Charter flight is defined as; when passengers travel on an airplane, they usually take a scheduled flight. Scheduled flights operate according to pre-published schedules for departures and arrivals from one destination to another.
However, another option for travel is a charter flight, which is different from a scheduled flight.
A charter flight is a flight that is not part of an airline’s published schedule. For example, an airline will not post on its website that the airline will operate a flight from Point A to Point B at 3 pm every Wednesday. Instead, charter flights are typically operated for specific unscheduled itineraries.
Charter flights can offer a whole host of benefits as compared to flying commercial
In the most basic terms, a scheduled flight is a flight that’s sold seat-by-seat until the aircraft is full. This method of travel is typically employed by commercial airline companies.
In some cases, operators may offer these types of flights if they’re selling seats on a private jet instead of the aircraft in its entirety. Though, this isn’t very common.
To further highlight the difference between charter flights and scheduled flights, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each.
1- Scheduled Flights
Scheduled Flight Pros
The scheduled flights have a few perks, these flights:
- Are generally scheduled well in advance, leaving nothing to chance for travelers that prefer to book early.
- Operate on a consistent schedule, which is appealing to some travelers.
- Are cheaper than private air travel, making them the only option for travelers on a strict budget.
Scheduled Flight Cons
A scheduled flights have very little wiggle room when it comes to planning an itinerary that best suits your travel needs and preferences. Because other passengers have booked a seat on the same aircraft, the flight schedule is set in stone, barring any unforeseen delays.
When you fly with an airline, you’ll also be required to make your way through the airport, stopping at various queues and line-ups along the way. And if you plan on traveling to an international destination, the airline will require you to arrive and check in several hours before your flight is scheduled to depart.
2- Charter Flights
Charter Flight Pros
The charter flights offer travelers a unique set of benefits not found with scheduled flights, like:
- Your flight will depart and land on the dates and times you chartered it for. As for the route, you also get a say in not only the destination cities you fly in and out of, and which airports, but also whether or not you’ll make any stops along the way (such as a connection or layover).
- When you hire an entire aircraft, you can choose the aircraft type. Besides sharing the same with people you’ve never met before, you’ll enjoy the entire cabin to yourself, and more.
- Booking an entire aircraft means you’ll have control over every detail. Your aircraft can be outfitted with whatever you need to make your flight as comfortable as possible.
- When you charter an aircraft, privacy, and efficiency are two of the key perks to flying a charter, a private terminal separated from the herds of people flying commercial.
- By contrast, charter flights often pull no stops, offering all the bells and whistles. From custom meal itineraries to in-flight movies, Wi-fi, games, and more. Whether the flight is for work or play, private jet charter companies make sure every flight is tailored to the needs and wants of its guests.
- Private jet charters are one of the safest ways to travel.
- Charter flights are well-planned and strive for perfection. Their reputation relies on safety, reliability, and performance. As such, delays are virtually non-existent.
- Further, charter flights often have fewer cancellations, and are highly flexible, enabling them to take off and land under various conditions, as well as quickly alter flight plans or routes to bypass bad weather.
Charter Flight Cons
The biggest drawback to charter flights, for some, is the cost. chartering an entire aircraft as opposed to paying for a seat can be expensive for travelers on a budget.
Of course, those that want to save on the costs of chartering a jet should ask their private flight advisor about empty-leg flights. These deeply discounted flights are a great option for savvy travelers not bound by a schedule.
What Types of Charter Flights Are There?
Let’s look at the types of charter flights available:
This means that the entire aircraft is rented (chartered) and that individual seats are not for sale to other parties and are also private.
Flights that take place on private jets can range from interstate travel to intercontinental flights, with passenger sizes from a few people to over 100 (depending on the jet).
Due to regulations, the entire flight must be chartered by a single entity or person, although passengers may opt to split the bill amongst themselves.
Public charters are most frequently offered on a seasonal basis (such as for the ‘tourist’ season) to vacation and business destinations. These flights operate on limited schedules, typically once or twice weekly, with takeoff and departure times set in stone.
With an affinity charter, each passenger is a member of a specific organization, business, or group. Although the same can be said of a ‘private charter’, the difference with an affinity charter is that each seat is sold separately and each passenger pays their own fare individually.
An example may include members of a band or sports team or members of a charity organization on the way to an event.
As you may have inferred from the name, cargo charters are booked to transport various types of cargo from one place to the next. These aircraft are outfitted for the safe transport of goods, not people.