If you’re a frequent flyer, you probably know better than anyone the stress and hassle of flying on an airline. Busy security checks, redeye flights, expensive food and cramped coach seats usually don’t add up to a pleasant experience.
But, for those travelers that find themselves constantly taking to the sky, there is another option that eliminates the burden of flying on an airline: obtain your private pilot certificate and fly yourself wherever you need to go. Have an early afternoon meeting in Texas tomorrow, but you’re in Minnesota? Not to worry – you can wake up in the morning, take off in your own private aircraft after you’ve had your cup of coffee and be there by noon.
So, if you’re sick of long lines, crowded terminals and other airport inconveniences, you may benefit from becoming a certified pilot. Here are the top advantages of flying yourself versus flying on an airline.
Obviously, convenience is one of the biggest advantages to flying yourself over choosing an airline. With a private pilot certificate, you don’t have to fly out of busy hub airports unless you choose to. You can take off when and where you want and avoid all the inconveniences normally seen at large commercial airports.
While private flying carries the stigma of being a luxury that’s only available to the affluent, that stereotype couldn’t be more wrong. Obtaining your private pilot certificate in the United States costs individuals around $7,000 to $12,000. When you consider the price of plane tickets, especially if you’re flying multiple times a month, it can pay for itself within a year.
For example, if you’re spending $200 on a plane ticket three times a month, it will take under a year to reach $7,000 in ticket costs (and that’s not including other travel expenses). In many cases, the more luxurious choice of flying privately can actually turn out to make the most financial sense.
Fixed Base Operator Access
When you choose to fly privately, you will take off from an airfield that’s called a Fixed Base of Operation (FBO). Private planes take off from an FBO instead of the commercial terminal of a busy airport to make sure that pilots and passengers on both sides of the aviation spectrum remain separated and safe. When you fly from an FBO, you receive free parking in their secure lot, as well as shuttles to and from the tarmac. Transport drivers will aid you in loading bags onto the aircraft.
No More Security Checks
Flying yourself saves you the frustration of going through the dreaded TSA check lines. No longer will you have to be at the airport a minimum of two hours before your flight (or earlier!) If you’re late for your flight, a private plane sits there and waits – you won’t have to sprint through terminals to catch a flight because the security line was too long.
Keep Your Personal Items – Well, Personal
In a similar vein, when you go through a TSA check, it can feel less like you’re being protected and more like your privacy is being invaded. Is anyone else confused about the fact that passengers have to remove their shoes and belts before getting into an x-ray machine that can see directly through anything? Heaven forbid you forget to pull out your laptop or have more than 3.4 ounces of liquid in your bag, or else your luggage is likely to be rummaged through by a careless employee, wrinkling up your nice clothes and disorganizing all of your items you had conveniently placed atop your carry-on for the plane ride. With a private pilot license, the over-the-top strip searches are over.
While a private captain has the right to search passengers’ bags should he have suspicions, there’s no x-ray machine, wand check, or removal of shoes, belts, watches, jewelry and other clothing. All you need to do is show up and take off.
Get More Work Done
Another big advantage to flying yourself is the time you’ll have to get more work done. For those businesspeople that fly often for work, this can be especially crucial. On a private flight, the only passengers aboard are those that were invited. While you may be busy flying, your colleagues can hold meetings, take phone calls or use the in-flight wireless connection to communicate with correspondents via email. There are no screaming babies in the row behind or distracting announcements from flight attendants that keep your team from doing your work.
Additionally, private flights give you and your team the ability to visit multiple destinations in one day or change flight times and destinations when needed. You can cover more ground and attend more meetings that are located in different cities. On overnight flights, if there is room in the cabin, beds may even be available so passengers can catch some shuteye.
No More Pretzels and Soda (Unless That’s What You Want)
It would be amusing if it wasn’t such a blatant rip-off – the fact that you spend hundreds of dollars, agree to an invasive security search and given a cramped coach seat, and the most the airlines do in return is give you a measly bag of pretzels and half a can of Coca-Cola. Many times, they offer you absolutely nothing in terms of food and beverage.
Unless that’s your prerogative, when you fly private, you get to pre-order what you want to eat and drink and when you want to consume it. No more waiting for the cart to come all the way to your seat in row 44, your stomach will be satisfied the whole flight.
No More Lost Luggage
There’s no sugarcoating it: the biggest nightmare scenario of any flyer is lost luggage. When that dreaded moment arises, you seem lost, like you have no control over your personal belongings and whether you might get them back. And, well, the truth is – you do have absolutely no control of your luggage when you take a commercial flight. It goes through too many hands and sorting systems to reach the intended destination every time.
If you find yourself landing in strange cities only to find out your luggage is 1,000 miles in the opposite direction, getting a private pilot certificate may be a good alternative for you. Private passengers are always with their belongings, bringing them directly to the plane and taking them directly off, so there’s no reason to worry that luggage will be lost, damaged or sent to the wrong city.
If You’re Sick of Airlines, Obtain Your Private Pilot License Today
If you’re sick of cramped cabins, obnoxious passengers, expensive tickets and invasive security checks that come with flying on an airline, consider getting your private pilot license and take advantage of the freedom it affords.
Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just fly a few times a year, there’s nothing better than being the pilot in command of your own private jet. When you can set your own itinerary, you will ultimately reduce the amount of stress traveling on airlines puts on your mind and body.
Ready to get started on obtaining your private pilot license so you can fly anywhere? Contact Inflight today and find out what other huge advantages flying yourself has over flying on an airline. Let’s take off on a new adventure together!