How to fly on a private jet: Up your travel game from commercial to couture.


Dec 22, 2023

15 min read

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    If hopping on a private jet feels like a far-fetched dream, know that today, it’s easily within reach. Thanks to private charters, jet cards, jet memberships, and fractional ownership, there are more ways than ever to experience flying on a private jet — and that doesn’t require full jet ownership.

    Below, we teach you how to fly on a private jet, starting with the basic approaches, costs, and booking process.

    Why fly private?

    Time savings and efficiency

    Flying private means there is no need to arrive three hours before departure just to navigate check-in, security, and the crush at the gate line. You’ll also skip all the layovers and lengthy delays.

    Choosing to fly privately ensures the most direct route from your departure to your destination and a streamlined schedule.

    Privacy and discretion

    Reports indicate that passengers encounter more than 600 people per trip when traveling commercially. Bumping into hundreds of people translates into an immediate loss of privacy and passenger discretion. But, if you fly private, you’ll encounter a handful of people at most, and you’ll only fly with those you’ve personally invited onboard.

    Comforts and amenities

    When was the last time you had access to a private lavatory onboard a commercial flight? Or a galley stocked with your favorite refreshments? These high-end comforts and high-end amenities come with the territory on board a privately chartered aircraft and are among the core reasons people fly privately.

    Personalized services

    When you charter a private jet, you’ll notice that the booking process is more personalized than any commercial ticket you’ve bought in the past. Not only are you in charge of choosing the destination and flight schedule, but you also get to customize the drink menu, the pre-and post-concierge requirements, and who else shares the flight with you.

    Freedom and exclusivity

    Beyond the amenities, comforts, privacy, and efficiency, the number one reason people fly private is the freedom it affords for their lifestyle. It’s undeniable freedom, and as a lifestyle choice, it’s worth it.

    How to Fly on a Private Jet

    How to fly on a private jet.

    There may have once been a time when flying on a private jet was an experience only available to A-listers and politicians. But, the world of private jet travel is now open to more jet setters than ever before.

    You no longer need to own and operate your own private jet. Today, there are many more accessible ways to travel onboard a private aircraft.

    Private jet charters

    The easiest way to fly private is to book a private jet charter. Charters are booked directly through the operator or via a broker. As availability allows, they fly where and when you dictate, and depending on the carrier, you’ll often also have your choice of aircraft type.

    Private charters are sold on a per-flight basis rather than per seat and are quoted based on a rate called an occupied hourly fee. Pricing will depend on the details, but you can expect a standard short-haul mission to start at approximately $7,000 per trip.

    Plus, booking a private charter is simple. All it requires is a quote.

    Private jet cards and memberships.

    For those flying more than a handful of times a year, getting more for your flight dollars makes sense. . Private jet cards and programs, like Volato’s Insider Program, lock in preferred charter rates for a deposit. Jet cards work on similar purchased blocks of flight hours.

    Instead of paying market rates whenever you need a charter, you’ll draw down your deposit based on the program’s predetermined and reduced charter prices. Plus, members often get other exclusive benefits, including greater discounts on empty-leg flights, exclusive offers from premium brand partners, and no blackout days.

    Fractional ownership.

    What they don’t tell you about private jet ownership is that it requires a lot of administration and logistical wrangling. Fractional ownership is a model that dramatically reduces this administrative burden without reducing the perks of ownership.

    Volato offers fractional ownership options on our fleet of HondaJets, and we are also taking orders for our 2024 delivery of Gulfstream G280s.

    Get all the benefits of ownership without paying the full sticker price for the cost of a jet. Our fractional program is the only one that offers unlimited hours, a revenue share, a modern fleet, and the best customer experience.
    Get in Touch Today

    Choose the right private jet service.

    Safety and compliance

    First and foremost, a company’s dedication to safety should be paramount. Never be afraid to inquire about safety records, membership with internationally recognized third-party organizations such as ARGUS Platinum IS-BAO Stage 2, and maintenance schedules. The company you choose to fly with should have a long and transparent history of maintenance records and inspections.

    Safety and Compliance

    Fleet selection

    In the US alone, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of private jet operators, all managing different jet configurations. Consider your passenger capacity and range needs and find an operator with a fleet to match.

    Customer service

    From the first point of contact, the service you receive should be nothing short of exemplary. A higher level of attentiveness and bespoke service is a hallmark of premium service operators.

    Customer service for flying private


    Whether you are asking about prices or safety records, your chosen provider should be upfront and open across all communications. There should be no hidden costs buried in the quote. If your provider isn’t transparent from the beginning, you will want to look elsewhere.

    How much does it cost to fly private?

    How expensive is it to fly private? Ultimately, unless we specify the private jet program, flight details, and operator, there is no way to give a single accurate answer to cover all possible variables.

