Luxury private jet travel is one of the best ways to see the world. From the comfortable, safe and amenity-packed aircraft to the magnificence of skipping lengthy lines at the airport, booking a private jet for international travel is sure to be a memorable experience.

Even for short-haul flights or private jet group travel, the wonders of private aviation are sure to delight. But how do you get started with your first private flight, and what do you need to know before making travel plans? 

Here are our top seven tips to help you find your path to private aviation.

1. It’s worth the price.

Value for money is one of the primary concerns of first-time private jet travelers. So, is private jet travel worth it? We strongly believe that private aviation is worth the investment. Here’s why.

When you fly commercially on a scheduled flight, you’re at the whim of the airline. When you take off, when you arrive, where you land—everything is pre-determined and the decision is made for you, forcing you to fit your life around your flight.

Private jet charters are the opposite. You choose when you want to fly, what aircraft you want to fly in, and where you want to go. With the help of a private flight advisor, your itinerary is crafted to fit your schedule, not the whims of a multi-billion-dollar airline. 

One of the other major benefits is right in the name: privacy. When you need to get work done in the air, you don’t have to worry about the risk of sharing confidential information with strangers. The only passengers on board are those you invite yourself.

In terms of private jet travel cost, these benefits do come at a premium, with a private charter costing more than a first-class ticket on an airline. But countless private fliers firmly believe the upsides speak for themselves.

2. You don’t need to book months in advance.

With private jets, travel plans don’t need to be made months in advance. When you fly with Stratos, you can book your flight with as little as four hours’ notice. However, reaching out to your broker early does afford you more options in terms of aircraft and air carriers.

3. You can bring far more luggage with you.

There’s a misconception that there is no luggage limit on a private aircraft. And while that is not technically true, you can bring far more luggage with you than you would be able to on a commercial airline.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Turboprop planes and light jets can hold five or six pieces of luggage
  • Mid-size jet charters hold seven or eight
  • Super mid-size jets accommodate nine or 10
  • Heavy jet charters fit up to 20 large pieces of luggage
  • Charter airlines are similar to commercial planes

If you are traveling with a lot of luggage or moving by private jet, talk to your private flight advisor if you are traveling with a significant amount of baggage or plan on relocating by private jet.

As for the question, “What should I bring on a private jet?” As long as the items aren’t prohibited, such as illegal drugs or firearms, you can bring anything you’d like on your jet.

4. Don’t worry about arriving early to pass through security.

We get asked all the time, “Do you go through TSA on a private jet?” There are security measures in place for private aviation, but they look far different than that of commercial airlines.

Instead of arriving at the airport early to go through security, your information is pre-checked against the TSA’s No Fly List before you even arrive at the airport, meaning no lengthy and intrusive security checks are required.

5. Private flights are incredibly safe.

You might be wondering, “Do you have to buckle up in a private jet?” And the answer is yes, you do, as the FAA regulates the operation of all U.S. aircraft.

When you charter a private jet, the aircraft is subject to Part 135 regulations. If you’re curious about Part 135, we recently dissected everything private jet travelers need to know about these FAA standards. 

At a high level, this regulation helps ensure that private aviation stays safe for travelers.

And, when you fly with Stratos, we elevate the margin of safety even further. From requiring every flight to have two highly trained pilots to our rigorous safety audits, you can trust that every aircraft, air carrier and flight crew in our network has been thoroughly vetted for your safety.

6. Tipping is not expected, but it is appreciated.

Clients always ask us, “Are you supposed to tip private jet pilots?” In private aviation, tipping is truly up to the traveler.

Joel Thomas, CEO and founder of Stratos Jet Charters says, “A tip is a gesture showing gratitude for someone who has not merely done their job but done their job in such a way that their passion shines through. Tips are not expected, but always appreciated.”

So, if you do decide to tip, how much should you tip? It depends on the role and the service, but here are a few general tipping tips:

  • Ground services providers/drivers: $20-$50
  • Line crew/baggage attendants: $20 each
  • Cabin attendant: $100
  • Pilots: $50 each

7. Don’t skip the ground services.

You may have noticed that we suggested tipping your ground services providers. That’s because, when you fly with Stratos, we go beyond just the aircraft.

When you work with your private flight advisor on everything related to your time in the air, our Trip Support Team is here to support your needs before, during and after your flight, including everything from ground transportation to hotel and restaurant reservations.

Ready to book your private jet flight? Whether it’s your first time flying or your hundredth, our friendly and expert private flight advisors are here to ensure you have a memorable experience. Give us a call at (888)593-9066 to get started.