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The Absolute Best Ways To Fly Private Or Semi-Private

Whether you are traveling for business or for fun, private aviation offers a range of benefits. You can avoid the long lines at the airport, crowded flights and other hassles that come with commercial travel, and arrive at your destination on time, feeling relaxed.

It’s one of the best options if you value comfort, privacy and convenience when traveling for business or pleasure. With private aviation, you gain the freedom to choose your own itinerary, select your preferred aircraft and enjoy a personalized experience that is tailored to your needs.

In recent years, the private aviation industry has seen tremendous growth, leading to an increase in the number of options available to you. From chartering a private jet to purchasing fractional shares of an airplane to learning to fly yourself, there are many ways to enjoy this type of luxury travel.

So, whether you’re a frequent flier looking for the ultimate vacation, a business professional needing regular access to a jet or an aspiring pilot learning how to fly, here are the best ways to fly private on your excursion.

1) Charter A Private Jet

Chartering a private jet is one of the most popular ways to fly privately. This option allows you to rent an entire aircraft and customize your itinerary according to your specific needs. Private jet charters offer unparalleled convenience, flexibility and privacy, which makes them a popular choice for both business and leisure travelers.

One of the main advantages of chartering a private jet is that you have complete control over your journey. You can choose when and where you want to fly, and you don’t have to worry about missing a flight or dealing with long lines and delays at the airport. Private jets also offer a higher level of comfort than commercial airlines, with amenities such as plush seating, gourmet catering and in-flight entertainment.

Chartering a private jet is often more cost-effective compared to purchasing a private aircraft outright, especially if you only need to fly occasionally. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, private jet rental can provide you with a truly customized level of travel.

2) Fractional Ownership

Fractional ownership is another option for private fliers, allowing you to purchase a share in an aircraft, which then entitles you to a certain number of access hours per year. Fractional ownership is sometimes a more cost-effective option for frequent travelers who require more than just occasional private flights.

Under a fractional ownership program, you share ownership with other individuals or businesses, usually anywhere from one-eighth to one-half of the plane. There are some pros and cons to this approach – for example, some programs may require a minimum commitment of several years, while carrying certain restrictions on when and where you can fly. Also, your share price may fluctuate based on market conditions, which affects its resale value. 

However, one of the main advantages of fractional ownership is that it can be a more cost-effective option than owning a private jet outright. By sharing ownership of the aircraft, splitting the costs of maintenance, inspections, storage and other expenses among shareholders. Plus, some fractional ownership programs may provide a range of additional services, like catering, ground transportation and concierge, making your travel experience that much more enjoyable.

3) Jet Card Membership

If you’re a business professional or enjoy high-end personal travel, a jet card membership may be a smart choice for you. These memberships allow you to purchase a set number of flight hours on a private jet, giving you regular access to destinations around the world.

Jet cards are similar to fractional ownership, in that you’re allotted a certain number of hours within an aircraft, however, you do not actually own a share of the private jet. Instead, you are essentially prepaying for a certain number of flight hours that you can use at your discretion. Plus, you get access to a wide range of aircraft fleets, rather than just one plane.

Another useful feature of a jet card membership is its flexibility. Members can typically use their flight hours for any destination within the provider’s service area, and can often book flights on short notice. This makes it a popular option for busy executives, frequent travelers, and anyone who values convenience and time savings.

In terms of how they work, some programs may offer as few as 10 hours a year while others may offer hundreds of hours, and they generally cost about $1,000 per hour. While the cost of a jet card membership can vary depending on the provider, the type of aircraft available and the level of service offered, the card allows you access to a private jet without the responsibility of owning one.

4) Private Jet Membership

Since the pandemic, private aviation memberships have emerged as a popular option for individuals and businesses seeking a more exclusive experience. These memberships provide members with unparalleled flexibility and convenience, allowing them to access a fleet of private jets at a discounted rate, without having to deal with the hassles of traditional airline travel.

Unlike jet cards and fractional shares, which are typically limited to a pre-set amount of flying hours or geared toward specific aircraft, private aviation memberships provide access to a whole fleet of jets and limitless flying hours. This means that members can enjoy the flexibility of being able to fly as often as they need, on their own terms.

