How Much Does It Cost To Fly Private?

The cost of flying private can vary greatly depending on the aircraft type, distance traveled, and other factors like repositioning fees. Light jets can start from $4,000 to $8,000 per hour, while larger, long-range jets can cost over $10,000 to $20,000 per hour. Other expenses might include catering, in-flight phone calls, and ground transportation.

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Factors that Affect the Cost to Fly Private

Aircraft Category

The size and category of the aircraft significantly affect the cost. Light jets are cheaper, from $4,000 to $8,000 per hour. Midsize jets can range between $6,000 to $10,000 per hour, and large cabin, long-range jets may cost over $10,000 to $20,000 per hour.

Aircraft Type

Even within the same category, the aircraft type can influence the cost. For example, a high-performance, light jet like a Phenom 300 might be more expensive than an older light jet like a Learjet 31.

Age of Aircraft

Newer aircraft are typically more expensive to charter than older ones due to more advanced features, fuel efficiency, and less maintenance downtime.

Billable Flight Hours

The cost is usually calculated on an hourly basis. More flight hours mean a higher total cost. However, long flights may cost less per hour than short flights due to economies of scale.

Factors that Affect the Cost to Fly Private

Extra Costs/Services that Affect Overall Cost to Fly Private

Crew Over Nights

If the flight requires the crew to stay overnight, costs for their accommodation and meals are added to the bill.

Crew Over Nights

Short Leg Fee

If the distance of the flight is relatively short, some charter companies may impose a short leg fee because takeoff and landing consume more fuel and cause more wear on the aircraft. Just like short leg fee, there are many hidden charges for flying private.

Aircraft Positioning Cost

If the aircraft needs to be flown to your starting location or back to its base after the flight, you may be charged repositioning fees.

Hangar Fees

You may incur hangar fees if your trip requires the aircraft to be stored at an airport other than its base.

Hangar Fees

Deicing Charges

Deicing fees may be added in colder climates to ensure the aircraft’s safety. These fees can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

International Fee

Flying internationally often involves additional customs, handling, permits, and navigation fees, which can add a significant amount to your charter cost.

Fuel Surcharge

A fuel surcharge may be added to the bill if fuel prices rise above a certain level. This charge fluctuates with the global oil market.

Fuel Surcharge

Aircraft Daily Minimums

Many charter operators have a daily minimum flight hour requirement (typically 2-3 hours). If your flight time exceeds this, you may still be billed for the minimum.

International Head Tax

For international flights, passengers often pay a head tax, a fee charged per person for international travel.

Fees Applicable to All US Flights

Landing Fee

This is a charge for landing at an airport. The fee depends on the aircraft size and airport, but it could range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand at major airports.

Landing Fee

Segment Fee

The IRS imposes a segment fee for domestic flights. It is $4.30 per person per segment (a segment is defined as one takeoff and landing) at the time of writing.

Ramp and Handling

This covers the cost of ground services like loading and unloading passengers, baggage handling, and other ground support. These fees vary but could range from $50 to several hundred dollars.

Federal Excise Tax

For domestic travel in the US, a federal excise tax of 7.5% is applied to the base cost of the flight. This tax applies to all passenger flights, commercial or private.

Federal Excise Tax

Optional Concierge Service Fee

In-Flight Catering

The cost of in-flight catering varies widely based on the complexity and quality of the meal. Simple snacks and beverages could be as little as $20 per person, while high-end meals with fine wine could run to several hundred dollars per person.

Ground Transportation

This includes the cost of transportation to and from the airport. It could range from $50 for a basic taxi service to several hundred dollars for a chauffeured luxury car. Some jet services also offer helicopter transfers, which cost $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

Extended Concierge Services

These are additional, often personalized services provided at the client’s request. This could include arranging theater tickets to personal shopping or bespoke local experiences. Prices can vary widely depending on the service but expect costs to start at around $100 and potentially go into the thousands for high-end requests.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to fly privately from the US to Europe?

The cost varies based on the aircraft type and specific route, but you could expect to pay around $60,000 – $100,000 for a one-way trip on a mid-size jet.

How does the age of the aircraft affect the rental cost?

Newer aircraft are more expensive to charter due to their advanced features, fuel efficiency, and lower maintenance needs. Older aircraft, while less expensive, might not offer the same amenities or performance.

Do private flying cost changes with the number of passengers?

The primary factor for cost is the aircraft type, not the number of passengers. However, more passengers might necessitate a larger (and more expensive) aircraft.

Do private flying rental costs include pilot and crew fees?

Yes, the costs typically include fees for the pilot and any necessary crew. This covers their time, expertise, and accommodations for longer trips.

Can I access my luggage on the flight?

In most cases, yes. Private aircraft usually have in-cabin storage for smaller bags. Larger luggage stored in the hold might not be accessible, depending on the aircraft.

Can I drink on a private flight?

Yes, alcohol can typically be consumed on private flights. Often, high-end liquors and wines are part of the in-flight catering service.

Can I carry large sums of cash on a private jet?

While it’s physically possible, there are strict legal regulations. In the US, over $10,000 must be declared when traveling internationally. Laws vary by country, so checking with your flight operator is best.

Can I bring my pets while flying private?

Yes, one of the benefits of private air travel is the ability to bring pets on board. However, specific policies vary between operators, and additional cleaning fees may exist.

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