Charter a private plane for your next family event

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Once upon a time, the golden age of commercial aviation, where check-in was straightforward, passengers had plenty of leg and elbow room, and gourmet meals prepared in the kitchen were served on the table. porcelain. But if you want to fly like this today, you better be a multimillionaire or a corporate titan, right? Not necessarily. A non-scheduled private plane charter can get you where you want to go, when you want to get there, with much more comfort and style than the major airlines can provide. While not exactly cheap yet, these charter flights can be cheaper than you might expect and in some circumstances can even pay off in terms of time and / or cost.

For one thing, many private charters depart from smaller airports which may be closer to your point of departure or arrival. There are also many more – about 6,000 in North America alone – than the major airports that accommodate the major commercial carriers. You need to show up only 15 minutes early, instead of the usual hours to check-in. And the “unscheduled” part means you can set the route, weather permitting. Some companies even allow you to make changes to your reservation for free, instead of charging you a hefty change or cancellation fee like commercial carriers.

Of course, there are always downsides and you can find some in the fine print. Charges, such as de-icing and fuel surcharges normally included in a commercial airline ticket, may be extra, so make sure you know exactly what’s included before you book your private plane ticket. Also be aware that there are no flight attendants on turboprop planes and small jets that leisure travelers are most likely to book. The pilot will provide a pre-flight safety briefing, but ultimately your safety is your responsibility. Transport Canada published “A Safety Guide for Charter Passengers»He recommends that you read and discuss with the aircraft operator.

Then there’s the sticker shock of seeing, say, a Toronto-Montreal round trip offered for $ 2,900. Keep in mind that the price listed is for the entire aircraft, not just a seat, and the larger the aircraft, the higher the hourly rate. While many operators cater for those who travel for pleasure, business travelers account for the majority of their traffic, so some aircraft in their fleets are indeed very large, capable of carrying high-flying planes across the globe. world. The key to being profitable is finding the right location in terms of your group size. With a party of seven or less, you can opt for a smaller aircraft that is generally less expensive to operate. But don’t go too small or you’ll end up paying more per seat to rent the entire private plane, which rarely has less than four seats.

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