What is a Charter Flight?

This is a question we hear quite often, so let me try to answer it for you.

A charter flight is a flight that is requested by a private entity (you) from a company (the operator) that offers airplanes that can be rented for private use. Still sounds complex huh?

Let’s look at it this way. Most are familiar with flying on an airline; a commercial airline. To do this, you go to a website or get on the phone ☎️ and make the booking.

In this case, you are traveling with an airline at a pre-set time (a scheduled flight) with other passengers whom you may or may not know.

With a charter flight, you use a website or a phone ☎️ (usually its a phone) and make the booking; so far, the two are the same, except that you are traveling with a private company (a charter airline operator) at whatever time you desire.

You rent the entire airplane for yourself, either singly or with your family and/or friends.

Gulfstream G650ER
Gulfstream G650ER

You usually leave from a private airport and in many cases are provided with ground transportation to take you to your final destination.

Just when you thought it was simple, there are actually different types of charter flights, let’s take a look.

Private Charters

This is the most common type of charter flights and what is described above. It’s where you rent the entire plane for you only or you and your family and friends.

Affinity Charters

This is where you share the chartered flight with people you don’t know.  So you just pay for the seat you are occupying, not the entire airplane. You might hear this being called crowdsharing the flight.

Cargo Charters

The airplane is tented for the sole purpose of carrying cargo.

Public Charters

This is when the flight is chartered by a company for the purpose of taking their customers to their destinations. So maybe a tour company will charter a flight to take you from the commercial airport to their resort. Kind of like what the sports team do when they charter an airplane from say an airline.

Usually the airplanes used for charter flights are smaller holding about 3 passengers at a minimum but averaging about 9 or so.

The charter company handles all the flight logistics, you as a passenger just shows up and you’re done.

You still have to do some kind of airport security before boarding the airplane and documents are checked and if you have to get a visa or health requirements for the place you’re going that is also done.

Some charter operators provide special meal services and even flight attendants. They tend to your every need for a price.

Have you ever taken a charter flight?

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