Can You Buy a Seat on a Private Jet?

In the last few years, there’s been a lot of talk about bringing the Uber business model of flight-sharing to private aviation, which has a lot of potential travelers asking, “Can you buy a seat on a private jet?”

While there are private jet charter providers that do sell single seats on a private jets, Stratos Jet Charters does not. We believe client safety is the most important factor to consider when booking charter flights, and we believe it’s safer for all involved if entire aircrafts are chartered instead of single seats. 

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Insight into the Demand for Semi-private Jets

The interior cabin of a Lear 60 mid-size jet.

In February of 2019, the Department of Transportation allowed private jet charter brokers to sell single seats on private jet charters. This is likely attributed to flyers seeking to buy a seat on a private jet in parallel with private jet providers looking for new ways to attract potential private flyers.

As the pandemic swept across the globe in early 2020, it created more first-time private flyers than ever before. It also opened the doors to savvy travelers looking for alternative methods of travel as commercial airlines cancelled flights in an effort to curb the rate of transmission of the virus. When the shared-flight model emerged, it was likely implemented to help keep travelers travelling, but also provide those same travelers with a cost-effective alternative method of flying privately.

Since several of these travelers were hoping to cash in on the affordability aspect of the model, they inadvertently increased demand, which drove up the rates.

Private Jet Seats for Sale Increase Charter Costs

In the last few years, the private aviation industry crashed through high-demand record ceiling, which has limited the available supply of aircraft that are registered and available for Part 135 private jet charters.

Stratos Jet Charters CEO and found Joel Thomas highlights this key issue by saying, “The supply of private air charter aircraft is reduced by the scheduling of public charters. This drives up the rates for private jet charters and shifts the focus of private aviation away from it being a tool for travel to a mere luxury.”   

So when you buy a seat on a private jet, you may think you’re getting a deal at the time, but this practice will ultimately further increase demand and make flying privately more expensive than it currently is.

The Less Luxurious Side of Private Aviation

The pandemic has changed the face of private jet travel in many ways.

Some travelers believe that flight-sharing a private jet detracts from the essence of flying privately and puts this method of flying in the same neighborhood as commercial travel. Though there are still many perks, like fewer points of contact, fast and easy check-in, and more, the shared-flight business model ultimately cheapens the luxury travel experience.

During a pandemic, it can also pose health risks to all parties as well. When the spare seats on private jets are sold to strangers, your comfort and safety may become compromised. In addition to wearing a mask during your entire flight, you can still become exposed to viruses due to prolonged contact with the other passengers outside of your business or family cohort.

Some of other downsides involved with flight sharing include:

  • Limited or zero privacy
  • Reduced luggage capacity
  • Not being able to travel with pets
  • Reduced itinerary flexibility

Booking a private jet charter without selling the additional seats to strangers is safer, and ultimately, more affordable in the long run.

So why book the entire aircraft with Stratos?

Since we began our journey in 2006, we’ve also been client focused. Our goal has been to provide exception customer service through education, customer advocacy, and strong personal and professional relationships.

We’ve done this over the past two decades by:

  • Prioritizing client education and safety
  • Heavily investing in personnel that provide top-tier customer service
  • Providing clients with access to the best technology in the private aviation industry
  • Whole-heartedly committing to aviation excellence
  • Putting our strong industry relationships to work for the clients’ benefit
  • Maintaining our own insurance coverage for our clients’ peace of mind
  • Advocating for clients when things don’t go as planned

It’s important to us that our clients know we’re always looking out for their best interests when it comes to traveling.

“We’re simply not interested in working with every provider, only the best providers around the world,” says Thomas. “I wear it as a badge of honor that 85 percent of our flights go to fewer than 25 operators. Through our very selective network of top-rated private jet providers, we can arrange the safest charters flights on any size or type of plane.”

Private Flight Advantages

Besides the privacy aspect of traveling privately, there are so many other additional value-added services that private flyers can enjoy, like:

  • Inflight catering
  • Coordinated ground transportation
  • Vehicle, lodging and restaurant accommodations
  • Wheelchair accessibility and other health-related considerations

There are advantages to working with a broker as opposed to a provider that owns its own aircraft as well. As a broker, we’re free to recommend the best jet for your travel plans since we have a large pool of available aircraft from other providers to choose from. That means you’re free to fly on the aircraft of your choice whenever you want to in as little as four hours’ notice.

Private Jet Charter Costs

Though we can’t answer the question about how much it costs to buy a seat on a private jet, we can speak to the cost of chartering an entire aircraft.

Here’s a look at some of our most requested aircraft and their hourly rate.

Turboprop Charter

We are often asked, “How much does a private 2-seater plane cost?” When asked this, we typically quote a turboprop aircraft, but depending on how far the client is traveling, it’s not always the most suitable aircraft for the mission. Turboprop aircraft are the most cost-effective planes to charter, but they’re best suited for domestic travel.

Beechcraft King Air 350 Charter Planes  

Beechcraft King Air 350

Seats

Speed

Range

Rate (per hour)

9

360 mph

2,077 miles

$2,000 – $3,000

 

Light Jet

Light jets are great for domestic travel as well, but they’re a little more comfortable and quieter than turboprops. They also offer additional amenities not found on smaller aircraft.

Exterior 2 Citation Encore  

Citation Encore

Seats

Speed

Range

Rate (per hour)

7

432 mph

1,894 miles

$4,000 – $5,600

 

Mid-size Jet

A step above light jets, mid-size jets offer superior comfort for longer distances. They’ve also got more cabin space, legroom, and storage capacity than their smaller counterparts.

900XP Jet Charter  

Hawker 900XP

Seats

Speed

Range

Rate (per hour)

8

482 mph

3,242 miles

$6,000 – $7,000

 

Heavy Jet

Heavy jets are a great solution for travelers flying international or from coast to coast. These jets offer superior comfort, including spacious bathrooms, master bedrooms and much more.

picture of a private jet  

Gulfstream GIV-SP

Seats

Speed

Range

Rate (per hour)

13

534 mph

4,728 miles

$10,000 – $14,000

*please note: rates are subject to change based on availability. We recommend requesting a free quote for the most current and accurate rates. 

 

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