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Trump Force One. Probably the most famous of all luxury private jets. It’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars yet it’s mostly a heap of junk - from an engineer’s perspective that is, not the 24-karat-gold bathrooms.

How To: Avoid the Overpriced World Of Luxury Private Jets

But that’s how the world of luxury private jets usually works. You’ve probably heard about celebrities owning ostentatious planes, perhaps seen photos of the palatial interiors. The message is usually: look at the rich people flying private, you can’t afford it.

True, you probably can’t afford a Trump Force One. But flying on private jets is far more affordable and accessible than most people realize. This article will show you how, especially how to avoid the overpriced world of luxury private jets.

Luxury Private Jets - Look Beyond The Hype

Jay-Z has got 99 problems but presents from his wife aren’t one of them. He received a Bombadier Challenger 850 as a gift, as a father’s day present. It cost $40 million. Read the stories and you’ll see the same photos: a flash interior, cream colored living room, a couple of glistening bedrooms. But you don’t judge luxury private jets on how they are decorated. You judge them on how they fly.

Which brings us to Trump Force One. Forget the gold laden seat belts, or seats embroidered with a Trump family crest. It’s a quarter-century-old Boeing 757 with a pair of forceful but inefficient Rolls-Royce RB211 turbofan engines. All the hype suggests airbourne opulence for the world’s 0.00001%, but luxury private jets are mostly rich people getting ripped off by private jet brokers. In reality, the hype is just 0.00001% of the private jet market.

Luxury Private Jets - Style Over Substance

What’s wrong with valuing style over substance, especially when it comes to traveling? Imagine if the roads were dominated by Hyundai Elantra and Kia Optima. Or Skodas were parked down every street in Europe. We want our heads turned by the odd lowrider or Aston Martin DB5. We want to drive something with a little more umph, rather than purchasing purely on fuel economy and long-term price. And hands up those who were ripped off buying a slightly over the top sports car because, well, because you wanted a slightly over the top sports car. So hey, if you can afford a $40 million luxury private jet then get yourself a jet broker and fly away.

But let’s think practically for a moment. You spend thousands of hours in your car each year, so something slick and comfortable is kind-of important. How much time are you likely to spend on a private jet? Most private jet cards start at 50 hours per year and many customers don’t even use those hours. For most people, a private air charter is a convenience to take up a few times a month, or a few times a year. Nobody even sees the plane you are flying in. You don’t need style. You need substance, and a price-point that allows you to utilize private flights more often.

Private Air Charter - Substance Over Style

If you were flying Copenhagen to Stockholm in the early 90s there’s a good chance you flew on Trump Force One. The plane started its life as a workhorse for the now defunct Sterling Airlines. By 1994 it was flying Mexico City to Monterrey after being absorbed by another budget airline, Taesa. It was in the very last generation of planes to use the Rolls-Royce RB211, the turbofan engine that eventually bankrupt Rolls-Royce and forced its nationalization. As Donald Trump told Business Jet Traveler, “I bought a beautiful 757, I like the sleekness, the lines.” It’s not necessarily a bad engine, just not the ideal choice if you’re just two passengers hopping across the US.

And that’s where the world of luxury private jets varies significantly to the world of private air charter. Flying private saves you time. Rather than an extravagance, it’s the most efficient and practical way to travel. It allows you to get more day out of your day. The plane touches down closer to your final destination and there is none of the waiting required of commercial flying. You need substance over style. You need an efficient and practical airplane, not one of the luxury private jets.

Private Air Charter vs Luxury Private Jets

Luxury private jets have traditionally been used to advertise wealth. They are one of the reasons that flying on a private jet has been considered the realm of billionaires, or at least those who drive a different car each day of the week. Check out Beyonce, she gifts her husband a Bombadier Challenger. You don’t hear about Bob, who charters a Embraer Phenom 300 to take his team of engineers on four site inspections in one day. Wow, check out John Travolta, his Florida house has two runways. Whereas John the senior sales rep charters a Cessna C560 Citation V to close deals at mission critical moments.

With luxury private jets there are photos of plasma screens, in-air parties and marble bathrooms. With private air charters there’s perhaps an Instagram shot of boarding the jet, but nobody really pays any notice. Which is good. Because when you lose the hype you can strip private jets down to their raw essentials - a safe and convenient mode of travel that saves you time, and is far more affordable than you may realize.

