16th June 2015

What are the rules and restrictions that apply to flying private?

Parked Jet

There are several differences between commercial and private flights, from seat sizes and flight arrival times, to on-board catering. First time private jet charter flyers may assume that commercial jet restrictions don’t apply to them. However, this isn’t necessarily true.

As commercial airlines publicise their rules and restrictions online, most flyers know what to expect – but they may not know when it comes to private jets.

There are well known rules, such as restrictions on liquid amounts in carry-on luggage and arriving with more time to spare before an international flight than domestic, that can be reasoned by most travellers and managed. For example, if you have more than the limited amount of liquid in your carry-on, you should arrange for hold luggage. If you are flying internationally, there will be more immigration controls and larger planes, therefore longer queues you need to allow for.

With private planes you are likely to be the main, if not only, passengers on the jet. So which rules apply to your private charter and which do not?

Global 5000 jet

You won’t have to get your luggage checked

Thanks to private jets travelling with much smaller numbers of passengers, you won’t have to arrive several hours early to have your luggage checked before boarding. Largely, restrictions such as size of your travel cases and what you include in carry-ons are not the same as with commercial flights.

Though suitcases can be stored in the hold of some jets, you will also be able to travel with more bags if you require.

Not having to wait for other passengers means you’ll be able to turn up just minutes before your flight, hand over any luggage and board immediately.

Passport and Visa controls still apply

One of the many benefits of travelling by private jet is not needing to deal with long queues at border controls. However, you will still need you passport to enter and exit another country.

You will still have to travel through customs upon arriving at your destination. Bespoke Air Charter suggest that you bring your passport even if you fly domestically, just in case.

If you are flying internationally on private plane, you will also need to comply with any visas needed to enter the country you are flying to. Visa applications should always be made in advance and approved before flying. It is always the flyers responsibility to check they are in possession of the correct travel documents.

Smaller airports may not have car hires on site

Private charter companies often operate out of smaller airports near to large cities. This is allows the planes to avoid congestion in the air and decrease their travel time from point A to B, compared to commercial jets.

While some charter companies will assist with transport to your hotel or accommodation upon reaching your destination, those hiring a car may not initially be near a rental garage. Large rental agencies, such as Hertz, operate where there are most flyers and this means central international airports.

If you are planning to hire a car, you may need to specify that you prefer to hire your car from town, or arrange transport from your landing airport to an international one.