Overview: Private Jet Charter Cost | How Much Does It Cost to Charter a Plane?

If you’re a seasoned traveler, the idea of chartering a private jet to get you where you want to be has certainly crossed your mind a few times. The thought of drifting luxuriously through the sky is often cut short by the imagined prohibitive cost of charter flights.

But do you really know the answer to the question, “How much does it cost to charter a private jet?” If you’ve ever wondered, “How much does it cost to charter a plane?” then this detailed review will help you to find the answers you’ve been searching for.

Before your next trip, be sure to take a look at this in-depth and detailed guide regarding the cost to charter a plane. Private jet charter cost can be an involved subject because it is so dependent on the type of aircraft you plan to charter as well as the method you choose for going about getting your charter. A charter plane cost is dependent upon a number of factors, as you will see in the upcoming sections.

private jet charter costImage from Cessna

Why Pay the Charter Plane Cost?

First, let’s consider why you might want to overlook the potential cost of charter flights.

Private jet charter costs can be extremely prohibitive depending upon your personal financial status, the type of jet you need or desire, and the distance you plan to fly. The cost to charter a plane has to cover the wear and tear on the jet, the fuel that it consumes, and the staff to pilot and maintain the jet.

Even when the charter plane cost is split among a group of people, especially in a larger plane, such as the Gulfstream 550 jet designed to carry up to 17 passengers, the charter flight cost is enormous. At the low end of a potential charter flight cost, this jet could cost $7,000 per hour. Split evenly among 17 people, the charter plane cost still comes to over $400 per person each hour.

So why opt for a private jet charter if the charter plane cost is so exorbitant? The primary reason that most individuals will opt for this option over scheduled airline fare is for the convenience. Individuals who live in cities with smaller airports have the luxury of takeoff being scheduled from these smaller aviation facilities. Some would say that the private jet charter cost is worth it if you can avoid the hustle and bustle of major airports.

The second primary reason people opt to pay the charter jet prices is because of the convenience of scheduling. Set your takeoff time as early or as late as you would like, on whatever day you prefer. With only your pilots to answer to, you have a significantly greater degree of flexibility and freedom than you do through scheduled airline fare.

But how much does it cost to charter a private jet? We will dive further into the specific private jet cost per hour in the next section with a detailed look at the different types of aircrafts available for charter.

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Average Charter Jet Prices

How much does it cost to charter a private jet? The biggest factor in determining private jet charter cost is the size of the aircraft you intend to hire. In this section, we will break down a few basic categories of aircrafts to help provide you with a more accurate average charter flight cost. For a condensed version of the passenger information, distance able to be flown, and the cost, see the chart on private jet charter cost at the end of this section.

Helicopters: Helicopters are the smallest aircrafts you can choose to charter, seating only three to five passengers at a time. Ideal for short flights only, they also come with the lowest average private jet charter cost. Helicopters typically come in around $1,400 per hour for their charter plane cost.

Light Aircrafts: Light aircrafts can hold a few additional passengers when compared to a helicopter, usually seating between six and eight depending on the model. Available for significantly longer flights, the average private jet charter cost for a light aircraft comes in around the low $2,000s. Aircraft rentals, such as PentastarAviantion, put the cost between $2,100 and $2,800.

Mid-Size Aircrafts: There are typically two categories for mid-size aircrafts: a normal mid-size and a super mid-size. The super mid-size aircrafts, such as the Citation X or the Gulfstream, 200 are capable of flying further than the regular mid-size aircrafts (3,600 statute miles compared to 2,700 statute miles). The average cost of charter flights can range from $2,700 all the way to $4,500 depending upon model, passenger size, and the ability of the plane to fly for longer distances. The Citation XLS, the most popular plane to request private jet cost per hour, typically runs around $3,400 per hour.

Heavy Aircrafts: Heavy aircrafts, such as the Gulfstream IV and the Challenger 604, can hold up to sixteen passengers, far surpassing the capacity of the light and mid-size aircrafts. The increased occupancy and ability to fly farther distances should be taken into consideration when considering the charter plane cost. A heavy aircraft will have a much higher charter plan cost, with an average of $5,500 per hour.

Ultra-Range Aircrafts: An ultra-range aircraft can seat up to seventeen passengers, making it very similar in size to the heavy aircrafts. However, the ultra-range aircrafts can also fly up to 7,500 statute miles – a 3,000 statute mile difference over the heavy aircrafts. Of course, the ultra-range private jet cost per hour is substantial, at roughly $8,000 per hour.

Average Private Jet Charter Costs (Per Plane Size)

Aircraft Size

Charter Flight Cost

Number of Passengers

Maximum Statute Miles

Ultra Range$8,00012–177,500

Table: Average Jet Charter Costs

How much does it cost to charter a plane? You could be looking at anywhere from $1,400 to $8,000. The average prices provided for private jet charter cost are only estimates of the actual cost to charter a plane.