The Price of Luxury Private Jets vs Private Air Charter

Jim Carrey’s Gulfstream V cost $59 million. But four people can fly New York to Boston in 40 minutes for $1000 each. Harrison Ford owns eight planes but you don’t need to own any jets to fly 1000 miles across California, touching down in different airports to meet clients, make deals, improve your business or simply go watch the Sunday football game. Rather than needing Harrison Ford’s fleet of luxury private jets, seven people can make that California flight for less than $1000 per person.

Owning luxury private jets requires significant pre-investment. You have to buy the jet, then think about operating costs, maintenance costs, runway fees, airport taxes, and a place to store the thing. When you charter a private jet you get a single price that includes everything. It’s point to point, A to B, just like the price you would get when ordering a Uber - just without the sneaky peak-fare percentage that gets whacked on every time it’s raining in the city. With private air charters you just need to search for the best price, select your plane, pay and fly.

Ease and Simplicity - Private Air Charters vs Luxury Private Jets


Okay, there must be a stratospheric coolness factor that goes with boarding your own luxury private jets. It’s got to feel good when taking those few steps across the runway. But before you board your own plane you must: organize a pilot - and ensure they are suitably experienced with an unblemished history; coordinate landing times with your destination; arrange de-icing, airport fees, and the hundred other things that an operator will do. True, the super rich have somebody to do this for them, but that costs money as well. It costs Donald Trump almost $50,000 for every hour his luxury private jet is in the sky. And he owns it!

Think simplicity for private air charters. Everything is done through a certified FAA Part 135 Operator. All you have to do is turn up at the airport. You don’t even have to turn up on time. It’s your air charter so phone ahead and the plane waits for you. There’s no need to employ anyone or think about the incredible depreciation luxury private jet are going through. Okay, so there isn’t the same coolness factor. But there’s no time to think about being cool when you’ve got places to be and things to do. Flying private isn’t an extravagance, it’s the practical way for you to get more done. And if that means being more Kia and less Aston Martin then so be it.

Doesn’t Private Air Charter Require Serious Pre-Investment?

Luxury private jets are expensive. Okay, you get it. You’re not looking to buy a jet off an oil sheik and park it on the driveway. All you want is to get where you need to go, quickly and efficiently. So what are the options? Owning part of an airplane was one option, something in the industry known as fractional jet ownership. That approach was mostly superseded by private jet cards. With jet cards you pre-purchase a set number of hours on a specific aircraft. Then you cash in those hours when you need to fly. So as long as you have a disposable $50,000 for an entry-level jet card (or $100,000 for most of them), then you can fly.

But private air charter actually requires zero pre-investment. With all the luxury private jets and private jet cards that's a very popular misconception - flying private requires serious pre-investment. But do you pay for 50 hours in advance to travel in New York City cabs? Must you pre-pay for multiple taxi rides just so you can set off on your first? No. So why do that when you fly on a private air charter. The charter industry encourages the idea that pre-investment is required, just like the gym encourages you to sign up and pay for 12 months when all you are likely to do is pump a few dumbbells for two weeks then sit in the sauna.

You need exactly zero to start flying on a private jet.

Avoid Luxury Private Jets - Here’s the Cheap and Efficient Way To Fly Private

  1. Forget what you’ve read about luxury private jets and expensive jet cards and all the other industry hype that makes flying private seem like a distant realm.
  2. Use the Airvel App or to search for air charters. Enter the destinations, dates and number of passengers.
  3. Compare the different aircraft, their prices and their amenities.
  4. Select the air charter that is best for you. Or return to the search and try other destinations.
  5. Pay for your charter to confirm. Or send an invite to friends, that way you can pay for a single seat and friends can pay for theirs.
  6. Customize all aspects of your flight and make whatever changes you need.
  7. Fly.

If you are new to all this then contact Airvel’s Customer Experience team. They can talk you through airports, aircraft, options and considerations. They can find you the best deal without you having to do anything.

With luxury private jets you have an expensive behemoth that sounds cool but is a hassle to get off the ground.

Private air charter with Airvel is the best way to fly anywhere, anytime, at the best price.



About Author

Joseph Wright
Joseph Wright

Joe doesn't know too much about the private aviation industry. He's a blogger and writer, more comfortable throwing a football than inspecting a jet engine. He us part of a new generation of flyers who are choosing to fly private instead of using commercial airlines. And he sometimes blogs about that for Airvel.

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