What is a chartered flight and how much does it cost?

Published Date: March 31, 2023

Stairs leading to private jet airplane.
Ready to fly in style? For the trip of a lifetime or to simply avoid the crowds and the chaos of flying commercial, you may want to consider flying private. A chartered flight is a lovely — if expensive — way to get from point A to point B. Here’s what you need to know about chartered flights and how much they cost. 

How do chartered flights work? 

When you fly on a domestic or international commercial carrier, you book a seat on a specific flight with a pre-set departure time. With a chartered flight, you book the entire plane and tell the airline and crew where you’d like to travel. Flights aren’t on a pre-published schedule. Rather, the time of your flight is determined by you and the availability at the airport you’ll be using. When you schedule your charter, you’ll choose an aircraft. Most private aviation companies have a roster of light, mid-size and heavy jets, and the one you choose will depend on your budget, how many people you’re traveling with and the distance of your flight.

What are the benefits of chartered flights?

There are many benefits to chartered flights and private aviation in general. First, you have more control of the schedule. You’ll no longer be at the mercy of commercial airline schedules, nor will you have to spend hours waiting in security lines and at large airport terminals before boarding. Instead, most chartered flights operate out of private terminals or fixed-base operators (FBOs). Because chartered flights depart and land at smaller or private airports, there are no long lines, big crowds or traffic to contend with. Instead, you can arrive 30 minutes or less before your flight. Valet parking is often available, too. If you’re the type of person who likes to plan out every detail of your travel, flying private might be right for you. Not only can you build your own itinerary, but you can choose the right aircraft to fit your needs. And chartered flight companies are known for world-class service, whether that’s custom meals, the latest in-flight movies, streaming-fast Wi-Fi or serious privacy. 

What is the cost of a chartered flight? 

Many variables determine the cost of a chartered flight: the aircraft you choose, your departure and arrival destinations, the length of flight, and the length of your stay. The average private flight costs between $4,000 and $8,000 per hour. A smaller, lighter plane may come in at a lower rate, but a heavy jet used for international flights may cost more. In addition to the per-hour price, you’ll also be responsible for fuel, de-icing, federal excise taxes, airport fees and any extra in-flight amenities. People who charter flights regularly may want to look into membership or fractional ownership with a private aviation company. There are many options available, with varying price points and membership structures. 

Are there more affordable options? 

If you don’t want to commit to the hefty price tag of flying private, an ever-growing number of semi-private airlines allow you to purchase a seat (or seats) on a private flight. You’ll enjoy many of the perks of a chartered flight — no lines, small groups and luxurious amenities — without shouldering all the costs. 

Get whisked away to your own personal paradise

Is there anything more luxurious than landing in your favorite destination on a private plane, then settling into your beautiful second home? With homes in dozens of destinations, Pacaso offers all the benefits of home ownership without the maintenance and management — or the full price tag. Become a co-owner of a Pacaso second home today, then redirect your leftover vacation funds into a truly indulgent private flight.

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Jen Lyons

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