How To: Book a Cheap Private Plane

by  Tommy Burson | Jul 2, 2014
Plane in the sky
Plane in the sky / undefinedundefined/iStock

[Updated on June 3, 2016 by Christina Garofalo]

Most people think that private planes are reserved for the elite. But what if we told you that flying private is affordable, even... cheap?

Private jet operator JetSuite recently launched a new service called JetSuiteX, which allows you to book a seat on a private jet for as low as $109 each way.

For now, JetSuiteX is only available on flights from San Francisco to Los Angeles on weekdays, plus L.A. to Las Vegas on weekends. By the end of June, a third route will be added between San Jose and Bozeman, Montana, which will operate up to four times (roundtrip) per week.

Aside from the more comfortable leather seats and free onboard WiFi, the biggest perk of flying JetSuiteX might be that it allows you to avoid larger airports, like LAX, Oakland, Sacramento, or SFO, which are often so congested that you end up spending more time getting to and from the airport than you do in the air. And unlike other private jet services, JetSuiteX clients don’t need to pay for a monthly subscription or travel in small propeller airplanes in order to fly.

JetSuiteX / Courtesy JetSuite

Traveling with a larger group?

If you are traveling with a group and still have your eyes on flying private (think: monumental birthdays, family vacations, bachelor/ette parties), continues to offer last-minute daily deals that give travelers the chance to charter a private jet for as low as $536 per plane, each way — that’s four seats at $134 per person. How can flying private be so cheap? It’s simple: More than 40 percent of private flights have empty seats, so -- taking a cue from the sharing economy -- JetSuite sells these empty seats for less. Because airlines would prefer to make some money rather than no money on a seat, everybody wins.

These flights most commonly run within in the northeastern U.S., California, and Florida, but there are some flights that operate throughout the country or even internationally. The company has most recently added Havana, Cuba to its list of destinations, with flights available from major U.S. cities, including Miami, Houston, D.C., and New York. To book, visit their SuiteDeals page, select the itinerary you're interested in, and plug in times in the fields that pop up below. You can also receive price alerts, if your travel dates are flexible.

What we love: JetSuite and JetSuiteX allow the average person to experience a side of travel that is generally reserved for the über wealthy. On all flights, guests receive world-class service and avoid extras like baggage fees and long security lines. Those reasons alone are reason to consider flying private.

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