Chartering vs First-Class | When is it more efficient to charter?
Lets start with the basics; while first-class remains as one of the most comfortable flying options in terms of commercial travel, first-class travel is entirely incomparable to private jet charter. With extended wait times and airport security and baggage claim, much time is lost simply getting to and from your aircraft. Now of course the level of luxury offered by private jet charter is on a whole different level than flying first-class in a commercial airliner. First-class has disadvantages such as the inability to choose where you sit and of course the lack of privacy due to flying with complete strangers. First-class catering is only slightly more appealing than the traditional meals served to economy and business class travelers.
Now that we’ve covered the differences between first-class and private jet charter we can continue and calculate exactly when it is more efficient to charter an aircraft instead of paying first-class tickets. The first variable in this calculation is time, waiting times for commercial aircraft can take hours whereas the waiting time to get on board your chartered aircraft can be only a matter of minutes. Being able to remove hours from the total length of your trip means that it is not necessary for you to get to the airport as early as you would as a first-class traveler. This is the most important piece of this puzzle.
The way aircraft charter works is that you pay for the entirety of the aircraft for the duration of your trip. Now in some situations where one passenger is flying in an entire chartered aircraft alone, the cost of chartering said aircraft is much higher than the price of a first-class ticket. Though the sort of travelers that would charter an entire aircraft for just one passenger realize the importance of saving time, for passengers like these, time is a very valuable resource. Realistically, paying for the entirety of the aircraft when you charter a private jet becomes more and more economically viable as more passengers are added to the aircraft. For example, a cross country trip from New York to California in a mid sized jet can cost approximately $18,000 for eight passengers, this comes down to only $2,250 per passenger, which is much closer to the price of the first-class ticket than it is to chartering an entire aircraft simply for one passenger. These estimated prices are for same day round trips
For much larger flights using wide body aircraft, aircraft charter becomes much more economically viable, sometimes out-competing commercial airlines in terms of pricing. For larger groups, for example 100 passengers, the price to charter the entire aircraft capable of holding 100 passengers would actually be less costly than first-class tickets for the entirety of the group. Not only do you gain the comfort and privacy of flying with your own group But you also gain a full flight staff dedicated to all of your needs.
In short, private jet charter tends to be more pricey than flying first class unless accompanied by a group. Usually the larger the group, the lower the price will be per passenger, as the price for chartering the entire aircraft remains the same whether there is one passenger or 100 on board.