Unlike commercial travel, which has relatively fixed prices on routes around the world, that can be easily searched online, there is some mystery that surrounds chartering a private jet.
HOW ARE PRIVATE JET CHARTER COSTS CALCULATED
With commercial travel, the price is pretty simple...the cost is given per seat for the itinerary you want. Although you can receive a firm price on a private jet itinerary, the price can vary from hour to hour, day to day or even season to season. Why? With private jets, the pricing is based on the flight time for the itinerary you want, and is based on availability of the specific aircraft type you want, at the time you are ready to book. So, while commercial flights are also based on availability and they do change as you get closer the travel date, the inventory on private jets is a bit more sporadic, which means that you can receive quotes that vary quite greatly.
For example, a round trip flight from Los Angeles to New York can be as low as $28,000 for a light jet, like a Cessna Citation, and as high as $100,000 for a large cabin jet, like the Gulfstream 650. In this scenario, if the $28,000 Citation jet is not available for the dates you want, and the only nearby aircraft available is a mid-size Hawker 800, the same itinerary could start at $35,000-$40,000. It's for this reason, that Studio Jet recommends, booking your flight as early as you know you want to fly, so we can match you up with the best priced aircraft available. There are, however, some additional costs that will vary from flight to flight, which need to be anticipated, like federal taxes, deicing (if needed), ground transportation and special catering.
THE SECRET OF EMPTY LEG FLIGHTS
There is a little known secret for flying for less than the typical retail jet charter pricing...and that is finding empty leg private jet flights. You may have heard of these, but do you really understand what they are and how to take advantage of them? Empty legs are when a private jet flies a passenger from point A to point B, but has to return back point A where the plane is based. Because the plane needs to return to A anyway, the aircraft operator wants to try and sell that flight to maximize their revenue. This is where you have the opportunity to get a great price on a jet. Empty leg flights usually sell for 25% to even 50% or more off of the retail pricing. We have even seen flights go for close to 80% off! The price you will actually get, however, will depend on the routing. The more demand there is for the routing and the more time there is to sell it, the higher the price. At the opposite end, if the flight is leaving today and it's a infrequently traveled route, the price will probably be amazing.
HOW TO BOOK GREAT EMPTY LEG FLIGHTS
So, now that you know the secret of empty leg flights, how do you find them? Ah ha! That is the challenge. There are hundred or empty legs being flown every day, and trying to the find the one that matches your itinerary can be near impossible. This is why the best way to take advantage of empty legs is to contact a jet charter broker like Studio Jet, which has access to hundreds to jet operators and flights all over the world, every single day. Another way to to find these great deals, is Sky500. Sky500 is an incredible resource for searching for private jet flights on your own. It even has an option to let you make an offer for an empty leg, in case it's a little too high for your budget.
So, now that you have a little better understanding of how private jet charter works and how to find the best deals, maybe it won't be long before you ditch commercial travel and become a full time jet setter.