Adam Twidell, CEO of private jet booking service PrivateFly.com, looks at the benefits and costs of private jet holidays for the tailor-made traveller. Airline flights are not always compatible with tailor-made travel. Fixed departure times and airports, long waiting times, crowded departure lounges and unforeseen delays can undo much of the careful planning involved in a long-anticipated special holiday. Private flights, on the other hand, give a much more flexible flight experience, which is focused on making the journey as fast and enjoyable as possible. Travel designed to fit the customer and the occasion. When you charter a private aircraft, you:
Set your own itinerary
When you charter a private jet you can choose departure times that are a perfect fit. This is particularly beneficial for shorter trips, when every minute counts. So you can enjoy a full day at each end of your holiday, without adding extra overnight stays.
Fly from & to more airports
Private jets can land at many more airports than scheduled airliners: In Europe alone there are 3,000 airports where private jets can land, versus only 300 airports serving airline flights. That means you can get closer to your home and destination - making the journey more comfortable and reducing ground transfers at each end.
Save time - lots of it
When you travel by private jet, you can arrive at the VIP terminal just 15 minutes before departure, even driving up to the aircraft steps if required. So there's no waiting around at the airport. Landing at a closer airport (see above) can also save a great deal of time on the ground. All in all, a private jet makes the journey faster and more direct.
Enjoy tailor-made comfort & privacy
Of course, the other benefit of chartering a private jet is that the cabin is yours alone. This means you can relax in complete privacy and the holiday can start as soon as you board the aircraft. Whatever you would like to eat and drink, your favourite newspapers and other requirements can all be arranged to fit. Children are welcome of course - and pets can also travel in the same cabin, subject to each country's regulations.
How much does it cost to fly by private jet?
The cost of private jet hire - which is quoted for the whole aircraft and not per passenger - depends on a number of factors. The biggest factors are the aircraft type, its hourly rate and the distance of journey. Other costs include: airport landing fees; crew salaries and expenses; and handling fees for refuelling and looking after the aircraft. The total cost can be from as little as Â£1,000 for an empty sector flight within Europe (where you buy the unsold portion of a one-way flight) to Â£100,000+ for a longer haul trip in a larger aircraft. You can get an instant price estimate for any trip from PrivateFly's cost calculator or via our app. Here are my top tips for getting the best price on private jet holidays: Shop around With over 7,000 aircraft available globally for charter, prices can vary considerably for the same trip. Don't use the same operator each time you fly - comparing quotes will pay dividends. Use the closest available aircraft Like a taxi, private jet hire costs include getting the aircraft to and from its home base. So hiring an aircraft from its home base or knowing where aircraft are located from a previous trip, can avoid these repositioning costs. For example, being flexible to use airports like Luton, Oxford and Biggin Hill around London can give significant savings. Book in advance Private jets are often booked at the last minute - one of the benefits of private jet travel is how quickly you can be airborne. However, when schedules allow, a week's lead time can give greater aircraft availability - and therefore secure more competitive pricing. Consider different aircraft types Many private jet users will have a favourite aircraft, but the costs savings are considerable if the most efficient aircraft is used for each trip and group size. While executive jets are perfect for continental and long-range flights, turbo prop aircraft can be a great alternative for short, internal flights - with executive interiors that are often more spacious than their jet equivalent. Look out for empty legs If an itinerary is flexible, taking an empty leg - a repositioning flight which is sold at a huge discount - can result in savings of up to 75 per cent. Many aircraft and brokers now publish their empty legs online. Contact Original Travel.