What is a chartered flight? It’s an alternative to making travel arrangements that include commercial flights. Instead of traveling according to the airline’s schedule, you get to decide when you leave and when you depart. You also get to choose who will travel with you.
Whether you are planning a trip for business or for pleasure, it makes sense to determine what type of aircraft is right for the trip. The great thing is that the better charter companies offer many different types of charter aircraft to choose from. By keeping several important factors in mind, it’s possible to narrow the list of choices down to a select few aircraft and ultimately settle on the one that’s best. Considering each of these will ensure that your trip is a safe and happy one.
How Many People Will Be Taking the Trip?
One of the first thing’s you’ll learn is that charter aircraft come with varying numbers of seats. While some people would do a simple head count of how many people are going along and arrange a charter with that many seats, it pays to go for an aircraft that would accommodate at least two or three more.
Remember that the cost of the charter flight is usually not based on the number of people. It’s the capacity of the craft itself, the distance, and a number of other factors. You are not likely to generate any savings by choosing a craft with just enough seats. Go ahead and select something with a couple extra. Doing so works well if most of the people want to have a conversation, but someone would like to tuck away in a relatively quiet space to read or do something different from the rest of the group.
Consider the Amount of Space Each Person Will Need
How much space is sufficient? There’s no one right answer that fits every situation. If several people are going along, it pays to take a moment and think of how much space each one is likely to need.
Perhaps some people are larger and need more space than the others. You’ll want to make sure the seats are ample enough to ensure no one feels as if they are cramped. It helps if the aisles between the seats are also wide enough for everyone to move through the cabin without having to turn sideways. Remember to make sure that the bathroom is large enough for everyone to use without any issues.
There are charter aircraft services with a wide enough selection of aircraft to help you identify jets and other crafts with a reasonable amount of space. Consider basing the amount of personal space on the person who happens to have the largest frame. If that person would be comfortable, you can rest assured that the remainder of your party will have ample room.
Don’t Forget About Head and Foot Room
While you are taking the dimensions of your fellow travelers into consideration, look beyond build and think about height and the size of their feet. Your goal is to determine if everyone will have enough head room to move around the cabin without having to stoop down. Their heads should also not touch the overhead luggage spaces when seated. You also want them to have enough space for their legs and feet without having to pull the knees toward their chests.
Even if there are not many people going, you’ll find there are charter aircraft that have lots of head room for people of all heights. Those same crafts will have more space in between the rows of seats so there is no need to squeeze a larger frame into a small area. In fact, many charter jets and other aircraft have sitting spaces that are more accommodating than what you would find in the first class section of a commercial flight.
Will Anyone Want to Lay Down or at Least Recline for a Nap?
While you may be thinking in terms of seating space, what about space for those who might decide a nap would be nice? With some aircraft, the extra space between the seats makes it easy enough to recline the back and settle into a position that’s perfect for sleep. Others will include sleeping bunkers that allow people to stretch out for a few hours of sleep.
Think about the people who are making the trip. Are some of them likely to want a little sleep along the way? Perhaps you are making a business trip and need to be fresh and alert for a meeting that will take place shortly after the landing. In that scenario, it’s worth factoring the need for a sleeping bunker or quarters into the overall charter aircraft cost.
What Sort and How Much Luggage Are You Taking Along?
While there is storage for carry-on luggage in the main compartment, what else will you and your party be taking along? The additional luggage may include suitcases at least. If this is a business trip or maybe a trip to attend and exhibit at a trade show, there will likely be boxes of brochures and other items to hand out. You will also likely be hauling along the show exhibit complete with lighting and other extras.
If that’s the case, you want to select a charter aircraft with plenty of storage space for luggage, trade show materials, and any other resources that you need. While you could have those shipped ahead, why not take them on the charter flight? Doing so means that they arrive the same time you do, and there is no possibility for them to accidentally be shipped to a location that’s far away from your destination.
