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Rent a Private Plane to Save Time and Avoid Travel Hassles

Even if you’ve gotten the best travel insurance, booked the best luxury hotels, and worked out all your transfers with the best companies on the ground, there’s one spot where there’s a good chance something will go wrong: the airport. Even the best-laid plans get waylaid when commercial airlines cancel flights, delay flights, and lose your luggage.

charter a private plane for more comfortable travels

Plus most of the hassles you deal with on vacation—even if you have elite status with an airline—are the bottlenecks at the check-in counter, at the security lines, and when everybody has to cram into a bus to shuttle out to the tarmac. The best way to avoid all that and ensure that the flight part is going to be as smooth as possible is to travel by private plane instead.

If you want to put your money to good use to save time and hassles, traveling on a private plane is one of the best ways to vacation stress-free.

A Quicker Boarding and Security Process

Even if you are flying business class or have Priority Pass access to airport lounges, getting to the airport two or three hours before your flight just to be safe is a pain. Plus those lounges are usually quite crowded now and many don’t exactly feel high-end or exclusive.

If you fly on a private plane, you often go through a different security section that’s only shared with other people using their own plane or an air charter. It will seldom take more than a few minutes to get through, so apart from any necessary immigration lines, you won’t have to budget much extra time before boarding.

Then once you are ready to board, you’ll be in a private waiting area—if you need to wait at all. In some airports you can drive right up to the plane as long as someone is putting your luggage through a screener. If not, you’ll go right from the waiting area to the plane, no mile-long terminals or airport trains to navigate.

A Private Plane Experience in the Sky

Once you are on board the aircraft, a drink in hand, you’ll certainly have a better experience than you would on a commercial flight. The flight attendant(s) are only serving the small number of passengers on board, you’ll have exponentially more legroom, and the seats will recline.

Bombadier private jet

Apart from in the small prop planes used on short jaunts, all the amenities you get on a good business class flight will be in place, including real food on real plates. Wi-Fi will be included and you will have space to get some work done if needed. No strangers are going to be eavesdropping on your conversations either, whether personal or for business.

This flight will also be running on your schedule, not on a time frame devised in a corporate scheduling cubicle. Unless there are weather delays, your group will take off at a time you have picked to work out in the vacation schedule.

Remote Access by Private Plane

As we noted in this article about resorts with their own airstrip, in some cases you can go straight to your vacation spot without having to transfer by road from the closest airport. Besides being more convenient, this can also save a lot of time. Many vacationers get to Las Alamandas in Mexico after traveling for hours by car from Puerto Vallarta. Others fly in on a small plane and land at the resort’s own runway.

For other resorts further south in Costalegre, like the Four Seasons Tamarindo, the new regional airport will shave off even more time. For now though, it’s only open to private aircraft, not commercial flights.

This also applies to some islands you would want to visit, or remote areas in places like Patagonia. A private plane can get to airports that aren’t open to commercial planes or to ones where there’s not enough interest to have regularly scheduled flights. If you charter a private plane, you can land anywhere that small planes are approved to land.

private plane flight in a remote area of Costa Rica

Costs and Arrangements for Private Plane Travel

It’s difficult to estimate what your trip on a private plane will cost since besides the obvious factors like distance and group size, you’ve also got to consider the type of plane and the pricing structure.

Some customers buy flight time on a subscription basis, some lease a plane long-term to have on call, others book flights individually as needed. For short distances, a turbo prop plane might be fine for a quicker journey from A to B, especially if the main purpose is to travel together in a small group and get to the destination right away.

Chartering a turbo plane will often cost less than $10,000 one way for the group. Hit the bathroom in the waiting area before boarding though: these planes usually don’t have bathrooms.

chartering a private prop plane for short distances

The next step up is a light jet, which is a small but faster plane meant for groups of four usually. These can get you further, for a trip of two or three hours, for instance.

For longer flights with more legroom and comfort, however, a private jet will be a best bet, serving groups of between 5 and 20 in comfort. Naturally that will be more expensive, but the larger the group, the closer it gets to the price of transporting everyone commercially in business class.

A four-hour trip on a Gulfstream G150, which holds eight, will often cost between $30K and $35K to cross the United States, but can be less in Central America or South America when you’re not going so far. Larger “heavy jets” such as a Gulfstream G450 or Bombadier Global 6000 can reach $100K, but they’re capable of crossing an ocean before refueling. You could potentially charter one all the way to most of the countries we cover in Luxury Latin America from the USA, or from Canada to Mexico.

Article by Timothy

Timothy Scott is the founder and editor of Luxury Latin America and has been covering the region as a travel journalist since the mid-2000s. He has visited each country we cover multiple times and is based in a UNESCO World Heritage city in central Mexico, where he owns a home. See contact information here.

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