Private Jet Charter Cost Breakdown: What You Need to Know in 2024
Nov 13, 2023
15 min read
There has been a remarkable surge in private charters in recent years — a trend underscored by the latest industry data. According to the Institute for Policy Studies report High Flyers 2023, private flights have soared, showing a 20 percent increase over pre-pandemic levels. At the same time that demand for luxury travel is higher than ever, private jet charter costs are also increasingly attainable.
So, how much does it cost to charter a private jet? Unlike commercial airline tickets, the numbers aren’t always as clear-cut as they should be. Everything from the type of jet to destination fees to crew costs will add up on your private jet charter quote.
We’re here to break down all the variables and all the line items on your private charter quote. We’ll review everything from the base occupied hourly fee to extra special catering required. Plus, we’ll dive into some savvy strategies to get more for less on your next mission.
Basics of Private Jet Charter Pricing
Whether you are flying to Los Angeles or New York, the two core factors impacting private jet charter costs are the jet size and flight duration. The larger the aircraft and/or the longer the flight, the greater the cost.
Beyond jet size and flight time, you’ll also see several other costs itemized on your private jet charter quote, including fuel surcharge, crew fees, landing and incidental airport fees, Federal Excise Tax (FET), and any added amenities like catering and car service. All of these costs are worked out at the time of quoting.
Understanding Private Jet Charter Costs
The beauty of flying private is that every mission is built around your specific needs, which is why the cost of renting a private jet differs from a commercial airline ticket. Every quote looks a little different with your choice of aircraft, destination, schedule, and concierge services.
Do you need to fly out on Monday at 6 a.m. sharp? Or a private car to your hotel on arrival? Or what about a bottle of Dom Perignon chilled in the galley? Charter pricing is a layered and often complex pricing system.
Here is a quick rundown of the types of fees that get rolled into the cost to charter a private jet:
|Hourly Rate / Occupied Hourly Free||Dynamic pricing based on jet size, market demand, fuel requirements, and other factors|
|Fuel Surcharge||Additional fee that varies depending on global fuel prices|
|Crew Fees||Costs for the crew’s per diem, hotel, and meals|
|Landing Fees||Vary by airport and aircraft type|
|Incidental Airport Fees||Deicing, hangar fees, ground handling fees|
|Federal Excise Tax (FET)||7.5% tax on domestic flights in the USA|
|Passenger Segment Fees||Additional per-passenger fees, especially for international flights|
|Fixed-Based Operator Facility Fee (FBO Fee)||Fees for using airport facilities like lounges and hangars|
|Cleaning Fees||Costs to clean the aircraft after use|
|Additional Services||Miscellaneous fees like car rentals, catering, etc|
Factors Influencing Charter Costs
Firstly, the type of aircraft you charter impacts the total cost, with the occupied hourly fee increasing in direct relationship to the size of the plane. The cost to hire a very light jet (VLJ) will be substantially less than that of a super mid-size jet, partly due to the differences in passenger capacity, crew requirements, and fuel economy.
Second, the total flight distance (or time) will impact costs. The longer the flight, the greater the distance, which increases fuel, crew, and other aspects of the total occupied hourly costs. As a starting point for our fleet of HondaJets, charter prices are typically $5,000 to $7,000 per hour, depending on the day and demand.
Third, market demand also leads to charter price fluctuations. Flying in for Superbowl weekend will understandably come with a higher charter price than a random mid-week short-haul flight. Unless you are locked into a jet card discount program, you can expect prices to increase around major events and holidays as demand increases.
Concierge & Catering
Fourth, extra amenities like car service to and from your flight, in-flight catering, or special beverage service will add to the charter price. But these little luxuries are why people choose to fly private, as they make every journey seamless.
Fourth, the fuel surcharge is a fee tied to the market price for jet fuel. As the market fluctuates, so too does the fuel surcharge. Although the base fuel cost is rolled into the charter cost, the fuel surcharge helps operators manage the additional costs associated with the dynamic costs per gallon of jet fuel.
Memberships & Jet Cards
Finally, and not to be forgotten, private jet memberships and jet cards will also directly impact your charter flight’s overall cost. Jet cards, like Volato’s Insider Program, lock in a capped occupied hourly fee for every hour flown.
