Whether you are new to air charter travel or a seasoned corporate VIP, one of the first questions you ask yourself is “what kind of jet do I want to charter?” Of course, the best advice is to find a good charter broker. The aviation experts at FlyUSA will help you find just the right aircraft for the size of your group, destination, luggage and, of course, budget. Keeping in mind, the bigger the jet, the bigger the cabin and the bigger the price, here are some things to think about as you decide – like a kid in a candy store – which kind of luxurious private jet you want to charter.
Types of aircraft available for charter
Turboprops and helicopters
Turboprops, some of which can accommodate up to nine passengers, are generally used for traveling short distances. They can travel anywhere from 900 to 1,200 miles before needing to refuel. They travel about 300 mph. Helicopters, which are usually four-seaters or six-seaters, are the best for short flights into tight spaces. They have a range of about 350 miles and travel about 175 mph.
Very light jets
Very light jets seat from four to seven people, depending on the model. Very light jets have the advantage of being able to use very short runways. However, with maximum payloads of about 1,400 pounds, there isn’t much room for baggage. They fly about 450 mph.
Light jets can carry up to eight passengers. Light jets have the same advantage of being able to land places not accessible by commercial airlines. However, they can travel farther, 1,000 to 1,500 miles, and carry more baggage than very light jets. They fly about 500 mph.
A mid-size jet, which can seat between five and 10 people, is best for long distance travel. It has a range of up to 2,500 miles. It’s more comfortable because it’s bigger and its bigger size allows for more stylish interiors and amenities – think entertainment systems and refrigerators. They fly about 500 mph depending on the weight of the plane.
Super mid-size jets
Super mid-size jets have wide cabins, allowing its 10 or 11 passengers to bring a lot of luggage – think kids’ toys, ski equipment and golf bags. They have a range of about 3,000 to 3,500 miles and go about 500 mph. Super mid-size jets have advanced avionic systems that make for a quieter flight. They also need shorter runways than commercial airliners.
Heavy jets have even wider cabins and a longer range than super mid-size jets. That means there’s even more room to bring along items like golf bags. They can carry about 10 passengers and have a range of 3,700 to 5,000 miles without stopping to refuel making them suitable for long flights. Most heavy jets are equipped with Wi-Fi and other amenities needed for busy executives.
Ultra-long-range jets are where the real luxury is. They have the most space and amenities of all the private jet categories. They are designed to carry from 12 to 19 passengers and have a range bewteen 5,300 to 8,000 miles before refueling. They may have state rooms, private work spaces, dining spaces and beds that lie flat.
Now, let’s examine your priorities
Do you want to refuel? If not, the distance between takeoff and landing will largely determine the kind of jet you need. The more people and more luggage you have, the shorter the range before having to refuel. It doesn’t matter on short hops but will eliminate some aircraft if you want to fly without stopping.
How many people and how much luggage are going? While you can take four people on an ultra-long-range jet that seats 12, you can’t take 12 people on a turboprop that seats nine. And, if you are all going golfing, your aviation expert at FlyUSA will help you figure out which charter jet has enough baggage space for your party.
How much do you want to spend? Despite the soaring cost of fuel, maintenance and pilots, private charter jet travel is at record levels. Prices typically start at about $6,000 a billable hour.
Do you want to be able to stand up? The height of private charter jets ranges from the Embraer Lineage 1000E’s 6-feet, 7-inches to the Bombardier Learjet 75LXI’s 4-feet, 1-inch. A study of 112 private jets done by privatejetratecomparisons.com found 67 of the 112 were not high enough for a 5-foot-9 person to stand up. So, if you’d rather walk instead of crawl into your jet, the aviation experts at FlyUSA can help you find what you are looking for.
Do you want to be able to sleep in flight? While even the smallest private charter jet is going to be luxurious, it’s going to be tough to sleep in the smaller aircraft that are meant for shorter flights, such as turboprops, very light jets and light jets. If you are chartering one of these, ask for one that has seats that convert into a flat bed. Midsize and super mid-size aircraft that are larger and can be used for 5- to 8-hour flights are more conducive to sleep. They usually have a sofa on which to lie down. The heavy and long-range jets that can fly 12 hours or longer provide all the comfort you need to get some rest. Some of these aircraft even have private master bedrooms. The Gulfstream G650ER, which seats up to 14, has seats that will electronically convert to flat beds. The largest private jets, airliners such as the Boeing Business Jet, offer the ultimate in luxury with not only beds but also showers and other 5-star hotel amenities.
Are toilet facilities important? The 80 percent of private jet travel in the U.S. who take trips less than 2 hours (trips that would take half a day or more on a commercial airliner) probably don’t have to worry about onboard toilets. That’s a good thing because many of the smaller jets don’t have one or, if they do, it’s a tight squeeze behind a curtain against a wall. However, that isn’t the inconvenience it sounds like since your private jet pulls right up to an FBO with executive facilities when you land. But, if an “enclosed lav” is important to you, make sure you factor that in when deciding on your charter.
Taking your family and small children on vacation? There is no better way to travel with a small child than in a chartered business jet. You don’t have to worry about a crying baby bothering other passengers or the inability to reach the diaper bag. Traveling with a family, especially over long distances, is a good reason to charter a plane with adequate sleeping facilities. Anything from a seat converted into a flat bed on a light jet to a master bedroom with satin pillowcases on an airliner will do when you or your child need to sleep. Other advantages of chartering a private jet with children is that you can control the cabin temperature and lighting and eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Children under 2 don’t need their own seat.
Choosing the right charter jet
OK. Now, you’re ready to go shopping for just the right private charter jet. Even though it’s just one flight, you want to make sure to have a pleasant and memorable experience. As you can see, you can get anywhere with just about anything you want in the sky when you charter a private jet. FlyUSA specializes in finding cost-effective private air travel. Many private aviation users choose turboprops as a safe, comfortable, and surprisingly economical private aviation solution. With our global network of aircraft, we can find the option that best fits your mission and budget.
FlyUSA has access to over 7,000 FAA-Certified private aircraft so you can choose the aircraft that best fits your unique travel needs.