5) Semi-Private Charter Flights

For those looking to save some money and don’t mind riding with other passengers, semi-private charters are a great option. Similar to a rideshare on the ground, semi-private airplane passengers share a 15- to 30-seat aircraft with others who are traveling to the same destination, making it more affordable than chartering a private jet on your own.

Fewer passengers means shorter wait times, faster security checks and more personalized attention from the flight crew. On top of that, semi-private charters often offer flexible scheduling options and the ability to book last-minute flights.

These flights typically operate on a set schedule and route, making them a good option for those who can make adjustments in their travel plans. And, unlike traditional commercial flights, semi-private charters offer more luxury and exclusivity, with personalized services and amenities similar to those offered through fully private charters.

6) Fly Yourself After Becoming A Certified Pilot

Flying yourself after becoming a certified pilot is another great way to fly privately for several reasons. First, it provides you with a sense of autonomy over your trip. You get the chance to design your itinerary and fly at your own pace, without having to worry about the schedules or delays that come with commercial airlines or private jet charter companies.

Second, flying yourself is often a much more cost-effective way to travel privately compared to the other options on this list, and sometimes even compared to commercial airlines or driving, as well. Depending on the type of aircraft you rent and the length of your flight, the cost can compete with any type of last-minute airfare you’ll find. This can be particularly beneficial if you need to travel frequently or to remote destinations that are not serviced by commercial or private airlines.

And, beyond making you a better business leader, flying yourself provides you with a unique sense of accomplishment and satisfaction – and it’s just plain fun. Becoming a certified pilot requires an investment of time and effort, but it should be considered an investment in yourself seeing as how rewarding and fulfilling an experience it is. Once you’ve obtained your license, flying yourself is a great way to put your skills to use and travel the world!

What Type Of Pilot License Do I Need To Fly Privately?

If you are interested in flying privately, you will need to obtain a pilot license that allows you to operate an aircraft for personal use. The two most common types of pilot licenses for beginners are the Private Pilot License (PPL) and the Sport Pilot License.

The PPL is the most common pilot license and allows you to fly small aircraft for personal use. To obtain a PPL, you will need to complete a certain number of flight hours, typically around 40-60 hours, and pass a written exam and a practical flight test. The PPL allows you to fly small, single-engine aircraft in clear weather conditions. One big advantage to this license is that you’re allowed to carry passengers, so you can bring along family, friends and business colleagues.

The Sport Pilot License is a more affordable and easier-to-obtain license that allows you to fly smaller, lighter aircraft. This license requires fewer flight hours, typically around 20-30 hours, and a less rigorous medical exam. The Sport Pilot License has some restrictions, such as a limit on the number of passengers you can carry, and the types of aircraft you can fly. 

Which license you choose will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and flying goals. If you plan to fly frequently and want to have the ability to fly larger and more complex aircraft, the PPL may be the best option for you. If you are looking for a more affordable and less time-intensive option, the Sport Pilot License may be a good choice.

Join A Flying Club & Fly More For Less

As a pilot, joining a flying club is an excellent way to get in the air more often at a lower cost. Flying clubs are organizations that provide their members with access to aircraft and training at a reduced rate. Members pay a monthly or yearly fee, and in return, they have the ability to rent aircraft and take lessons at a discounted rate.

In addition to discounted rental rates, flying clubs also offer a range of other benefits. For example, many flying clubs organize social events, fly-ins and group flights, which can be a great way to connect with other pilots and aviation enthusiasts. Plus, you’ll gain access to a group of like-minded individuals who are just as passionate about aviation.

Joining a flying club is also a smart way to save money on aircraft maintenance and storage costs. Flying clubs often have their own maintenance facilities and hangars, which means that members can take advantage of lower rates if they own a small aircraft.

Are You Interested In Flying Privately? Contact Inflight Today!

Whether you’re in need of high-quality plane rental, top-level flight training or access to the Twin Cities’ best flying club, Inflight will get you where you need to go. From one of the state’s largest aircraft fleets, affordable plane rates with high availability, and the top private pilot certification programs in Minnesota, our team is ready to help you soar.

For additional information on Inflight training programs, contact us today or call (952) 698-3000.