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First Class Vs Private Jet Charter: Which Is The Better Luxury Option?

Thinking of splashing out on some luxury air travel? This guide compares two of the most glamorous options - flying first class and chartering a private jet - so that you can choose the right mode of travel for you.

Why fly first-class?

When booking with certain airlines, you’ll have the option of flying first class. This allows you to take a seat in a reserved first class section of the plane that is separate from the economy section. In this first class section, you can expect larger seats with more leg room, as well as other perks like free food and drink. First-class amenities can vary depending on the type of flight. When it comes to long-haul flights, some planes have sleeper seats, huge private TV screens and tables for dining on. Check out this post to compare some of the most luxurious first class cabins.

Flying first class generally comes with a high price tag. Domestic US flights cost at least $1,300, while international tickets can often cost upwards of $5,000. Your average traveler is unlikely to be able to afford these fares. However, it is a lot more affordable than chartering a private jet in many cases.

A downside of flying first class compared to chartering a private jet is that you don’t have the flexibility of choosing your flight time or destination. You also have to go through the same airport processes as economy passengers including dealing with queues and crowds - aside from priority boarding, there are no other perks in this regard.

Why charter a private jet?

Private jet charter allows you to rent out your very own plane. Unlike flying first-class, you can completely tailor your flight. You get to choose the destination and the time that you plan to fly. Meanwhile, you get your own cabin crew who are able to attend solely to your needs without having to attend to other passengers (in some cases, you may also be able to personalize the food and drink).

Chartering a plane is usually a lot more expensive than flying first class. If you’re flying with a large party of people, you may be able to split the cost and pay less individually than if you were to fly in a first-class cabin. However, a larger party of people means a larger private plane, which may increase the cost and eliminate savings. Additionally, you may also need to cover expenses like fuel and any extras such as 20W50 aviation oil to ensure the aircraft operates at its best. Overall, expect to pay between $1,200 and $10,000 per hour (short-haul domestic flights split between multiple people tend to be the most affordable option - while long-haul international solo flights are the most expensive).

Private jets come in all different styles, which is something to consider. Basic turboprops may not have much extra space beyond economy class, while the most luxurious private jets have much more room than any first class cabin.

Which is the better option?

The best form of luxury air travel is likely to depend largely on your budget. If you’re traveling with a group of people and you’re not flying too far, you may find that chartering a plane gets you more for your money (such as the freedom to choose your destination and amenities). If you’re flying internationally and you’re flying alone or with a couple people, first-class is likely to be the better option.


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