The commercial flight was new and daring in the early years of the 20th century. Traveling by airplane was rare. Airlines, airliners, airports, and air routes, none of these existed.
But by the century’s end, you could travel to almost anywhere in the world by air in a matter of hours. How did this revolutionary change happen?
Commercial Flights and Chartered Flights: what’s the Difference?
A commercial flight is a type of flight that’s operated by a commercial airline. Typically, a commercial flight refers to a traditional flight that transports passengers from one destination to another, with a pre-booked ticket.
Commercial flights are regularly scheduled. So, people and groups can buy seats on the flight, as opposed to a charter flight, where hiring the whole plane by one person or a group for the duration of the flight.
Commercial flights take off and land at different locations of commercial airports around the world. So, if you want to fly to a specific destination, you’ll have to book a flight to its nearest commercial airport at a time and date that is set by the airline.
Commercial flights are the most popular and most affordable type of air travel, as the objective of the airline is to transport as many people as possible from one destination to another.
Most airlines do offer more personalized services onboard commercial flights to cater to those who enjoy more privacy and comfort with more luxurious cabin classes such as Business Class and First Class.
There are many differences between commercial flights and passenger flights:
Date and time of departure tailored to your needs
The date and time of departure is the first thing, right after the selection of the destination, which people deal with when choosing a flight and airline. With commercial flights, you have multiple options to choose from, but you are always limited by the fixed flight schedule.
Thus, you cannot often choose a departure time that fits you or opt for an ideal arrival time at the destination. With commercial airlines, it is usual practice that the earlier you book the flight, the less expensive it is. The same applies to night flights.
However, this prevents you from being flexible, you do not have space to make changes and you may also find yourself in a situation where you spend hours waiting at the airport.
But with the private airline, it is you who determines when exactly you want to fly, and in the case of unexpected situations or delays, the airplane waits for you.
Option of choosing the nearest airport
Commercial flights have their target airports clearly defined and these in many cases are large international airports.
These are usually quite far away from the city center or are situated on the outskirts, and transferring from them to a hotel or to a meeting takes rather long. Besides that, you will not avoid crowds of other passengers, queuing and waiting.
Credit to the size of private jets, you can land at small, local airports which may be much closer to your destination. This will save you money not only on transfers but also the time you can dedicate to other things.
The earlier you arrive, the sooner you will fly
Commercial flights have their flight schedule fixed, and their aircraft can never depart from the airport earlier. On the contrary, they can even delay due to technical or operational complications. With private airlines, it is possible that you will be able to depart earlier than originally scheduled.
Flying with a private airline is in many aspects much more comfortable than with commercial flights. The aircraft is available only to you and everything revolves around your needs and wishes.
The story of the world’s first airline
Each year, the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society celebrates the world’s first airline and its record-breaking pilot, Tony Jannus.
The world’s first regularly scheduled heavier-than-air airline took off from the Municipal Pier in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Florida on New Year’s Day 1914. The airline was known as the St. Petersburg–Tampa Airboat Line. It was organized just a few months before that New Year’s first takeoff.
How Safe is Commercial Flight?
Safety is a concern of everyone who flies or contemplates it. Statistics and figures that prove airline transportation to be the safest way to travel relate to our logical, reasoning, and rational minds. Worrying about safety is an intrusion that seems to bypass those faculties of logic and go directly to our emotions.
The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 permitted the airlines to be competitive both in the routes they flew and the fares they charged. When the price of air travel decreased, the number who flew increased. In 1977, two hundred and seventy million passengers flew on U.S. scheduled airlines. In 1987 four hundred and fifty million flew.
For passengers, that resulted in the frustration of crowded terminals and delayed boardings and takeoffs. But deregulation definitely does not cause safety to be compromised.