What You Should Know About Traveling With a Private Jet It’s a Completely Different Experience From Commercial Air Travel

 Taylor Swift. Donald Trump. Elon Musk.

Their private jet travel has made big news in recent months, but most people simply cannot fathom the experience of flying in their own aircraft.

If you’ve ever been curious about flying in a private jet but you’ve never looked into it, you may be surprised to learn just how expensive it is and how much responsibility you’ll face simply by owning your own aircraft.

Keep reading to learn more about costs, insurance, maintenance, and other options you can consider if owning your own plane just isn’t in the cards.

Purchasing a Private Jet Costs More Than Just the List Price
When you buy a car from a dealership, you know you’ll pay for the cost of the car. But you’ll also pay dealership fees, loan origination fees if you choose to finance, registration fees, sales tax, and more.

Private jets have their own requirements, but just like with a car, you’ll need to plan for expenses on top of the purchase price of the aircraft. However, unlike a car, the total cost will be exponentially higher - often into the millions of dollars. Because it is so cost-restrictive, jet ownership isn’t accessible for everyone.

Jet Owners Must Provide Their Own Aircraft Maintenance and Insurance
Private jets must be insured to meet regulatory requirements - sometimes nationally and internationally. The jet owner is responsible for purchasing and maintaining these insurance policies, of which there are multiple: public liability, passenger liability, hull insurance, hangar insurance, in-flight insurance, and more.

Similarly, securing regular aircraft maintenance is required. Most private jet owners contract with a maintenance service provider who not only performs the technical aspects of maintenance, but also tracks it in a log that follows the jet for the duration of its useful life.

Maintenance service providers have the resources to obtain jet parts from their vast connections around the world, so even if supply chain issues are a problem, your jet doesn’t have to stay grounded for long. They can even help you rent or purchase engines so your jet can take to the air.

Jet Size Classes Offer Varying Amenities
When you imagine a celebrity flying in a private jet, you probably picture a luxurious aircraft with lush leather seats, a private stateroom, and real porcelain and crystal dishware. Those kinds of jet amenities absolutely exist - but they’re not available in all private aircraft.

In fact, private jets come in a range of sizes and offer very different amenities. For example, light jets seat only a few people and have such a small cabin that most passengers remain seated the whole flight, with the exception of visiting a small, semi-private lavatory at the back of the plane.

Mid-size jets are slightly larger than light jets and can carry more passengers for longer distances. A mid-size jet may include a reasonably-sized galley that is suitable for making coffee and serving light snacks - but it isn’t likely you’ll find facilities for preparing and serving a gourmet meal here.

Heavy or large jets - the ones you imagine when you think of private jets, include club seating with fold-down tables; larger lavatories with a fully-closing door; interior and exterior luggage storage; and a galley suitable for a whole meal. This is, in part, because heavy jets can complete longer, transatlantic and international flights. Only the largest jets have clearly defined staterooms for sleeping; very few offer a working shower stall.

Fuel Fees Add Up
Private jets are reliant upon fossil fuels for power, and in the grand scheme of things, none are “fuel efficient.” Certainly smaller jets require less fuel per nautical mile than heavy jets.

But bear in mind that refueling comes with a cost, not only to purchase the fuel from the airport where you’ve landed, but also to cover the costs associated with the process of refueling and using an airport’s runway.

You Don’t Have to Own a Private Jet to Travel by One
If private jet ownership simply isn’t in the cards for you financially, or if you don’t want to be responsible for all the things that go along with it, there’s great news. You can still enjoy all the benefits of traveling on a private jet without ownership when you use charter services or purchase a jet card.

A charter flight is one that you purchase outside of a commercial airline’s schedule, for an itinerary that meets your travel needs. You may be alone on the flight, or your charter carrier may book other travelers so that you can share costs.

A jet card membership, on the other hand, is a service you purchase by flight hour on certain aircraft. You can fly on your own schedule and apply your prepaid hours to each trip.

For both of these, costs will vary depending on time, distance, frequency of flights, and whether there are other passengers aboard the private jet with you.

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