Comparing Private Jet Hiring Options
It’s worth a reminder that private jet charter costs are incredibly variable. Even with a base price locked in through a jet card program, you can expect fluctuations depending on catering, airport fees, fuel surcharge, and more.
Strategies for Budget-Friendly Jet Chartering
Not everyone lives in a world where price is no object. If you’ve googled “How much does it cost to charter a private jet?” you may also be looking for budget-friendly strategies for booking your next flight.
Helpfully, we live in a world where flying private is getting more accessible all the time. With the increasing demand for this ultra-exclusive airfare, a growing number of membership and discount programs aim to get you there.
Jet cards are prepaid cards akin to a membership. They offer a set number of flight hours on specified aircraft types. For a deposit made upfront, you lock in the occupied hourly rate for the duration of the time on the card.
Under our innovative Insider tiered deposit program, you secure capped charter rates when you fly highly trafficked routes, plus our best charter rates across the country.
An empty-leg flight, also known as a “deadhead” flight, is a return flight where the aircraft is empty because it’s traveling to and from a previously booked flight. If your schedule and/or destination is flexible, empty-leg flights are a great way to save.
Several companies now offer flight sharing, where multiple passengers purchase tickets to share a private flight. It’s one of the most affordable ways to fly private, although you will likely share the plane with one or more strangers, and you do not have control over the schedule.
Call for a Private Jet Charter Quote
Need a quote for an upcoming mission? Whether you are flying to Austin to close a deal or Aspen to hit the slopes, we can help you get there.
Is it expensive to charter a private plane?
At a certain point, all costs become relative. Locking in a private flight is more expensive than buying a business-class ticket. But flying private is valuable in terms of time savings, personal convenience, discretion, and peace of mind.
But what if the cost of flying private is just out of reach? There are a growing number of programs that make this VIP travel experience much more accessible.
Start with Volato’s Insider Membership. This exclusive program locks in capped rates on highly trafficked routes and offers savings on our national fleet. Is your schedule is more flexible? Sign up for our Daily Deals to grab empty-leg flights provided at a steep discount.
What is the cheapest private jet to rent?
The cheapest private jet to rent is typically a very light jet (VLJ) like an Embraer Phenom 100 or a HondaJet. These are four- or five-seater jets with a range of up to 1,550 nm or upwards of three hours of flight.
Can you buy a seat on a private jet?
Seat-sharing (sometimes called fly-sharing or flight-sharing) services attempt to balance a few of the luxuries of the private charter experience with the price and accessibility of a commercial airline ticket.
These fly-sharing services typically operate shuttle-style flights, selling individual seats to strangers. The cost per flight comes down considerably (sometimes as low as $100 per flight). But the schedule, destination, and co-passengers are all predetermined by the operator.
How much is jet fuel?
Jet fuel has a highly variable price that fluctuates often. For the most up-to-date jet fuel prices (including surcharge), contact your private charter operator or the IATA’s Jet Fuel Price Monitor.
What are the average private jet charter costs per hour?
As all the above makes abundantly clear, it’s nearly impossible to come up with an average private jet charter cost with any basis in reality. The type of jet you require, distance traveled, market demands, fuel surcharge, and other fees all roll into a very dynamic occupied hourly fee.
If you are looking for an accurate average, get in touch with our concierge team with a few details about your upcoming mission. We can help you determine what jet you’ll need and provide a detailed private jet charter quote to lock in the costs.
Are there additional fees I should be aware of when chartering a private jet?
Whether you work through a broker to book your next private charter flight or book directly with us, you’ll receive a full itemized breakdown of what’s included in your quote.
Generally speaking, you can expect to see the following fees. Although it will depend on the specifics of your requested mission (like destination, schedule, and catering):
- Occupied hourly fee
- Fuel surcharge
- Crew fees
- Landing fees
- Incidental airport fees
- Federal excise tax (FET)
- Passenger segment fees
- Fixed-base operator facility fee (FBO Fee)
- Cleaning fees
- Additional services
Private Jet Charter Cost: More Accessible Than You Think
There may have been a time when private charters were only an option for a select few, but today, flying private is more attainable than ever before.
Chartering a private jet is an indisputable luxury, giving you back your time, freedom, and privacy. If you are city-hopping between meetings, getting out of town for the weekend with your loved ones, or celebrating a special occasion — let Volato help you get there.
Contact our concierge team for a private jet charter quote designed with your needs in mind.
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.