How Much Does it Cost to Book a Private Plane?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 6:50:33 PM ET
A private jet lands at an airport
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There's something exotic and glamorous about flying in a private plane. You don't have to wait in airport security lines, and you won't have to worry about crowding in a tight seat next to strangers. Private planes offer luxurious accommodations unlike anything you'll find when you fly commercial. But do you know how much you'll have to shell out to fly private? Here's some information about how much it costs to book a private plane, as well as some ways you may be able to save some money.

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Light Jets and Turboprops

Turboprops and light jets can carry between four and six passengers at at time, and they're great for shorter trips. If you're looking for a quick getaway in style, a light jet or even a turboprop is the way to go. You can fly a maximum of between two and three hours on one of these small private planes, and you can count on paying between $4,000 and $5,500 per hour for one of them. But they're fast! You can get to your destination at a brisk speed of anywhere between 320 and 480 miles per hour. Light jets and turboprops are your most economical option for quick travel with a small party.

Mid-size and Super Mid-size Jets

Mid-size jets are exactly what they sound like - they're the middle ground between light jets and their larger counterparts. With these beauties, you can fly six to nine passengers making fewer refueling stops on longer trips, which saves you money in the long run. A mid-size jet will give you three to five hours traveling time before refueling, and you can book them at a cost of anywhere between $5,500 and $7,000 per hour. Super mid-size jets are a little larger and have bigger fuel tanks, which makes for better long duration flying. You can fly up to seven hours before refueling a super mid-size jet to the tune of roughly $9,500 per hour.

Heavy Jets

Heavy jets can handle much larger passenger loads than light and mid-size jets, and they offer much more spacious and extravagant accommodations. They're also much better suited to longer duration flights. But needless to say, you'll fork over much more money to book a heavy jet. Most of the popular heavy jets can handle 14-19 passengers and can stay in the air for anywhere between five and 14 hours before refueling. You can charter one of these heavy jets for anywhere between $11,500 and $20,000 per hour. One of the largest private jets, the Boeing BBJ can accommodate anywhere from 25 to 50 passengers at a rate of $20,000 per hour.

Look for “Empty Leg” Flights to Save Money.

Now that you've seen how much money booking a private plane costs, let's talk about a couple of ways to save money on a private flight. If you can find an “empty leg” flight, you can score a deal on one-way travel. When charter pilots fly a party to a destination, they often have to fly back to their home airport empty. These charter companies would rather have paying customers than to fly and “empty leg” back home, so they offer these return flights at often substantial discounts for travelers who want a bargain. The trouble with “empty leg” flights is that you they're only one way, so you either have to find another “empty leg” to get home, or you have to fly commercial.

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How Else Can You Save Money on Private Flights?

There are some other ways to save money on booking a private plane. You can take the spots that are left over on a flight that's not full. Charter services often offer discounts to finish filling a plane that's not completely booked. If you're flexible with your travel, you can save some money as well. If you can travel at less busy times of day or of the year, you can catch a deal from time to time. It's also worth looking into last minute flights, because sometimes you can find extensive savings to book a flight just a couple of days before you go. Look into these ways to save money if you want to fly in style for less of an investment.