From corporate business owners flying to their next meeting to families going on their next vacation, many people rely on air travel. But more options exist today than the various commercial airline companies. Flying by private jet is also a viable option for your travel needs.
You may be wondering whether you should fly commercial or private. Both options may get you where you need to go, but many differences exist between the two. Your choice depends on the type of experience you wish to have, but you’ll find many factors will play into your decision.
How Boarding Differs When Flying Private vs. Commercial
The boarding process differs between private and commercial flying. While this is a step in the process that could be easy to overlook, when you compare these differences, you’ll see that it actually plays a crucial role in which type of air travel is right for you. Here are the differences between the two boarding processes.
Boarding a Commercial Flight
Commercial flights have a tedious yet highly secure boarding process. When you fly commercial, it’s wise to get to the airport with plenty of time to spare before your scheduled flight. Doing so will give you adequate time for the entire boarding process.
One of the first qualities you’ll notice about the process is that you’ll have to stand in several long lines to get your ticket, check your bags, go through security, and eventually file into the aircraft in an orderly manner.
Security checks can be especially time-consuming and may feel slightly intrusive. The process of emptying pockets, checking bags, and walking through X-ray security machines can take a long time, as you are in line with other passengers for your flight and others. This is even more evident during busy periods and holidays. Having to remove your expensive electronics from their carrying cases and taking your shoes and belt off for security is inconvenient, to say the least. But it’s an important step in the security process.
Getting on the aircraft can also feel crowded. You have to stand in a tight line as you wait to reach your assigned seat. Often, people remain standing in the center aisle as they struggle to fit their bags into the overhead compartment. This can lead to an uncomfortable standstill.
Boarding a Private Flight
Boarding a private flight is much faster and more convenient than the commercial flight boarding process. When flying private, you have greater flexibility regarding your takeoff time, as you can schedule takeoff at the exact time that works for you.
While you will need to pass through security if you are traveling on a charter jet with fewer than 61 passengers, you will be searched at the terminal not long before boarding. There is no need to follow liquid rules, such as separating your liquids or carrying limited amounts, and you will not need to remove your shoes. Charter jets with 61 or more passengers require passing through normal security.
The possible airports from which you can fly are also different for private aircraft due to their size. Private jets are considerably smaller than the aircraft commercial airlines use. This means you can take off from smaller airports in a city or town that works for you. Avoid driving to the overwhelming commercial airports and simplify your boarding routine.
How Does a Private Flight Differ from a Commercial Flight in the Air?
Your experience while in the air may be more important than the boarding experience. After all, your flight could last several hours. What you can do during that time in a private flight differs greatly from what you’ll be able to do on a commercial flight. Here are some ways the actual flight differs between these two types of air travel.
Business travelers and family vacationers alike appreciate a certain level of privacy on a flight. While it’s possible to get a seat by yourself in the economy section of a commercial flight, chances are higher that you could end up sitting shoulder to shoulder with a stranger or two. This can make attending to private matters difficult or uncomfortable. Even business class and first class can still leave some privacy to be desired.
Private flights offer the ideal scenario regarding privacy. In a private flight, you decide who is on the aircraft with you. Whether you’re flying with your family, your colleagues, or by yourself, you can enjoy the level of privacy you need for a comfortable flight.
How you spend your time determines how valuable your time is. Productivity is one of the keys to success, so you may be looking for a way to stay productive during your flight. Flying private gives you the chance to accomplish this.
When you fly private, you can connect to onboard Wi-Fi to answer emails, make video calls, and complete your important tasks. Business owners can even use this crucial time to give their employees a pep talk before an important meeting. Private flying lets you utilize your time to the fullest potential.
Commercial travel may offer onboard amenities like onboard Wi-Fi, but it can be much more difficult to stay productive. The lack of privacy and other amenities may constrict what you’re able to accomplish while flying commercial.
Productivity, privacy, and comfort rely on another critical characteristic of air travel — the space you have within the cabin. This is one of the most noticeable differences between private and commercial air travel.
On a commercial flight, you must limit yourself to your seat and the space it offers you. You may also have the option to walk to the lavatory and back during allowable times.
When you fly private, you get to choose the aircraft size and can operate freely throughout the cabin when it is safe to do so. Some private aircraft even contain office areas and sleeping areas for maximum privacy, productivity, and rest. If you’re an individual who needs room to stretch and breathe, a private flight may be the most comfortable option for you.
Both commercial airliners and private flights have their share of amenities, but they do differ. Commercial airliners offer upgraded seats like business class and first class to provide some extra space and comfort for passengers who are willing to pay the premium. Commercial airlines also offer some refreshments, ranging from light beverages and snacks to small meals.
