08 Dec Flying First Class vs. Private Jet
Flights can be a source of stress – especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to know everything is sorted and taken care of. And let’s face it, flying economy these days is no picnic.
For those who need or want better service, customized solutions, VIP treatment, privacy, and more, flying first class or by way of private jet is the ticket.
Being able to afford the luxury of upgrading from economy class is a great feeling. If you have disposable income to spare, you’re probably considering the comfort and luxury of one of two ways of flying: first class or private jet charter.
On the surface, first class and a private jet may seem like similar options. However, if you take a closer look, they are, in fact, totally different experiences. In this guide, we explore the differences between flying first class vs private jet and what you can expect from these two exclusive and luxurious modes of travel.
Flying First Class
While complaining about the lack of legroom in economy class and over-the-shoulder glances at your neighbor’s screen, the first-class passengers are likely eating a gourmet meal, enjoying the limitless drink service, and getting some work done on their laptop.
First class passengers travel on commercial aircraft. As such, flight times are set by the airline’s schedule. Unfortunately, this means you’re restricted with departure and arrival times, the airports you fly in and out of, and are at risk of delays and necessary layovers.
Although you still have to pass through airport security, first class passengers often have priority over the hordes of coach-class travelers. They also have access to airport lounges where they can enjoy free WiFi, newspapers, comfortable resting areas, food, and drink.
This priority status also extends to jumping the queue for boarding when you’re seated in the reserved section at the front of the aircraft.
Once onboard, first class passengers are treated to a large number of benefits, such as extra legroom, free food and beverages, entertainment systems, and larger seats. Many airlines have customized seats that partially or fully recline turning them into sleeper seats. A welcome perk that provides added comfort, especially during long flights.
In other words, the first-class experience on planes is superior to coach: complimentary meals and drinks, spacious seats, personal TVs, and more.
Private Jet Charters
Hiring a private jet is the ultimate in luxury travel. You can explore the world without the hassle, or worry, of commercial flights and unruly passengers.
Traveling this way allows you to have precise control over your schedule, and take time for yourself when it works best for you.
Sometimes people rent a private jet just to save time, in the same way you may use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to get from point A to point B. Not only can you save time by eliminating airport check-ins and security lines, but with a private plane, you can fly directly to your destination city instead of having to go through an intermediate stop.
The person chartering the flight has total control over who boards the plane, departure times, and which airport the jet flies from and to. This last point gives you the option of using smaller provisional airports that are usually closer to city centers than most major airport hubs.
Privacy is one of the biggest perks of private jet travel. The number of passengers is restricted, with a maximum of 15-20 people depending on the size of the aircraft. Charters also let you avoid the hassle of security and the queues in airport terminals.
Once aboard, a private charter provides a truly unique and personalized experience. You get to choose the in-flight entertainment, what food and beverages are served, and even which flight crew control the aircraft.
Aircraft amenities vary but many private jets are equipped with lounge areas, conference rooms/workspaces, bathrooms, showers, sleeping cabins, and a range of entertainment options, including WiFi.
Key Considerations When Choosing to Fly First Class or Via Private Jet
Before deciding between first class travel and private jet charter, there are a few key factors to take into consideration.
Cost/Investment In Travel
Both first class and private jet travel are much more expensive than flying economy class.
Domestic first-class tickets in the U.S. cost an average of $1,300, while international round-trip tickets can cost anywhere up to $6,000, depending on the destination. These rates are just for one seat, so if you’re traveling with another person, you need to purchase an additional first class ticket, doubling the cost.
Chartering a private jet will set you back anywhere between $1,300 and $13,000, depending on:
- Size of the aircraft
- Amenities required
- Desired amenities
- And more…
If you’re traveling in a group, a private charter can often work out cheaper per head than everyone having to purchase first class tickets. Further, the added privacy, amenities, ability to work in-flight and more may be well worth it. In fact, if your trip is in part for business, you may even be able to write off the cost of a private jet charter on your taxes.
Traveling Alone vs Traveling with Guests
When traveling solo, flying first class may initially appeal to many passengers who feel booking an entire private jet is a bit ‘much’ for just them. But, if you’re flying solo or with one or two other people and have a flexible schedule, you could look at empty leg charters. Empty legs let you purchase individual seats at a fraction of the cost of chartering an entire aircraft, while still receiving all the perks and luxury of private jet travel.
In addition to being restricted by airline schedules, first class passengers need to arrive with plenty of time to spare at airports. This ensures they get through check-in and all the security checks before boarding time.
Private jet travelers can avoid these delays and save valuable time. The ability to fly into and out of smaller airports means they should arrive at their final destination quicker. Charter operators will often have flight crews and aircraft wait for passengers if the return flight is on the same day. Travelers then have increased flexibility in their schedules, ideal if a business meeting finishes earlier than expected.
First class passengers receive a much larger luggage allowance than those in economy and bags can usually be checked-in for free. However, you are at the mercy of baggage handlers and the airlines when it comes to your luggage arriving at its destination.
On the other hand, private jet passengers are treated to the luxury of traveling with bulky items, sports equipment, and pets. And, all luggage is guaranteed to arrive with you at your destination.
Commercial airlines try hard to make their aircraft as accessible as possible for disabled and elderly passengers. However, private jets are often better equipped to accommodate their needs and have plenty of storage for essential equipment, such as wheelchairs.
First Class or Private Jet?
The decision on whether to fly first class or by private charter comes down to your individual needs and budget. While first class offers many benefits, the costs can spiral when traveling in a group.
A BitLux private jet charter offers the ultimate in luxury, convenience, and reliability and could be the best option for you and your traveling companions.