    But we can offer a few broad details to help paint a picture of how much it is to fly private, depending on the model:

    Private Jet Charter Jet Card or Jet Membership Fractional Ownership
    Initial Cost* $0 $50,000 and up $549,000 and up
    Investment Model No investment or deposit required Deposit or purchase of a block of hours required Investment required to purchase
    Ongoing Fees Pay-per-flight Hour- or deposit-drawdown from initial investment Monthly management fees, plus hourly flight costs
    Flight Hour Cost* $7,000 and up $6,700 and up $5,000 and up
    Hourly Cost Structure Dynamic, based on market rates Capped and preferred rates Capped rates set by the fractional aircraft management company
    Availability Subject to market availability Guaranteed up to a certain number of hours Guaranteed availability as per contract terms
    Limitations • May face availability issues during peak
    • Higher hourly costs
    • Limited to specific fleet
    • Limited areas of service
    • Significantly higher initial investment
    • Limited to no flexibility on jet-type

    * Prices are estimates only and may not reflect the latest information.

    Private jet booking process.

    Assuming you are choosing to charter a private jet (rather than purchasing a fractional share), what can you expect during the booking process?

    At Volato, our booking process is simple:

    Get a quote

    Request an online quote by providing a few essential details like destination, number of passengers, and travel dates. Quotes are available up to 90 days before your trip.

    Concierge team gets to work

    Our dedicated team quickly jumps on your request, crafting the perfect flight plan and sending it out for your review. Quotes are valid for 24 hours.

    Experience Concierge adds the final touches

    After confirmation, our Experience Concierge team handles the finer details, including passenger information and refreshments.

    Get ready for takeoff

    You can relax and look forward to your journey with everything in place. Your flight is all set. Check-in time is 15 minutes before takeoff.

    Preparing for your private jet journey.

    Volato’s Experience Concierge team will help you prepare for your upcoming mission by confirming all the details well beforehand. For example:

    1. Locking in all passenger details
    2. Booking pre- and post-trip concierge services like private airport transfers
    3. Ordering on-board services, such as refreshments, snacks, and gourmet meals on longer flights
    4. Confirming the departure date and check-in time (15 minutes before takeoff)

    FAQs about how to get a private jet flight.

    How expensive is it to fly private?

    Flying private is more expensive than flying business class and undeniably more expensive than flying economy class, but the price is relative.

    So, how much does it cost to fly private? The cost will vary depending on mission, jet class, amenities, and concierge services.

    What amenities are available on private jets?

    While there is some variation from one jet to another, you can expect a handful of similar amenities no matter what service you charter:

    • Full-size lavatory
    • Partial to full-size galley
    • Onboard connectivity
    • Luggage accessibility in-flight
    • Concierge services pre- and post-flight
    • Executive seating
    • Advanced entertainment systems

    Can individuals book a seat on a private jet?

    The Volato model values your privacy above all else. We do not sell single seats on shared flights. Every flight you book is guaranteed to service only you and your chosen co-passengers, whether they’re family, friends, or colleagues.

    Other charter operations offer “shared charters,” essentially individual tickets on shared flights for predetermined missions. Technically, these are still classified as private jet charters. However, a seat on a flight filled with strangers misses some of the exclusivity afforded by a true private service.

    Can I fly my private jet anywhere?

    As long as the destination is within range of the jet and a suitable runway, you can fly your private jet just about anywhere with an airport that accepts privately operated jets. In the US, that means roughly 5,000 regional and private airports.

    The requirements are that the destination is within the maximum range of your jet and the runway is long enough to accommodate its takeoff and landing.

    Can private jets fly internationally?

    With a larger jet (typically super mid-size and above) and an operator with the right clearance, you can also take your missions internationally. For example, Volato’s new fleet of Gulfstream G280s will be able to make transatlantic flights spanning New York to London, or a maximum of 3,600 nm.

    How long can a private plane fly?

    How long a private jet can fly, known as the maximum range, all depends on the class and model of the jet as well as the total onboard weight. With that said, the largest executive liners, like the Boeing Business Jet Max Series and the Bombardier Global Series, have ranges of over 10,000 nm, meaning they can essentially fly between any two points on Earth.

    On the other side of the spectrum, the HondaJet, one of the smallest private jets classified as a very light jet (VLJ), has a maximum range of 1547 nm. Translated into flight hours, that’s roughly a three-hour range and perfect for regional missions.

    Are private jets legal?

    Private jets are entirely legal to own, operate, and charter — provided the operator has the right licensing and registration. The freedom to own and charter private aircraft is why there are more than 22,000 privately owned jets worldwide and over 14,000 in the US alone, according to the latest numbers.

    Do private jets land at airports?

    Private jets can land at all airports servicing public or private jets; although, generally speaking, they typically route through regional and private airports to reduce the traffic through major commercial hubs.

    For example, private jet operators traveling to and from New York will use Teterboro Airport rather than John F. Kennedy International Airport. Teterboro is just one airport among many that are designated as general aviation relief airports to help reduce the load on public, commercial destinations.

    Learn how to fly private with the world’s friendliest private jet company.

    Are you ready to unlock the freedom and exclusivity of flying on a private jet? Whether you’re flying from New York to Los Angeles or from Houston to Miami, with Volato’s suite of options, you can easily become one of the lucky frequent flyers who fly private jets for business and pleasure.

    We’d love to introduce you to what it’s like to fly head and shoulders above the rest. Fly Volato.

    Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only. Volato is not responsible for omissions or inaccuracies in such information, or for data that is no longer accurate due to delay, change in law, rules, or regulations.