bottom of a private jet aircraft flying below clouds

Private Jet vs. Commercial Airlines – Clarifying Your Options

Ruben Spiker
30 May 2024

Traveling by air, whether by private jet or commercial airline, can be an exhilarating experience. Whether you’re on a business trip, a luxurious getaway, or a reunion with loved ones; speed, efficiency and comfort are key. This post dives into the two main ways to navigate the skies: commercial airlines and private jets. We will […]

Traveling by air, whether by private jet or commercial airline, can be an exhilarating experience. Whether you’re on a business trip, a luxurious getaway, or a reunion with loved ones; speed, efficiency and comfort are key. This post dives into the two main ways to navigate the skies: commercial airlines and private jets. We will explain the key differences to help you decide which option best suits your needs.

commercial airline cabin with a single aisle

Understanding the Private Jet Experience

Imagine skipping the long security lines and crowded waiting areas that come with commercial airlines. Instead, picture yourself arriving at a Fixed Base Operation (FBO), a private airport terminal designed for a relaxed and personalized pre-flight experience. This sets the stage for the contrasting journeys offered by commercial airlines and private jets.

A check-in time of just 15 to 30 minutes is enough when choosing for private air travel. Simply get dropped off by taxi or park your car right in front of the FBO, immediately be picked up by your pilot and board the aircraft just minutes after you arrived. In most cases, you don’t even have to care about emptying your pockets and having your carry-on scanned as there won’t be a security check required in most of the cases. But in cases where the security check is a mandatory process, it will be a smooth experience located at the FBO itself.

Airport accessibility is key differentiator. Commercial airlines are mainly restricted to major airports with longer runways, which may be far from your final destination. Another problem that could occur in cases where runways are sufficient for a commercial airliner to land, airline operators may not offer any direct options between your origin and destination. Private jets, on the other hand, can access a wider network of smaller airports closer to your desired location without a layover at another airport, saving you valuable travel time. Traveling to an even more remote location? Then you could even be better off with an Air Taxi or helicopter.

black helicopter taking off from park

Flexibility Designed for You

Commercial airlines operate on fixed schedules, dictating your travel plans. Missing a flight can mean a significant delay or a rebooked itinerary. Private jet flights, on the other hand, offer the ultimate flexibility. Flight times are tailored to your schedule, allowing for last-minute changes and spontaneous trips. Need to adjust your departure due to an unexpected meeting? No problem. With private jets, you’re in control. And does your taxi end up in an unforeseen traffic jam on your way to the airport? Don’t worry, you’re pilot has already been updated and will wait for you to arrive.

Although all of this flexibility, there are some side notes to be aware of when it comes to the planning as not all airports will allow 24/7 private air traffic. Also curfew hours and crew rest times are playing a key role here. Where strict scenarios such as airport and crew regulations may directly cause limits in the possibilities, curfew hours of FBO and airport staff is something that can be extended in many cases. One thing that you should be aware of in this case, is that the extension of staff duty times will cause an increase of the price of your flight. This is to cover the costs that are made to facilitate the extra manhours at the air traffic control tower, rescue and safety department, and the FBO staff as well.

opened agenda with ballpoint pen

Luxury Extends Beyond the Seat

Imagine the difference – a private oasis compared to a rushed pit stop. Commercial airline lavatories are functional but typically cramped. On a private jet, the experience is transformed. Although the smaller private jet types may not offer you any toilet facilities, larger jets typically include spacious lavatories. The so-called Heavy Jets that can accommodate larger groups on transatlantic charter flights usually accommodate multiple bathrooms and can include an on board shower as well.

Also visit our blog “Private Jet Cabin Features: do all Private jets have a toilet on board?” if you would like to learn more about the toilet facilities onboard a private jet.

Traveling with your Furry Family

Traveling with animals can be stressful, especially with the strict regulations that you will often find regarding pets onboard commercial airlines, particularly the larger breeds. This can cause separation anxiety for both you and your four-legged companion. On a private aircraft, your furry friend can travel comfortably with you in the cabin, eliminating the need for separation and the associated stress for both of you. In addition, the cabin will only accommodate the passengers who are invited by you, meaning that there will not be a stranger in the seat next to you having complaints about your pet.

Also visit our blog “Relaxing Pet Travel by Private Jet or Air Taxi!” if you would like to learn more about traveling with animals onboard a private aircraft.

white dog onboard private aircraft

Booking Your Private Jet

While booking a commercial airline ticket typically requires significant advance planning, especially during peak seasons, private jets offer more flexibility. While last-minute requests can be accommodated, booking in advance allows for a wider selection of aircraft and potentially better pricing.

Also visit our blog “How to book a Private Jet” if you would like to learn more about the booking process of a private flight.

Private Jet Cost and Value Considerations

Let’s be upfront – flying onboard a private jet come at a premium compared to commercial airlines. However, the value proposition extends far beyond the price tag. Consider the time saved by avoiding long security lines, layovers, and inflexible schedules. The privacy, comfort, and unparalleled level of service offered by private jets elevate your travel experience to a whole new level.

Also visit our blog “How Much Does a Private Jet Cost? A Guide to Private Jet Rental Prices” if you would like to learn more about the pricing of a private flight is determined.

a ballpoint pen and calculator and paperclip on a white paper with a graph

Privacy, Safety, and Comfort: A World of Difference

Privacy is a major advantage of private jet travel. Commercial airlines are inherently public spaces, making it difficult to conduct confidential business discussions or simply relax and enjoy a peaceful journey. Private jets offer complete privacy, allowing you to control your environment and use your travel time productively or simply unwind.

Safety is a top priority for both commercial airlines and reputable private jet operators. Private jets often have smaller passenger capacities, potentially reducing potential exposure to airborne illnesses.

Comfort is another key differentiator. Imagine spacious cabins with plush seating and personalized in-flight services. Private jets will bring your travel experience to new heights of comfort, allowing you to arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to take on whatever lies ahead.

Your Journey Compared

As can be seen there are distinct differences when flying a private jet compared with traditional commercial air travel. To conclude we have put together a list of distinct characteristics of either travel modality. See underneath our take from this article.

Commercial Airlines

  • Arrive at the airport 2-3 hours before departure to navigate security lines and check-in procedures.
  • Deal with potential delays and crowded waiting areas.
  • Board the aircraft and settle into a standard 44 cm (17 inch) wide seat with a shared armrest.
  • Limited legroom and a 26,7 cm (10,5 inch) long tray table with a preformed cupholder.
  • Deboard upon arrival and navigate never-ending walkways to the baggage claim.
airport terminal

Private Jet

  • Arrive at the FBO just 15 minutes before your flight, bypassing the airport hustle.
  • Relax in a comfortable lounge and enjoy refreshments before the pilot picks you up.
  • Step onto your private jet and settle into any of the comfortable executive seats.
  • Enjoy personalized in-flight catering and entertainment options tailored to your preferences.
  • Deboard at your destination airport and be whisked away by a pre-arranged premium taxi transfer.
lounge at saanen gstaad airport switzerland in winter

The Choice is Yours

FA Jets offers a personalized private jet travel experience to worldwide destinations. Whether you prioritize time-saving efficiency, ultimate comfort, or complete privacy, we have the perfect solution for your needs. Contact us today to discuss your travel plans and discover how private jets can be the perfect answer to your journeys.

FA Jets Belgium

Main office – Antwerp

Luchthavenlei PB2
2100, Deurne, Belgium

  +32 3 500 9082

FA Jets Netherlands

Office – Rotterdam

Hoefsmidstraat 41
3194 AA, Hoogvliet, Netherlands

  +31 15 820 0998