Airline pilot is one of those elite positions with inherent glamor. It requires a certain focus, attention to detail, specialized knowledge, and professionalism. But even in the unique cadre of pilots, there are sub-categories with their own strengths. So what’s the difference between commercial jet pilots and private jet pilots? If you have flown with Stratos Jet Charters before, you’ve probably observed the difference.

Here are four factors that set the pilots in our network apart.


Scope of responsibility is the most obvious factor when comparing commercial jet pilots with private jet pilots. Though both groups are profoundly dedicated professionals, their approach to customer service differs by necessity. A commercial airline pilot is required to fly a large group of strangers to another airport safely and efficiently. Unless you are a celebrity or close personal friend, it is unlikely the pilot will know anything about you or your flying preferences.

Private jet pilots, on the other hand, can routinely fly the same charter groups to various meetings and conferences. They develop a rapport with their clients and understand the expectations for an on-demand charter. For smaller charter aircraft flights, one of the pilots may also double as flight crew, assisting passengers with seating and luggage. It’s a personalized approach to flying, and one private jet travelers enjoy.


Each airline has its own standards for pilot selection. As a charter broker, Stratos Jet Charters doesn’t own the aircraft, but we do maintain a rigorous Approved Vendor Program for the pilots in our network. We mandate that your charter aircraft is flown by two pilots, even if the aircraft has a single-pilot certification.

At Stratos specifically, our private jet pilots must also have a minimum of 3,000 total flying hours and an Airline Transport Rating. These standards go well above the minimums set by the FAA for charter operators. 


Private jet pilots have some flexibility that their peers in commercial airlines don’t have. Once again, it’s a factor of scale. Large commercial aircraft need to be scheduled tightly to maximize safety without reducing profitability. Private jet pilots understand that on-demand charter is built around the client’s schedule. Quite simply, on a charter, everyone is working on your itinerary so they won’t leave you behind.

This flexibility has other advantages as well. If there is an in-flight emergency, one cannot land a commercial airliner just anywhere. However, the pilots of the nimble 12-seat jets in our network have the knowledge and flexibility to find an alternate airport for passenger safety. Even in non-emergency situations, private jet pilots can adjust the itinerary or route to avoid bad weather.


As noted, all pilots are in the service industry. A commercial pilot may transport over 600 passengers a day, while a private jet pilot might only have one. What sets Stratos Charter pilots apart is an aptitude for going above and beyond for their passengers. Private pilots may fly a family group to a resort one day and a group of high-level corporate executives to a summit meeting the next day.  A good charter pilot will get to know his passengers and anticipate their needs, on and off the ground.

And in case you were wondering, you are allowed to tip your charter pilot and aircrew for exceptional service. It’s never expected, but it’s always sincerely appreciated.

When you’re ready for one of our exceptional pilots to take you anywhere in safe, luxurious comfort, call Stratos Jets—888-593-9066.