealthy to look for aircraft for sale to improve their travel experience. But there are other options that don’t require you to make a major purchase.
Keep reading to discover four ways to revive your love of traveling by eliminating the hardships that TSA and public airports cause.
Buy Your Own Private Jet
Like cars, you can buy either a new or used private jet. They come in various sizes and price points, so it takes extensive research to determine which make and model may be right for you.
In general, smaller private jets have a shorter range, meaning you won’t be able to fly overseas. Light jets also do not offer all the amenities you may expect from private air travel; in fact, even the lavatory may not be as secluded as you’d like! Large or heavy jets, on the other hand, often include galleys suitable for preparing and serving gourmet meals, private staterooms, in-cabin entertainment options, and comfortable club seating.
Bear in mind that owning a private jet costs more than simply purchasing an aircraft, fueling it up, and hiring a pilot. You’ll also be responsible for flexible and fixed fees and costs, including a variety of insurance policies, hangar storage, special costs associated with the airports you land at or take off from, maintenance, engine upgrades, crew training, and more.
However, you can fly almost at will, whenever you need to, without having to fit into a provider’s schedule. This freedom, in part, is why so many people are turning to private air travel.
Consider Fractional Jet Ownership
If your heart is set on owning a private jet, but your finances aren’t quite there, you can consider fractional jet ownership. With this type of ownership, you pay only for a share of a private jet and utilize it similar to a timeshare; you get a set number of hours per year in the aircraft.
Each fractional jet operates for about 800 hours per year. A jet with two owners, for example, would each get 400 flight hours per year. Depending on how many owners, however, you could get as little as 50 flight hours per year.
Fractional ownership requires about a five-year commitment. You’ll still need to pay acquisition costs, monthly maintenance fees, and other hourly costs, such as fuel, crew salary, and more.
This type of aircraft ownership doesn’t give you as much freedom to travel that full ownership does, but frequent travelers still find it quite convenient, particularly when they consider the money they’ll save over total ownership of a private jet.
Charter a Flight
When you charter flights, you do not own the aircraft, but you are essentially renting its use. To charter a flight, you’ll need to work with a charter agency, who manages their own fleet.
The charter agency will help plan your trip for you and get you to your destination, possibly with other people with similar itineraries onboard. No, you do not get total privacy during flights like you would with fractional or full jet ownership. However, you also pay a fraction of the cost to fly with a charter company than you would if you owned the jet.
Purchase a Jet Card Membership
A jet card membership is a subscription service for private flights. You purchase a jet card and receive a set number of flight hours based on the size of jet you prefer to travel in.
To schedule your trip, you’ll need to contact the jet card provider, who will set up travel for you. All you have to do is board the jet. Often jet card providers guarantee that they can conveniently schedule flights for their subscribers, but others put limitations on where and when you can travel.
While aboard a jet using your jet card, you’ll fly without sharing the space with others – but keep in mind that the provider’s limitations may impede your plans.
Can I Fly Whenever I Want with a Jet Card?
Some jet card providers guarantee availability of flights for their subscribers, but some don’t. Some jet card providers also may put limitations on when and where you can travel. Business travelers whose meeting schedules do not fit within the jet card provider’s limitations may need to find alternative transportation.
What You Avoid By Flying Privately
Regardless of which method you choose, when you fly privately, you can enjoy:
- Skipping the security line.
- Refreshments of your choice during the flight.
- Privacy, especially if you aren’t traveling with strangers.
- Limitations on contents of your luggage.
- And more.
If these benefits sound appealing to you, then you may want to consider one of the four most popular ways to travel on a private jet.