You will want to check the pricing on specific models and accommodations necessary to gather the most accurate figure concerning private jet charter cost.

Make sure you know what the private jet cost per hour includes. As you’ll see in the following section, there may be hidden fees involved that you will want to take into account before takeoff.

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How Much Does It Cost to Charter a Plane?

Beyond the cost of charter flights, there are additional fees that you might want to anticipate on your bill. While some charter companies may incorporate these fees into the hourly rates discussed in the previous section, it is equally likely that there could be separate and additional costs of charter flights.

The most common charter jet prices to anticipate are landing fees, ramp fees, fuel prices, segment fees, and federal excise tax. Segment fees are calculated based on the number of passengers ($3.70 per person, usually) and dictated by the government. The federal excise tax is applied to flights at a rate of 7.5 percent. The other three charter flight cost considerations are more likely to fluctuate:

  • Landing fees: Individual landing fees are set by the airport where you intend to land. This private jet charter cost is used to maintain the runways and facilities of the airport. In general, a landing fee will range between $100 and $500, with the potential to be waived if your flight refuels at their facility.
  • Ramp fees: Ramp fees may be listed on a separate line item on your invoice. The ramp fee is simply the amount charged to use a terminal that helps to fund and maintain the airport’s facilities. The charter plane cost may already factor the ramp fees into your landing fees.
  • Fuel surcharges: Your hourly flight rate may include the cost of some fuel, but anything additional that shows up on the invoice may reflect a difference between the projected cost and actual cost. If the weather was particularly bad or fuel ended up being more expensive than when you were originally quoted, your charter jet prices may be higher than you anticipated.

charter flight cost

Image from Gulfstream

Did your charter flight cost come back higher than you expected, even after accounting for those common additions? Business Jet Traveler lists a few other considerations to keep in mind when it comes to a private jet charter cost:

  • Catering: Snacks and beverages tend to be standard airline fare, but meals above and beyond this will incur additional costs depending on what is served. The charter flight cost may occasionally include additional meals. Be sure to check with your company.
  • Positioning fees: If the aircraft you rent is based at a separate facility from where your takeoff and landing is, you may face positioning fees as part of your private jet charter cost.
  • Overnight and per-diem fees: Crews who must stay at the destination for the duration of your trip charge around $600 to $800 each day for their lodging, transportation, and meals. On single-day trips, you may be hit with a per-diem rate of $50 to $100 for meals throughout the day.
  • International fees: Flying out of the country can add up when you consider the cost to charter a plane. International fees would cover taxes in the other country, customs fees, and other odds and ends associated with international travel. This rate will fluctuate depending on where you travel.

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Find Deals on Private Jet Charter Cost

The average cost of charter flights on the Gulfstream 550 per hour is $8,640. According to Forbes, this private jet cost per hour could also score you 74 round trip tickets from New York to Washington, D.C. With the charter flight cost reaching such high numbers, many consumers are now wondering if it may be possible to find a deal and lower the cost to charter a plane.

Aggregate sites, such as Jet Suite, feature deals on private jets with empty seats still available. The catch is that you have to be ready for a spontaneous trip, as most of their bargains are usually next-day deals. The charter flight cost will be lower on these planes, but in some instances, you may have to charter the whole jet.

Another method that can often result in a reduced charter plane cost is to call private companies just a few days in advance of your desired travel dates. Steve King, co-founder of his own private jet charter company, claims that over 40 percent of private flights have empty seats. While this isn’t a sure way to secure a steep discount on a luxurious travel arrangement, it is a good option if you have some flexibility in your travel plans.

Keep in mind that while you may be getting a great deal on the charter plane cost, your deal will often only be for a one-way ticket. You’ll have to consider how you plan to get home before you embark on your journey and end up stranded. Of course, with the money you can save from a discount on the airfare one way, you may be able to charter your plane on the way back.

Conclusion: How Much Does It Cost to Charter a Private Jet?

So, how much does it cost to charter a jet? With the average cost of charter flights coming back with a wide range of numbers, it will be up to you to determine which sort of private jet meets your needs. The more passengers you need to seat and the farther you intend to fly, the higher your anticipated private jet charter cost will be.

Don’t forget to factor in those hidden fees and extra costs that are likely to show up on your invoice. Check with your charter company in advance to see what is included in your private jet cost per hour. The charter flight cost might cover more than you believe it will, but you never know until you ask.

Finding deals on charter jet prices isn’t impossible if you have a great degree of flexibility in your travel plans. Account for your return airfare and give yourself some wiggle room, and you might just find a great deal on the charter flight cost for the way home as well.

The private jet charter cost can be prohibitive for many people, but for those who can afford it, it certainly does offer a level of convenience unavailable from scheduled airline fare. Next time you plan to take a trip, make a few calls to ask, “How much does it cost to charter a jet?”

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