How and when to use private planes to make the most of business travel
Private planes are known for being the height of luxury travel. With your own personal airspace and spacious cabin, the comfort and personability of private air travel is unmatched. But is it only for the wealthy and bigger businesses?
With business travel there is an element of pushing to get the best for less, like getting free upgrades to first class, while ensuring that staff are in the best shape when they arrive at their destination.
Is your personal comfort worth it for business travel?
Part of planning a successful business trip often involves booking flights, potentially on a private jet.
When considering if you should be booking a private jet for business travel, one of the key questions to ask is: is your personal comfort worth upgrading from a commercial to a private plane?
A standard economy class seat isn’t ideal for a business traveller who wants to get work done. The conditions are cramped and often loud with tourists and children. Both business class and first class offer some improvements on conditions but also come with a price rise to match.
Because time is money, you need to weigh up whether the financial cost of the flight is more or less than your business travellers’ cost for work. If they aren’t working, how much time and money are you losing?
Private jets then could offer an alternative.
Maximise time for meetings by chartering a private jet
With the numerous phone calls, emails and, even more frequently now, skype/video calls, throughout the day, business personnel need to be able to work in some semblance of an productive office environment.
This is where private jets come into their own. Not only is this a private space, where you and your team can travel in warmth and relaxation, it can become your own mobile office. Even if you dedicate only a few hours to focused work, having a whole cabin for discussion will beat a day of waiting in airport lounges and on runways.
Private charter flights can also be booked to take off at times to suit you. They often fly from smaller airports which means that not only won’t you be queuing with hundreds of other passengers but you can arrive minutes before your flight and board immediately. Of course, the extra cost associated with private jet travel means that it has to be worth it for a business traveller.
By giving yourself better working conditions, with nicer seats, more personal service and better rest spots on-board, you’re more likely to arrive happy and rested at your destination. If you don’t plan to work during the flight then this may be an expense too far.
Using empty leg charters when you can
If you do decide to book an private jet then remember to ask about empty leg charters.
Empty legs are flights that have already been booked, but only in one direction. This means that there is a return flight that is already going to happen and so it will be offered at a reduced rate.
Private charter company Bespoke Air Charter advise that “while empty legs can be a great resource for cheaper private flights, there are restrictions for the time of departure as well as the airports used, which may not be the city’s major airport.”
If you are flexible about your travel times and exact landing destinations then this could work. However, most travel for business means tailoring the flight to your plans not the other way around. Either way its worth checking in case you can make a saving.
Private jets offer the flexibility to fly on your own schedule, plus room to work and rest more efficiently than on a commercial flight. The only major downside is the affordability. Depending on how often you need to fly for business, try to save private travel for larger or group business trips, and upgrade individual fliers in the interim. This should help you balance the benefits with the finances.