For many travelers, the commercial airline experience is a nightmare of long lines, delayed flights and packed cabins full of stressed-out passengers. Many probably fantasize about flying on a private jet, with its short lines, comfy seats and posh amenities.
Unless you have the money to spend, however, it will remain just that: a fantasy. Although the price to rent or charter a jet has come down in recent years — and in some cases is on par with what you will pay for first- or business-class commercial airline tickets — you can still expect to spend thousands of dollars.
Costs to charter a private jet vary according to a number of factors, ranging from the type of aircraft to the destination. But you can usually expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $11,000 or more per billable flight hour, according to Paramount Business Jets, a private jet charter service. “Billable” flight time refers to the time the jet is in the air and does not include taxi time on the runway.
The most affordable private jets — turboprops, very light jets and executive light jets — typically cost about $2,600 to $3,500 per flight hour. Midsize or super midsize Jets range between $3,200 and $6,000 per hour.
For large, ultra long-range and heavy jets that travel longer distances, the cost is usually between $5,600 and $11,000 per hour within the United States and possibly more internationally.
Air Charter Service, another private jet booking company, lists an hourly rate ranging from $4,450 to $6,400 per hour for mid-sized jets manufactured by companies such as Bombardier, Cessna, Hawker and Embraer. The flight times for these jets range from three to seven hours.
For heavy jets, prices range from $6,250 to $12,400 per hour. Some of these aircraft are made by commercial airline manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus. Flight times range from five to 14 hours.
The prices you pay to rent a private jet cover basics such as fuel, landing fees, airport fees and labor costs. You might face additional costs for everything from in-flight catering and concierge services to Wi-Fi charges, cleaning fees (if you make a big mess) and the cost of putting crew up overnight.
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In case you were wondering if the same rules apply to private jet travel as commercial airline travel, in many cases they do. Depending on where you depart, you might have to go through private jet terminals for security and customs purposes, but the process is quicker than with commercial airlines, according to the Private Jet Charter website. You might also need to bring an ID, passport or visa, depending on the destination.
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