Chartering a plane isn’t cheap, that's for sure. But it is one of the best ways to fly. Let's Look at the best ways to charter a plane for cheap.
Are you considering chartering a plane for your next trip? Be it a business trip or family vacation, chartering a plane is almost always preferable to flying commercially when available. But it isn’t cheap. That said, there are some ways you can save money when you’re chartering a plane. Here are the best ways.
Chartering a plane can be expensive. Some of the best ways to save money while chartering a plane include group chartering, choosing a smaller or less luxurious plane, picking a direct route or flying empty legs, using a broker, checking out nearby airports, and having flexible travel dates/times.
Are you looking to fly somewhere but don't want to deal with the hassle of airports? Or maybe you're looking for a more luxurious experience than what commercial airlines can offer. If so, then chartering a plane might be the perfect option for you! In this article, we will explain what it means to charter a plane and how you can save money while doing it. So whether you're planning a vacation or need to get somewhere for business, read on for all the information you need about chartering a plane!
At SkyTough, we are not just website creators. We’re a team of highly experienced pilots and aviation experts that have an unbridled passion for anything that flies. We also understand how expensive just about everything in this industry always seems to be! So whenever there are ways to save money on something, such as chartering a plane, you can trust that we’ve been in your shoes before and have found the ways to do it.
What Does It Mean To Charter A Plane?
Chartering a plane simply means hiring a plane for your own personal use. This can be anything from flying to a nearby city for a weekend getaway to taking a large group of people on an expensive vacation, and more. Maybe you’re in charge of a team of people at work and need to take a business trip to land a new client.
Would you rather fly commercial or arrive at your destination in style with a private plane? If money wasn’t a concern, I think we all know the answer to that question!
The great thing about chartering a plane is that you have the freedom to choose your own itinerary and there are no restrictions on luggage like there can be with commercial airlines. Additionally, you'll enjoy much more privacy and comfort than you would on a commercial flight. Overall, no matter what the reason for chartering a plane is, it’s just about universally recognized as the best way to fly (unless you have a private jet of your own!).
What Kinds Of Planes Can You Charter?
There are three main types of aircraft that are available for charter: jet airplanes, turboprops, and helicopters. Jetliners — such as most private planes/jets — are by far the most popular type of plane for charter flights, as they offer both speed and comfort. They also have a much longer range than turboprops or helicopters, which means they can fly nearly anywhere in the world without stopping to refuel!
As you can probably guess, the type of plane that you decide to charter will likely be the single biggest factor when it comes to cost, but more on that in the next section. Also, don’t take this as jets and turboprops are the only aircraft you can charter. If it flies, chances are high that you can charter it to get somewhere. Companies and pilots all over the world are willing to offer their services for a fee!
How Much Does Chartering A Plane Cost?
Chartering a plane is an exciting experience. It provides freedom and the capability to explore new places, but it comes at a price. For those of us who are on a budget or do not have millions sitting in the bank account, renting or chartering certain types of luxury items can be tough financially. This leads people to ask how much does chartering a plane cost?
The cost of chartering varies widely depending on quite a few things, but you can reasonably expect to spend anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 per flight hour, or more. On the lower end, you’re really looking at smaller, less luxurious planes for just a couple of people. For $10,000+ per flight hour, you can start getting into ultra-luxurious jets for larger groups of people.
Chartering an aircraft is going to be expensive no matter what type you rent as each one has its own costs associated with it. So getting your mind around what these factors are before you even start thinking about making arrangements is important. After all, when you’re talking about spending thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for a private charter, you don’t want to be surprised at any of the associated costs.
The first thing that will affect pricing for charter services is the size of the plane and how luxurious it is. A small, four-seater airplane like a Cessna 172 is going to be much cheaper than a larger one that can hold 50 people. This should come as no surprise because there are more costs associated with renting and fueling a larger plane. Similarly, something like a Cessna 172 will be much cheaper to charter than the ultra-luxurious Cessna Citation X.
The length of the flight will also affect charter pricing. If you're looking for a quick trip from Los Angeles (LAX) to Las Vegas, it won't cost as much as flying from LAX to JFK in New York City. Pilots need to account for things like takeoff and landing times, fuel consumption rates, and other factors when calculating how much they'll charge for their services.
Another big factor that affects charter prices is the final destination airport. Some airports are just busier than others, so charter pilots need to take that into consideration when calculating how much it'll cost them to land at this airport. For example, chartering into Jackson-Hartsfield in Atlanta (ATL — the busiest airport in the world) will likely be more expensive than everything else being equal except the final destination is Cincinnati (CVG).
The number of people going on the flight will also affect pricing for charter services. A small plane with four seats won't be able to accommodate more than a few people and their luggage, but larger aircrafts can fit many passengers comfortably in addition to cargo space for bags or other items you may want taken along during your trip. But these extra seats aren’t free. Not by any means. It all adds up to higher and higher costs!
Best Ways To Charter A Plane For Cheap
Now that you have a better idea of what it means to charter a plane in the first place and what some of the major factors that influence the price are, we can look at ways that you can save money. When we’re talking about the amount of money typically needed to charter a private plane, any small percentage of savings can really add up!
These are some of the best ways to charter a plane for cheap.
Charter With Another Party
One of the best ways to save money while chartering is to book your flight with another group heading in the same direction or to the same final destination. This is also known as "group chartering", and can cut costs by as much as 50 percent in some cases, though the discounted rates typically aren’t quite that high.