Consider the Distance of the Flight
You want to consider the amount of distance that the flight will travel for a couple of reasons. One has to do with the comfort of you and the rest of your party. If it will take several hours to reach the destination, there are certain features and amenities that will come in handy. When the flight is only a couple of hours, you might want to select an aircraft for private charter that has enough features to be comfortable but does not include others that you will not have time to use.
The distance also determines which type of charter aircraft can make the jaunt without having to stop for fuel along the way. Even some domestic flights may require a stop if you are using a smaller craft. Depending on how quickly you need to reach the destination, a stop may not be a problem. At other times, you would do well to select an aircraft with enough fuel capacity to go straight from your departure point to the destination without a stop.
Remember to Check into Food Options
One of the nice things about charter flights is that you can make special arrangements for food. That may not be particularly important if the flight is a short one, but what if it will take several hours? You certainly want to make sure there is food and drink on board that everyone will enjoy. You could bring along food in many cases. At other times, you can arrange for food to be catered and loaded into the galley before the flight leaves. With either option, you are not in a position of having to consume whatever a commercial airline would provide.
Keep in mind that this approach provides the opportunity to consider any dietary needs you or others in your party need to observe. It’s easy enough to cater meals that include low-carbohydrate selections, foods that are low in cholesterol, or free of ingredients that could cause one or more members of the party to become ill. After checking with each person who is going along, it will be easier to come up with a list of food and drink supplies that everyone will find tasty and also in line with the special diets they need to follow. The team at the charter service will coordinate with the caterer to ensure the food is delivered and put away properly before the charter aircraft is scheduled to depart.
How About Entertainment During the Flight?
Many people are happy to entertain themselves by reading, listening to music on their private devices, or even watching movies on their tablets. That’s fine, but why not go with a craft that provides Internet connectivity, access to a large screen, and a selection of movies to watch while the flight in on the way? Doing so will ensure everyone has something to amuse themselves. That will be especially important if it will take several hours to reach the destination.
Would a Living Area Layout Work Better Than Rows of Seats?
When you consider different types of charter aircraft, remember that you are not locked in to the typical rows of seats that are common on commercial flights. There is another layout you can consider. That layout is usually referred to as a living room or a living area layout.
As the name implies, this includes seating along the walls of the cabin. The look is more along the lines of couches, although there may be groupings of seats that are capable of reclining. There are still seat belts in place for everyone to buckle up during takeoffs and landing, as well as for use if the craft should encounter some turbulence. If you want a less formal setting that is more conducive to everyone interacting during the flight, the living area layout is certainly worth considering.
Freshening Up Before Landing
Every charter craft will include a bathroom, but do you need a little more? There are times when having full facilities that include showers will make a difference. This is especially true if you and any member of the party need to head directly to a meeting once the craft reaches the destination.
With a full bath at your disposal, it’s easy enough to remain in casual clothing for most of the trip. A half-hour or so before the arrival time, slip into the bathroom and have your shower. Change into your business attire and make sure you are ready to meet with your clients. When you step off the craft, have a car waiting to take you to the meeting. Try this one time and you will capture a glimpse of why a charter flight vs commercial flights works so much better.
What Do You Know About the Airport Where You Will Land?
Along with thinking about the purpose of the trip, who is going along, and how long it will take to get there, don’t overlook the type of airport where you want to land. The beauty of a charter aircraft is that most can land at airports and strips where larger commercial flights cannot. That comes in handy if the nearest large airport is a considerable drive from your destination. If there’s a smaller airstrip or airport near where you will be spending your time, make sure the charter craft you choose can land at that location.
Along with considering all these factors, you also want to talk with an expert about public charter flights and what it takes to arrange a reservation. Feel free to ask any questions that come to mind. For example, are charter flights safe? What makes them safe? Will you feel as secure in one as you would on a larger flight? How do charter flights work and can I really leave when I want?
The professionals at a charter service can answer these questions and more. They can also show you images and video of the interiors of the crafts they have available. That makes it all the easier to select one that will be just right and ensure you and your party have a wonderful time during the journey.