With a charter flight, you rent the entire aircraft, rather than just one seat. The aircraft can be large or small, and flights can be one-way or round-trip. The charter could be made on a flight-only basis, might include ground services such as transportation to or from meetings or could be part of a complete vacation package. Charter flights offer more flexibility than scheduled flights, with a wider choice of destinations and tailor-made itineraries.
Fliers with flexibility should sign up for empty-leg email lists of companies like Magellan Jets, who regularly send out emails selling discounted flights from, say, the plane of a corporate exec who flew to Los Angeles but is looking to offset his cost of getting the plane back to New York. “I wouldn’t say that the cost of flying private has gone down, but there are new ways of pricing charter that makes it more accessible,” says David Zipkin, co-founder and VP of Tradewind, the service known for semi-private flights in the Northeast and Caribbean. “In our case, we save people money with our shared charters, and we also sell discounted empty legs.”
All flights are operated by U.S. 14 CFR Part 135 air carriers ("operators"), the names of which are disclosed to our customers prior to booking travel. Operators providing service for Air Taxi Service and Support LLC d/b/a Linear Air (ATSS) bookings must meet standards set forth by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and by ATSS. ATSS does not manage or operate aircraft on behalf of our customers, and is not itself an operator, and is a subsidiary of AirDialog LLC, a Direct Air Carrier operating under FAA certificate number L41A034L. Video footage used with permission from Cirrus Aircraft.
The key words here are prop planes, turboplanes, and light jets. Prop planes like the Cessna Caravan are popular because they're roomy (the seats are like business class, and often configured face to face). More popular these days are planes like the six- to eight-seater Pilatus PC-12, and KingAirs, which fly faster and feel more like jets. And then you get into light jets like Learjets, Embraer Phenom 300s, and Citation CJ3s, and Hawkers, all of which are sleeker and more streamlined, and can fly for four to five hours, for slightly longer trips.
When it comes to small planes, weight matters. Don't be surprised when your contact emails you for all passenger weights, and when the pilot organizes seating by weights. (You don't want the three biggest people on the right side, for instance.) Similarly, don't expect to bring two weeks of stuff for a weekend, and definitely mention if you're planning on bringing golf clubs or skis. If they don't fit, check out ShipSticks or LuggageForward, which sends your equipment beforehand for a relatively small fee.
No trip is alike. At XOJET we work with clients to select the right aircraft for each mission, the savviest method to flying smart. We believe in delivering the most value on every flight, which typically begins with selecting the right aircraft for the right mission. Each step of the way, your Aviation Advisor is committed to meeting your specific needs by presenting the most complete range of options and finding the best solution for your trip.