That said, let’s say you’re able to book a private plane with another company that’s making the same trip as you and the chartering service offers you both a 20% discount. Since they’ll be getting a fully-loaded plane and more money in the long run, most companies are willing to negotiate discounted rates. If this trip was going to cost you $20,000 to begin with, you just saved $4,000 by simply group chartering the same flight!
Sure, this won’t always be possible since it’s rare to find other families or businesses that just so happen to be making the same flight as you or flying in the same direction. But if you are able to take advantage of this when the opportunity presents itself, it’s almost always going to be the single best way to save money when chartering a plane.
Choose A Smaller Or Less Luxurious Plane
Choosing smaller or different types of planes will also help you save a significant amount of money while chartering a plane. Smaller craft like four-seaters require fewer crew members (typically zero) and use less fuel during takeoff and in-flight travel than larger planes such as private jets or full-scale airliners. Also, turboprop planes use about half of the fuel that small jets do, which means your trip will be cheaper too, even though they’ll usually take longer.
All that said, keep in mind that size isn’t everything when it comes to choosing the right plane to charter. How luxurious the plane is, what amenities it has, and the number of included crew members will also have a huge impact on the price. The most luxurious planes out there will be the ones costing you $10,000+ per hour. So consider how much luxury you really need before booking your next charter!
Pick A Different Route And Fly Empty Legs
Just like when you’re flying any sort of standard commercial flight, the most expensive option is almost always going to be the nonstop route that takes you straight to your final destination. If you can be a bit more flexible with the route you’re willing to fly, you can save a lot of money. This might go hand-in-hand with something like group booking, where the plane needs to stop along the way and pick up another group. This can save thousands of dollars.
Additionally, most chartering companies offer empty leg flights, meaning they need to fly the plane when it is empty anyway on its way back from a previous flight. In order to save money on fuel and other expenses, these direct flights are offered at a fraction of their original cost. If you can find a company that has an empty leg headed to the place you’re trying to get to, then you can save substantial money.
Otherwise, the chartering company would be making $0 on that return flight, so these can be found with some serious savings. Similar to group chartering, this one isn’t always possible but is almost always worth it if you happen to run across an opportunity.
Use A Broker Rather Than Going Directly Through The Airline
A chartering broker might be your best bet for finding cheaper flights. These brokers have access to a variety of planes and can often get you a good deal on your flight. They also do all the work for you, from finding available flights to booking the plane and making all the arrangements.
One of the most common sayings in just about any industry is that “it’s all about who you know”. And while you may not know any chartering companies personally, charter brokers do. These personal connections are usually the biggest driving force behind how brokers can save you money. Of course, these people charge a fee for their services as well. But it can be well worth it overall.
Look at multiple airports
Be sure to compare prices at multiple airports before settling on a broker, as prices can vary greatly depending on location. Keep in mind that to charter a plane, you don't necessarily have to use major airports like ORD or ATL, for example. Instead, you can charter a plane out of just about any little regional airport as well.
This is because instead of having to be at a major airport to bring in passengers from potentially all over the world, charter planes usually have one group of people to pick up. Using smaller regional airports will be cheaper and easier all around for everyone involved, from the chartering service to you and your group.
Plus, if you’re spending the money to charter a public plane, do you really want to still be forced to wait in line at the airport to go through security, meander around from gate to gate to get to the chartering area and be surrounded by thousands of people the entire time? I know I wouldn’t! Smaller airports will almost always be the best bet for chartering a plane for less money.
Have flexible travel dates and times
Finally, being flexible with your travel dates and times can save you money when chartering a plane for a number of different reasons. Firstly, airlines tend to offer their lowest rates during off-peak times like early morning or late night flights. So if you don't mind traveling during less popular times, you can save a lot of money on your charter.
Second, this one really goes hand-in-hand with many of the other tips on this list. Having flexible travel dates makes it much simpler to charter a plane with another group of people, which we discussed earlier as one of the best ways to save money. Similarly, if you’re flexible, you will be able to find an empty leg to fly on much more easily. This can lead to substantial savings of thousands and thousands of dollars.
So if you’re looking for the single biggest way to charter a plane for cheap, having flexible travel dates and times is the way to go. It will tie into many of the other tips and tricks and give you the best chance to save money on your next business trip or family vacation.
Is Chartering A Plane Worth The Cost?
This is a question that only you can answer, as it depends on your individual needs and budget. I know that’s the typical cop-out that we can say about nearly any topic out there, but it’s the truth! That being said, there are plenty of occasions where chartering a plane makes sense — especially if you're traveling with a large group of people.
For example, if you're planning a destination wedding then flying everyone to the venue in style might be worth the extra expense, and it will be something nobody in attendance ever forgets! Or maybe you need to get to a meeting in another city but don't want to deal with airport security or long layovers. In cases like these, chartering a plane can be the best way to go.
So there you have it — everything you need to know about chartering a plane and saving money in the process. Whether you're looking for some added luxury while traveling or need an efficient way to transport your group, chartering a plane is always an option worth considering. So if you're ready to take the next step in luxury travel then what are you waiting for?
About THE AUTHOR
After spending years watching every video I could find about flying, I finally scratched the itch and got my pilots license. Now I fly every chance I get, and share the information I learn, here.Read More About Joe Haygood