Flying private means skipping the crowds, a lengthy check-in process, and getting to your destination in utter comfort and style, like the rich and famous. But while the experience is nothing short of exhilarating, it can feel pretty intimidating for the first time for private jet flyers. If you are new, check out this definitive first-time flyers guide to private jet charter so you can fully maximize the luxury of private flying. 

How to Fly on a Private Jet

Chartering a private plane for the first time? Here are some tips to keep in mind before take-off:

1.     Your Aircraft and Charter Options 

Although a private charter means utmost comfort, privacy, and traveling flexibility, you need to choose the right aircraft to ensure you get the experience you expect during your first private flight. 

Usually, private aircraft options range from very light jets that accommodate a maximum of four passengers, turboprops with a 4-9 seating capacity, midsize jets with 8-9 passengers, or large private jets that can accommodate up to 16 flyers. To choose the right aircraft for your first private flying experience, consider:

  • The number of passengers who’ll be tagging along
  • Your destination — more nautical miles mean you’ll need to stop and refuel, in which case small planes may not be a viable option
  • Amenities offered

While reviewing your aircraft options, note, charter packages vary too. From one-by-one, on-demand charter flights, jet card membership programs are perfect for flying at least 10 hours annually. Fractional ownership charters require flyers to purchase at least 50 hours of flight time annually for three to five years. You have many options. 

Working with a reliable charter service will make this step significantly more straightforward since you’ll get the professional assistance needed to select the best aircraft and charter options for your needs. 

2.     Your FBOs Location and Amenities Offered

Private charter flights typically depart from a fixed base operator, commonly referred to as FBO. Depending on the charter service you opt for, the FBO can be either a section dedicated to private charter flights in a public-use airport, or it could be in an entirely different building or location altogether. 

Regardless of location, FBOs feature restaurants, luxurious lounges, work areas, and meeting rooms. Some may even have game rooms, sleep rooms, showers, and other exceptional amenities to make your flight experience from before you board to the moment you reach your destination seamless. 

So, once you identify the ideal aircraft options and book your flight, your next step on how to charter a private plane should be to find your FBO. Usually, you’ll receive an itinerary with details of your FBO once you book your flight. 

While this should be enough to tell you where you’re supposed to check in from, call your charter company about leaving your car or where exactly to go if the FBO is part of a larger public airport. 

3.     Pack Right 

Although flying privately means you won’t check in your luggage, that doesn’t mean you pack your entire walk-in closet. Your luggage weight matters, especially in small private planes since they have strict weight limitations. 

Pack only what you need, and if possible, inquire about luggage weight limitations beforehand to avoid overpacking. Ask about what you can and can’t bring onboard, as items such as firearms and weapons are usually not allowed. 

4.     Dress Comfortably but Appropriately 

While you have the freedom to wear whatever you want, it’s proper etiquette to wear something you’re comfortable in, and most importantly, appropriate, especially if you’re sharing a flight. Remember, dressing up directly impacts your confidence and is a reflection of who you are to strangers.

If you wear your PJs and find yourself in a private jet with your neat, suited-up colleagues, it might gnaw away at your confidence. So, consider your company and the purpose of your flight. For instance, if you’re on a business trip with your boss or clients, rock formal business attire, but if you’re on your way to a family vacation, you can get comfy in your shorts and sneakers. 

5.     Get to the Airport on Time 

A significant advantage of chartering a private plane is that you don’t have to get to the airport two hours earlier for check-in, and you cannot miss your flight. 

However, it’s courteous to get there early so you can allow the flight crew enough time to ensure everything is ready for departure. This is also proper etiquette when traveling with your host.

That said, try to get to the airport at least 30 minutes earlier for international flights and about 15 minutes earlier for domestic ones. 

6.     Don’t Hesitate to Ask 

You have the right to inquire about your safety during a private charter, the health status of your flight crew (especially in a pandemic), and even your pilot’s experience. The crew should make such details clear during the pre-flight safety briefing, but don’t hesitate to ask if you have any concerns or questions. But while at it, keep the next point in mind. 

7.     Be Mindful of Others

This is even more critical in learning how to fly on a private plane.  So, although there will be plenty of alcoholic beverages onboard, avoid overindulging as being inebriated might make you insensitive to the wellbeing of other passengers.

Be polite and respectful to the flight crew when asking for something, and maintain the same when interacting with other passengers (just like you would in a commercial flight.)  When recording your short videos and taking pictures for your socials, be mindful of others as they may not want their photos on the internet.

In other words, while flying private means the experience revolves around your comfort, hold yourself to high standards and avoid acting entitled. 

Enjoy Your Private Charter Flight 

Flying privately comes with plenty of impressive perks, such as top-of-the-shelf in-flight amenities and a seamless check-in experience. But to make the most of your experience, first, learn how to fly on a private plane, and with the tips above, your first private charter should be fun.

Ready to charter your first private flight? Talk to our team today for any of your pre-flight inquiries.