Private Jet Charter vs. First-Class Flights: Which One Is the Best for You?

The ongoing global pandemic has drastically changed how we perceive and value air travel at present. Fortunately, the advancements in aviation and commercial travel has provided comfort and security for travelers around this time. First-class flights and private jet charters, in particular, offer added privacy and assurance for those who are looking for enhanced protection in a time when social distancing is mandatory. Here is an overview of these two options to better help you decide and get the best value suited to your air travel needs. 

Money Matters

Both private jet charters and first-class flights are by no means cheap. On a commercial flight, you pay to rent a seat on the aircraft. That cost is then multiplied based on the number of companions you are traveling with. The larger your party, the higher the cost. Meanwhile, on a private jet, you pay to rent the entire aircraft and whatever capacity it can accommodate. The cost of your flight is based on the number of hours traveled – light jets that can accommodate fewer people over short distances cost the least, while larger cabin jets that can fly farther, longer and seat more people cost the most.

Related article: Introducing the World’s Largest and Longest Range Private Jet

With that said, chartering a private jet is generally still more expensive especially if you are traveling alone. But for executives and high-net-worth individuals whose time is just as valuable as money, this may not matter. For larger groups, the price difference may be small enough to be worthwhile after considering all the conveniences and perks you get for flying private. At the end of the day, the ultimate choice boils down to how much are you willing to spend to meet your requirements.

Check-in Experience

Singapore Airlines’ SilverKris Lounge in Changi Terminal 3, an exclusive terminal for business class and first-class passengers. Photo: UnreservedMedia

First-class passengers truly enjoy a deluxe treatment upon check-in. Most luxury airlines have suites and dedicated lounges that offer spacious and comfortable seating, sleeping/nap rooms, premium shops, and even a cigar bar. However, first-class passengers would still have to conform with airport protocol which involves falling in line for standard security screenings and custom checks in between terminals. They would also need to wait for everyone to board in since they are still part of a commercial flight. 

MJets private jet terminal in Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok is the first and only FBO in Thailand. Photo: MJets

Those who want total privacy and wish to avoid the chaos in airport terminals would be delighted to know that private jet charters have FBOs or Fixed Base Operators. This exclusive feature allows passengers the luxury to have quicker security and customs check. It also lets you have the freedom to arrive in as little as 10 minutes before the flight, compared to first-class travelers who are required to arrive several hours before on a commercial flight. Passengers can also enjoy the entire lounge to themselves while relishing its luxurious services. They can even avoid long walks and be driven straight to the tarmac. Both feature superior experiences for travelers, and regardless of their differences would assure the traveler that they are well-pampered before boarding in the flight. 

In-Flight Features and Experience

Inside the cabin of a Gulfstream G200 private jet. Photo: MJets

Although there are varying differences when it comes to private chartered and first-class flights, both present state-of-the-art and outstanding amenities in-flight. Most high-end aircraft offer enclosed suites with lie-flat beds often sporting massage functions, elaborate lighting and temperature controls, and incomparable gourmet dining options.

You can also find additional features, including entertainment systems for listening to music, watching movies and playing the latest games, high-speed WiFi connection for stable connectivity, and roomy dedicated spaces, such as conference facilities for productivity. Exceptional materials usually adorn the interiors, such as leather, wood, and stonework, for that much-needed exquisite touch.

Thai Airways International’s A380 first-class section with 12 private suites. Photo: Airbus

Aside from exclusivity, one of the biggest factors that distinguishes a private jet from a first-class flight is the bespoke experience where almost anything can be tailored to the requirements of the flyer. Private jets would include your own chef with customized menus suiting your health and taste preferences, a dedicated staff, and provide adjustable and bigger space to accommodate pets and baggage for its passengers.


While both flying options arguably provide comfort, each offers varying nuances in terms of speed and convenience. When crucial factors, such as time, are at stake in every trip, private jet charters grant quick efficiency, as compared to commercial flights conforming to a schedule. The ‘on-demand’ nature of private jets charters allow flyers to travel whenever they want based on their itinerary. Time-consuming layovers and connecting flights are also alleviated, as most private jets have access to thousands of smaller airports worldwide – allowing you to fly closer or directly to your destination. Private charter flights are also beneficial for traveling groups, such as families, who would want to assure the health and safety of each of their family members.

Commercial first-class flights, while less luxurious than private jet charters, are reliable and are the golden standard in travel. Passengers can be assured of the unrivaled quality of service that trusted airlines provide while remaining as a more cost-effective option, particularly for those who are traveling alone.


Featured Photo: Thai Airways


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