Before the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978, the seats on commercial flights were 35 inches wide. As soon as many aspects of the commercial airline industry, such as airplane seating designs, were no longer regulated by the US government, commercial airlines immediately started shrinking the size of the seats that passengers get to sit in. Now, the average width of the coach seat on a commercial flight is 31 inches wide, and the leg room is also a fraction of what it used to be. This allows airlines to cram more seats on planes so that they can sell more tickets, but at the sacrifice of the comfort of the passengers, who are squished in like sardines.
The claustrophobia-inducing seat sizes, as well as other factors that travelers dread about flying– such as long layovers in uncomfortable airports, being herded like cattle by the TSA, and flight inflexibility– can be entirely avoided if you charter a private jet. You’re probably thinking I must have mistook you for the Queen of England, to be able to afford the VIP service of a private airplane charter. While many of the rich and famous exclusively charter a private jet for their travel needs, private charter jets aren’t exclusively for the rich and famous.
If you’re smart about it, you can charter a private jet without breaking the bank, and make your journey an infinity times more enjoyable. Here are a few little-known tricks for getting a good deal on a private chartered flight:
- Ask around. If a private jet needs to be repositioned to another city for another schedule flight, they might prefer to take passengers on the empty leg flight at a sharply reduced rate than make nothing off of it at all. If you call around to a few aircraft charter services, you might locate one that has a flight that fits your needs that they want to fill.
- Bring a few friends, but not too many. Many charter jet companies will require that you charter the whole plane, rather than just a single seat. If you have more than seven people in your party, you will require a larger plane that costs more. However, if you bring three other friends, the price per ticket can be pretty affordable. Some empty leg charter flights go as low as $536 for four passengers, or $134 per person.
- Be flexible. I realize your travel needs don’t always allow for flexibility. However, if you are able to play with the date, time, and even the destination, you can really land a great deal on an awesome adventure. Another money saving trick if you are flexible on the model you fly in, is to work with a charter flight company who has older model planes in their fleet. Sometimes, a company will offer lower rates for flights that are not on the latest model jets.
Do you have any other tips for landing a deal on a private chartered flight? Please share them with us in the comment section below.