Historically you would be forgiven for believing that private air travel was only the domain of the successful business executive. However, that is fast becoming a myth as many more ‘ordinary’ people, like you and I, opt for convenience and comfort over cost!
Should you put a value on your time?
More than ever, as our lives become ever busier, it is important to put a value on our time. This is not just true for the busy executive but also every one of us! The waiting time at airports for a commercial flight seems to be increasing all the time with often huge queues at check in and even more so at security. This has reached the stage where even a short haul flight to Europe can consume almost a whole day! Of course, security is extremely important, particularly after 9/11, but there must be an alternative!
Is the answer to upgrade to a higher class on a commercial flight?
If you are able to upgrade your flight to business or even first class, then certainly your travel experience improves. The queues at check in will be significantly shorter and the check in staff will be noticeably more pleasant. However, when it comes to the queues at security I am afraid everybody is treated the same.
Is hiring a private aircraft the answer?
You might be surprised to learn that hiring a private plane is actually a lot cheaper and more accessible than you imagine. The cost obviously depends on a number of factors, like the size of the plane required, the landing fees and the waiting time between flights. In most situations hiring a plane in this way only makes sense if it is a return flight with the cabin full, thereby reducing the cost per passenger. This then leaves them free to enjoy the benefits of the time saving and efficiency.
Less time getting to and from the airport!
The advance of the smaller single propeller aircraft has made huge inroads into the costs of private hiring. Whilst they may be slower and have a shorter range than even a small jet, they are much cheaper to operate in terms of fuel efficiency and they are able to take off and land on much shorter runways. This may not seem important but it means that they are able to use much smaller airfields and even airstrips which may be much more local to your home or your actual final destination, thereby dramatically reducing the travel time to and from the airport.
So private aircraft hire is now a real alternative!
Now it would seem that privately hiring an aircraft is becoming a much more affordable alternative for many more people. Using regional or even much smaller local airfields which are considerably less crowded means that you can almost drive onto the tarmac and be in the air in a matter of minutes! Not only does that give the traveller much greater comfort and flexibility but as we start to place a price on our time it starts to look much more affordable.
I graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc Hons in Mathematics & Statistics. Since leaving university I have become Founder and Director of FlexiFly.co.uk.
While studying I played an active role in the family nursing home business, The Graham Care Group, and have continued as a Graduate Trainee alongside my work with FlexiFly, being involved with all areas of the business.
For some years I have been actively involved in international motorsport and achieved numerous awards as co-driver to a European Rally Champion (my dad!). It was these experiences of weekends in Europe that partly inspired us about how we could make air travel more flexible and convenient. The calibre of competitors we met on events have given us insight into the potential our alternative to traditional aircraft charter has.