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Do You Save Money Flying Yourself?

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, the cost of airline tickets can start to add up. Not to mention the stress and hassle of dealing with commercial flights. That begs the questions – is there a better way to travel that’s both reasonably affordable and comfortable? With a pilot certification, you can gain many of the financial benefits from flying yourself. 

Here are a few reasons why you should consider skipping the airlines and fly yourself to your next destination. 

How Much Does it Cost to Fly Yourself?

When you rent a plane, the costs vary widely from company to company. At Inflight, for example, we stick to a fair pricing structure – a rental Cessna 152, for example, starts at $125/hour retail with special pricing options for long-haul flights. Contact your local airport or fixed-base operator to find out more about airplane rental prices in your area.

Beyond plane rental price, determining how much it costs to fly yourself vs. on a commercial airline generally depends on several pieces of criteria:

  • Travel Distance

Whether you save money or not flying yourself will heavily depend on the trip length. Usually, short- and medium-length trips are more affordable in your own airplane, and day trips are almost always more affordable, particularly on short notice, when you fly yourself. Long-distance trips tend to get more expensive in private airplanes due to things like refueling, airport fees, and multi-day rental and accomodation costs.

  • Trip Length

Sometimes, you can get insanely good airline ticket deals if you are able to be flexible with the arrival/departure dates. Of course, you miss out on the opportunity to plan your own itinerary or the true freedom to arrive and leave when you wish when you fly through the airlines. 

  • Number of Passengers

For a larger party, you’ll need a larger plane. This increases the rental costs, fuel requirements, hangar space, and so on. A small propeller plane normally holds two to four people total, while twin-engine jets can hold up to a dozen and more.

  • Purpose of Trip

Depending on what you’re traveling for, trip expenses may be reimbursed or written-off on taxes. For example, if you are flying via company jet or rental aircraft to a business meeting, your company will likely reimburse you for expenses incurred like fuel, oil and parking fees. In a similar fashion, if you own or rent a plane, many business expenses incurred while flying can be written off on your taxes, providing another way to save.

Other Financial Benefits of Flying Yourself

Of course, there are other financial benefits of flying yourself that you may not have considered. 

  • Opportunity Costs

Flying yourself saves you a ton of time overall – and when it comes to traveling, from vacation to business and beyond, saving time can be worth extra costs. You don’t have to worry about getting to the airport early, hitting long security lines, waiting around at the gate, dealing with lost luggage, queuing up at the car rental counter. All those problems disappear when you’re the captain of your own ship, so to speak.

  • How Often You Fly

If you tend to fly frequently, like hundreds of flights per year, then investing in an airplane and flying yourself will save you money over the long term. 

  • Free Up Vacation Itineraries

When you can arrive and depart on your own terms, you can spend more time relaxing on vacation. Rather than cram everything into the timeframe supplied by the airlines, stretch out and enjoy the freedom to live out your impulses by flying yourself to a vacation destination.

  • Gain Professional Advantages

There are a number of professional advantages to obtaining a pilot license, whether you’re a CEO, small business owner or working your way up the corporate ladder. Impressing clients, making those short-notice meetings and access to any remote corner of the country are just some of the many benefits of flying yourself for business.

Are you interested in obtaining your pilot license?

Whether for personal or professional reasons, flying yourself can save you a considerable amount of money. And, with a pilot license, you gain complete control of how you travel. At Inflight Pilot Training, our team of certified flight instructors is dedicated to helping you achieve your goals when it comes to learning how to fly.   To learn more about our pilot training programs, contact us today at (952) 698-3000, or fill out a form on our contact page.