You have a choice about where you travel to and how you get there. If luxury is what you are looking for, then you may find yourself staring at a screen attempting to determine which is your best bet: flying privately or flying first class on a commercial airliner.
Both have their perks. However, it boils down to what features you find most important – and that is how you will choose to fly.
There are several thousand airports ready to receive incoming private jets (thanks to their small size), while only a few hundred for commercial airlines. Because not every destination is conveniently located near a major airport, this opens the opportunity for you to fly closer to your destination. It may not seem like a big deal in theory, but when you consider the additional costs of traveling from the major airport to where you are going, it may make more sense to go small.
Consider this example: Instead of flying into a small airport located in the town 90 miles outside of Atlanta where you have a meeting this afternoon, you decide to purchase a first-class ticket to fly into Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Now, to get to your meeting, you will either need to rent a car, pay a taxi, consult an Uber, or bribe someone to drive 90 miles to pick you up when you arrive. While the first-class ticket may have initially been cheaper, the final cost may be much more than flying privately.
All in all, you will get more flexible location choices with private jets than with commercial aircraft.
Privacy isn’t necessarily a concern for many people, but for others, it is a top priority. Depending on what you need, you have choices. First-class offers more privacy than coach, but you are still sharing space with strangers. More recently, airlines are upgrading their first-class seats to more modern and private seating. While this is great for things such as getting some sleep and for using laptops and such, it will not block out any verbal communication that may require privacy.
When flying privately, you control who is on board. If you need an elevated level of privacy or if you are just taking a leisurely flight, your company is up to you. There is no need to worry about sitting amongst strangers or hiding from any open ears.
Travelling induces stress for a lot of people. Just trying to get to the airport on time can be a struggle if there is a traffic jam or accident – the plane is not going to wait for you. When you must catch a flight, you are required to arrive at the airport in plenty of time ahead of your flight. You keep your fingers crossed that the security line is not too long. Or, if it is, that it moves fast.
Then, there is the worry that your plane may not depart on time. This isn’t a very big deal if your flight is non-stop to your destination. However, if you have a connecting flight to catch, a delayed departure could potentially ruin your entire day of flying. If you do get delayed and are transferred to another flight or another airline, you encounter the very real – and inconvenient – possibility of losing your luggage.
If flying privately, it is ok if you get stuck in traffic – the plane will wait for you. Security at private airport entrances is much less stringent and fast. Last, but not least, you will not have to worry about a delayed departure ruining your connected flight – you never change planes!
Have you ever tried to use the internet on a commercial flight? Many airlines offer free airplane Wi-Fi to first-class ticketholders. However, they also allow those in coach to use the same, but for a fee. Unfortunately, this leads to a super slow and lagging connection. If you intend to really get some work done, you may not have such luck.
Private jets offer in-flight entertainment systems that beat commercial airliners. You can connect any of your devices to the IFE system and stream your favorite shows, movies, music, newspapers, etc. at a fast rate. After all, there is no one else to compete with for a good connection. In addition to your own devices, many private jets come equipped with LCD TVs and the like, making your flight experience a luxury one.
First-class tickets are almost always going to sell for a lower fee than a ride on a private jet. However, that is not always the case. For example, if you are traveling with a group, it may actually work out cheaper to charter a plane, rather than everyone purchasing first-class tickets.
Cost also comes into play when determining the distance your destination is from the major airport, as discussed above. Would you spend more money to transport yourself to that location? Is there a closer private airport?
No time is wasted when it comes to flying privately. You pull up, go through quick security check, and then board your plane. With first-class, you will need to follow all the time-restrained rules of commercial airports. Depending on how valuable your time is, flying private may be worth the extra cost.
In a nutshell, flying private jets and first class is contingent upon what is most important to you. Is it flexibility? Cost? Time? Entertainment? Privacy? Entertainment? Whatever you choose, it is a personal preference. While one may feel that flying privately to avoid having to deal with the crowded airports and wasted time, another may enjoy the down time to get some good people watching. While one may be looking for a private space to complete a business project, another may just be looking for a quiet couple of hours or, at least some small talk with a seat mate.
We can tell you the differences, but only you know your preferences.