The Top 5 Tips to Getting the Best Quote on your Next Private Charter Flight
- 1. Be flexible with your departure/arrival airport.
Many times there’s an alternative city airport that can be used, resulting in significant savings. In general, landing fees and other expenses are lower than at a big international airport, and if the plane is based there, you won’t have to pay for positioning. Often, the price differential in fuel alone between airports can be a thousand dollars or more.
- 2. Determine if you are willing to have a stopover for a refuel.
Dropping down an aircraft class might mean adding a fuel stop, but it could also save you thousands of dollars. Typically a fuel stop will only add 30-40 minutes to your trip, so consider what is worth more to you – time or money.
- 3. Don’t pay for more plane than you need.
Often we get requests for a midsize or heavy jet when there are only four passengers and the destination is a few hours away. They could easily get by with a light jet and save money in the process. Your charter professional can advise you which plane is right for your trip.
- 4. Book two one-ways rather than a round trip.
If the duration of your trip is more than a couple of days, the plane will likely make two rounds trips, as the operator won’t want their airplane sitting around, doing nothing and waiting for your vacation to end. They will want to use the plane in the interim and you will pay for it. Instead, ask your charter professional to find an “empty leg” for each leg of the trip. These are planes that are repositioning empty and they are often heavily discounted, which can save you money.
- 5. Wait until the last minute.
With commercial travel, you want to book that trip months in advance, but with private charter, there is no advantage to booking your trip early unless you have a group of more than 15-20 people or you want to reserve a specific airplane. The best time to find deals is a week or two prior to your trip. While empty legs can appear weeks in advance, the operator will not be as motivated to price aggressively as they will at the last minute.