Perhaps you regularly fly business class but factoring in the potential flight delays, the arduous security lines and the possibility of losing your luggage, you’ve begun to wonder whether the money you spent on comfort was worth the time wasted.
Flying privately may not be as far-fetched as it seems. In fact, if you value the hours of time saved, and the convenience, it can be great value for money. Here are five reasons why flying privately is beats business class:
1. Time Saving
Starting from the moment you make your way to the airport, chartering your own aircraft means you can arrive just 15 minutes before your flight, allowing you to travel stress-free at your own pace without having to wait in line for security checks.
Private jet aviation security, while remaining thorough, is rapid and streamlined, so you are able to optimise your time and spend less of it travelling through endless corridors to reach the Business Lounge.
Even if you are running late, there is no risk of the plane departing without you, so there is no reason to sprint across sprawling airports to your departure gate.
As you land at your destination, your baggage is unloaded by ground staff straight into the back of your vehicle, eliminating the wait you usually endure when collecting your suitcases at the luggage carousel.
2. Privacy and Productivity
Unlike flying business class, travelling privately allows you to enjoy the full privacy of your own cabin, and carry out any work related activities without the risk of other people eavesdropping on confidential conversations.
For many businesses, business aviation is valued as a productivity-enhancing tool because it provides rapid, point-to-point, on-demand transportation. Many users rely on business aviation to reach multiple destinations in a single day without having to waste time at airports.
Those who fly on business aircraft are able to meet, plan and work en-route with ease, as many aircraft are configured like an office conference room, promoting face-to-face discussions without difficulty. Combined with the fact that many business aircraft are equipped with the latest communication technologies such as internet, email and satellite, travellers can remain productive and in touch with their colleagues on the ground throughout the flight.
Perhaps you want to bring a pet on board, enjoy your favourite meal or have a car pick you up on the runway? The possibilities of customising your own travel needs are endless when it comes to flying privately.
Many private aviation terminals have FBOs (Fixed Based Operators) who offer a wide range of terminal services for aircraft, crew and passengers. Typically, they help deliver travelling clients with amenities such as special catering requests for the in-flight experience, refreshment and bar service while, waiting in their luxury lounge, hotel bookings, taxi and limousine arrangements and VIP customs and immigration clearance. This ensures a more personable experience, allowing passengers to work, relax and dine privately rather than using a shared Business Lounge with other travellers with limited catering and beverage options.
4. Cost Saving
Chartering your own plane for a group of travellers can be potentially less expensive than Business Class.
Planning an impromptu weekend away or a business trip? A search on British Airways for 7 business class tickets flying from London to Luxembourg generated a cost of £627.11* per person, totalling £4,389.77.
The same quick search on Stratajet for a private flight suggested an eight seater Citation Jet valued at a surprising £3,016*, cutting the cost to £431 per person. You may wonder how this is possible? This is down to using the right airfields, and more importantly, the availability of empty leg flights.
The explanation behind cost savings made on adaptive empty legs lie in the logic of optimising an existing empty leg flight. In this case, the trip from Farnborough to Metz-Nancy-Lorraine was scheduled as a full empty leg with no passengers.
This presented an opportunity for the aircraft operator to offer it at a lower cost for a new customer, as the aircraft is travelling to Metz-Nancy-Lorraine regardless. However, because Luxembourg is not far from Metz-Nancy-Lorraine, the flight is able utlise 88% of the existing empty leg for the new flight request.
This puts the myth that private travel is an exclusive members’ club to bed. Of course, it is not always possible to find an empty leg flight on every search, but next time you consider flying business class with a group of people, search on stratajet.com to see if you can find a competitive deal.
Commercial flights tend to depart from busy airports, such as Heathrow in London, whereas charter flights are able to operate at smaller airfields. Unlike commercial airliners which require longer runways, smaller chartered aircraft are able to manoeuvre easily with less runway requirement, allowing them to depart and arrive at an airfield closer to your final destination.
Farnborough is a good example of an alternative to Heathrow Airport, which is one of the top ten busiest international airports in the world with over 200,000 passengers arriving and departing each day. As well as being less congested, smaller airfields like Farnborough, Fairoaks, and Blackbushe, which are all closeby to London Heathrow, offer a more relaxed environment and a better experience for the traveller.
With three times as many airfields catering to private aviation than commercial airports in Europe, there is no doubt that flying privately offers greater flexibility in location choices.
Importantly, the sphere of private aviation is centred around you, allowing you to fly wherever you want and whenever you want at your own leisure, whilst the commercial passenger has to adjust to the schedule of the airline.
So whether you are a frequent business class traveller or someone who is curious to try out private travel, there are a number of benefits to hiring your own private jet versus flying business class on an airliner.
*Prices correct as of 23/11/2015