A Guide for First-Time Private Flyers

Mar 18, 2024

If you’re new to the world of private flying, it can all seem a bit daunting, but flying on a private jet is an easier and all-around more pleasant experience than flying commercial. In fact, if you have never flown on a private jet before, forget everything you think you know about air travel, and welcome to a whole new world, one that revolves around you. 

But before you take off on your first trip on a private jet, here is our list of things you need to know about flying private. 

Pricing Models for Private Flying 

When deciding to take the leap to private aviation, there are many factors to consider, including the type of pricing model that works for you. Below are some examples: 

Private Jet Ownership 

Purchasing your own aircraft may seem like the most obvious route, but it involves a multitude of expenses that can quickly add up — crew, maintenance fuel and repairs for example. A new private jet can run anywhere from $3 million to $90 million and can sit on the runway more than it gets flown. 

Fractional Ownership   
Fractional private aircraft ownership is a popular alternative for those who want to enjoy the convenience of private jet ownership without full maintenance and financial obligation. Multiple individuals share the costs and usage of a private jet, giving them partial ownership of the aircraft. Each owner receives an allotted number of flight hours per year for the private jet. 

Jet Cards   
This is a debit-style program that provides guaranteed access to business aircraft in exchange for upfront deposits or monthly fees. Typically, the private flyer purchases time in 25, 50, or 100-hour increments. 

On Demand Charter   
This is where private travelers book an individual aircraft when it is needed, also known as “buy as you fly,” which provides a lot of flexibility. Whether you’re an occasional flyer or travel frequently, XO offers premium private flight options with competitive pricing and no required ownership or long-term commitment. 

Private Jet Memberships 

Memberships are a beneficial option. Flyers can earn rewards — up to 4% in loyalty credit with every flight — and receive special advantages each time they fly. Any unused portions of XO Membership deposits are refundable. Memberships don't have blackout dates or expiration dates and offer benefits from and priority fleet access to valuable travel and event opportunities from our curated partner portfolio

Choosing The Best Private Jet for Your Destination 

Chartering a private jet provides you with many more options than flying commercial. For example, XO, the world’s premier private aviation network, provides access to more than 2,400 private aircraft across all cabin classes, so you can get anywhere, anytime. You can narrow down the type of aircraft you need based on how far you are traveling. A private flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale could be handled by a light jet, such as the Citation Ultra; however, if you wish to get from New York all the way to Tokyo for your private jet vacation, an ultra-long-range jet like the Global 7500 is what you would need. Vista has the world’s largest business fleet of Global 7500s — with 18 in the Vista Members’ fleet of more than 300 private aircraft. Clients can book flights through XO with no upfront investment, ownership requirement, or long-term commitment.  

Selecting A Private Charter Provider 

Now that you know what category of aircraft you need, you must select a charter provider for your journey. Choosing the correct charter provider is very important and, in addition to having the class of aircraft you require, should be done so based on safety record, operational capabilities, and quality of service. A reputable provider will take the time to explain the pros and cons of each type of aircraft and answer any other questions you may have. XO aviation experts are available day or night to provide guidance and steer you in the right direction. 

Safety is of the utmost importance when dealing with aviation, so look for a company that prioritizes safety and meets or exceeds all necessary regulations. XO employs a rigorous, recurring safety audit process for all third-party operators that participate in our alliance fleet of 2,100+ aircraft, spanning all cabin classes. It is through this process that XO identifies trusted operators that share our commitment to passenger safety and provides Members and clients access to safe, seamless private aviation experiences worldwide. 

Seamless Private Travel 

One of the greatest advantages of flying on a private jet instead of a commercial flight is that you will not have to go through the traditional security screening process. Don’t worry about having to arrive hours before your flight, taking off your shoes and belt, and removing everything from your pockets. Just arrive at the fixed-base operator (FBO), bring a valid state-issued ID for domestic flights and a passport for international flights, and you are ready to enjoy your private jet vacation. 

Of course, with the convenience of driving right up to your private jet and heading past airport security before departure, you no longer have to be at the airport hours before your scheduled departure time and wait in long lines. You should arrive just 20 to 30 minutes before your scheduled departure time. 

Elevated Service 

When flying on a private charter you’ll receive an elevated level of service, and that can extend through the entire private travel experience. Through the global infrastructure of Vista, XO Members and clients have the benefit of more than 4,400 aviation experts working across global operations and service, rivaling many large airlines.  

Experts are available day or night to help book flights and personally connect with you, including our Client Services team who can tailor each flight experience to meet your individual needs. Languages spoken include Arabic, Russian, Spanish, French, and English.   

At XO, personalization means: 

  • Fast response times
  • Private flight quotes delivered quickly and efficiently
  • A personal, on-call, private aviation team. Service teams build client profiles to anticipate individual preferences including aircraft types, preferred FBOs, inflight needs — pets, food, wine — on-ground transportation and concierge services
  • Accommodations for multiple locations, remote destinations, large groups, and even unusual inflight needs — from exotic pets to surfboards
  • Cabin Hosts arranged on request for in-network flights
  • Expertly trained Cabin Hosts and bespoke catering on private aircraft in the Vista Members’ fleet
  • Every flight is monitored throughout its duration, ready for weather issues, potential recovery needs, or itinerary changes

One More Thing You Should Know Before You Fly Private 

There is one more thing you need to know before you fly on a private jet for the first time, and that is just how quick and easy it is to book your first private charter through XO. 

Download our mobile app, visit our website or contact to an aviation expert to learn more.