Private flights can offer more amenities — and more luxurious ones at that. You’ve read about some of these above, like office areas and onboard Wi-Fi. Private flights can also offer more elaborate refreshment options, including alcoholic beverages and your favorite catered meals. You can even enjoy stretching out on a full-length couch when flying private, which can be invaluable on a long-distance flight.
Do Private Jets Fly Faster Than Commercial?
You should also consider private jet speed versus commercial. Private aircraft can travel faster than commercial airliners. Part of this has to do with the weight of the jet itself. Private jets weigh less than large commercial aircraft, allowing them to ascend and descend faster than commercial jet.
Private jets can also maintain a faster cruising altitude because they can fly above the regular altitude that most commercial airliners occupy. When you fly private, your pilot can take a more direct route to your destination instead of focusing on making room for other commercial aircraft.
Speed counts when you’re traveling. This is especially true when you need to make a scheduled business meeting or multiple meetings on the same day. When you need to get to your destination as quickly as possible — at a time that works for your unique schedule — flying private could be the best option. The added speed and flexibility of private aircraft make all the difference.
Cost of a Private Flight vs. Commercial Flight
Charter and commercial flights have their share of differences regarding their benefits, but another major difference between the two is the price point. After all, a budget can have a strong impact on the decision one makes when choosing between flying private or flying commercial.
Private flights usually cost more than a standard airline ticket. Much of this price point has to do with the exclusivity that goes along with flying private, as well as the many added benefits and luxuries. Charter jet companies earn their profits on these benefits instead of stripping back amenities to make room for more passengers. Whether the cost is worth it comes down to your desire for the benefits of charter flights or commercial.
Commercial flights are more affordable because these companies put a greater emphasis on economy than on luxury. Commercial airliners can fill their seats with dozens or even hundreds of people, lowering the cost per ticket. But this also sacrifices many of the amenities and other benefits available to you.
Note that flying private can be more affordable with special one-way deals. Browse for offers like these to enjoy the benefits of private flying at a more affordable price.
Are Private Jets Safer Than Commercial?
Charter flights’ safety compared to commercial flights may be the most significant comparison. Everyone wants safety during their flight, whether you’ll be traveling across the state or across the country.
Air travel is a proven safe way to get to your destination. Because most people travel by air less often than they travel by car, it can feel like flying is less safe because of the unfamiliarity. The opposite is actually true. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), traveling by air accounts for far fewer injuries and fatalities than traveling on the highway in a motor vehicle.
Both commercial and private flight companies are exceedingly safe. Both sectors of the industry must adhere to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) safety and maintenance requirements. The FAA holds all flight companies to a high standard of screening and inspections to ensure the safety of the passengers and crew. Charter jet passengers may also request to see documentation to verify their aircraft’s safety ratings.
Here are a few factors that can affect private jet and commercial flight safety:
- Fellow passengers: The other people on your commercial flight are always a variable that is difficult to account for. Most passengers behave appropriately, but you cannot plan for a stranger’s actions. Other passengers can come from all over the country and the world, increasing your risk of exposure to illness. When you fly private, you get to travel only with the passengers you include on your journey. This keeps the passenger list completely in your control.
- Weather: Extreme weather can pose a risk for flights. In the most uncertain circumstances, flights may have to land unexpectedly and wait out the storm. Private jets have a large advantage over commercial flights in this regard. In an emergency, private jets can land in almost any airport due to their smaller size. Because private jets can ascend higher than commercial airliners, they can even fly over the storm in certain instances.
- Flexibility: Private jets have more flexible options when it comes to making an emergency landing. If a dire situation arises when the private jet must make an emergency landing, it can easily land in almost any airport in the country. This means you’re always close to safety on the ground when you fly private.
Private Jet Pilot vs. Airline Pilot: Are There Differences?
Both private and commercial airline pilots start their careers with the same basic training according to the FAA’s regulations. This level of training and testing gives every pilot who flies for hire the foundation they need for safe, effective piloting skills. However, a pilot’s chosen career path does affect the continued training and overall experience they receive on their journey to reach their career goals.
The continued training and education a pilot receives differs depending on the type of aircraft they plan on piloting. Thus, a commercial pilot will need further training on aircraft used by commercial airliners. Private pilots will engage in training related to private jets and aircraft in that category.
As a pilot progresses in their career, they will receive further experience to boost their resume and enhance their marketability. Whether a pilot chooses to fly commercial or fly private, you can know that they have received the required FAA training to pilot the aircraft safely and effectively.
Charter a Flight With Latitude 33 Aviation Today
A luxurious flying experience awaits you when you charter a flight with Latitude 33 Aviation. With us, you will upgrade your air travel experience with superior service and individualized treatment. When you want to experience all the benefits private air travel has to offer over commercial airlines, choose Latitude 33 Aviation. We’re ready to help you achieve your private travel goals. With our help, you can reach your destination in style and comfort while achieving enhanced productivity.