Learn something new every day More Info... by email
Choosing the best charter flight basically involves finding a company and aircraft that will meet your needs both in departure times as well as on-board amenities. Carefully considering your options and getting quotes from a list of air charter companies before choosing one can help you get value for what you'll need to spend to book a private flight. Factors to compare include number of pilots, cabin comfort, passenger capacity, weather conditions, destination access requirements, trip length, the level of amenities and how important the time the flight will take is to you.
Jets offer the fastest in-flight times, as they can cover a longer distance in a shorter span than other types of aircraft. A charter flight by jet also often includes a private bathroom, flight attendant and a galley kitchen for gourmet meals. The exact amenities depend mainly on the size and weight of the jet. Lighter ones carry smaller chartered groups and larger jet aircraft tend to have more luxurious cabins more suited to longer flights. Even larger jets are typically designed to access non-major airports.
For extravagant, luxurious charter air travel, business VIP jets tend to offer maximum comfort and amenities. This type of charter flight may have hotel-like accommodation, a restaurant, office space that includes a boardroom and entertainment such as a movie theater. Due to the typically high cost for such space and luxury, this option tends to be best for longer, executive business flights.
If your charter air trip is going to be more than two hours, but less than four, turbo aircraft is another option for up to eight passengers. A turbo charter flight can be an ideal choice if you want a more comfortable cabin than either single-engine or multi-piston planes designed for short trips usually offer. Check with each particular airline though as the level of cabin comfort can vary widely.
On the other hand, if your trip is going to be two hours or less and the traveling party is not more than five people, a single-engine airplane could be a good choice. These planes are usually designed to use shorter runways in widespread locations, but since they're small and light, they are not the safest choice for flying in non-ideal weather conditions. Take care in booking ahead if the weather is likely to change, and read contracts carefully before signing. It can also be a good idea to choose a charter flight on a single-engine plane that will have both a pilot and co-pilot for extra safety.
A multi-piston aircraft is also often available to charter with more than one pilot. This type of charter flight can work well for up to eight passengers for a two-hour or less trip. Multi-piston planes are often considered safer than single-engine aircraft. For remote access and/or taking aerial photographs of land, a helicopter charter can typically accommodate up to ten people. A strong advantage of helicopter flights for charter purposes is that they don't require the use of an airport.
The air charter company you choose should be able to accommodate your scheduling needs and not require you to wait long before boarding time. If a company doesn't seem flexible in that regard, it's typically best to look elsewhere for a charter flight. Be sure to consider the number of years a charter company has been in business as well as its safety record.
"The air charter company you choose should be able to accommodate your scheduling needs and not require you to wait long before boarding time." As far as your requested schedule fits within federally defined crew rest and duty requirements, as well as operators' previous commitments, this is a valid statement.
If the operator cannot accommodate your requested itinerary, they may be doing so out of concerns for your safety - a point in their favor.