Charter flight ? the idea of hiring out an aircraft ? is different from commercial flight in that the former makes unscheduled flights to destinations specified by the passenger(s) who purchase the service. As such, it is not bound by many burdensome regulations as are commercial airlines, which are large, publicly-owned corporations that deal in high volume of traffic and are limited as to where they can go. In addition, commercial passengers are subject to time-consuming security checks and regulations, adding a great deal of time and hassle when it comes to their flights. Charter passengers are spared this inconvenience, and get to where they need to go in a fraction of the time.
Being exempt from many regulations is not to say that charter flight personnel are any less trained and qualified than those working for commercial airlines ? in fact, they?re usually more qualified, meet more rigorous standards, and have more experience in terms of flight hours than FAA regulations require. Being small companies rather than large, public corporation is a two-sided proposition ? while smaller operations may be exempt from a number of government regulations, they aren?t eligible for government protection if things go wrong. They are well aware that the success of their business depends not only on actual passenger safety, but the perception of safety as well. Therefore, a company that specializes in charter flight is going to go the proverbial ?second mile? when it comes to passenger safety, security and comfort.
When you fly aboard a charter jet or turbo-prop plane, you can go where you want, when you want, in far greater comfort than commercial airliners in which people are often packed in like so many sardines. Traveling by private jet is also much faster, and can be available to you through NetJet with as little as four hours? advance notice.
Sometimes, a charter flight is the only way to get somewhere. For instance, many remote places in Alaska and Northwestern Canada are accessible only by foot, horseback or charter flight. In this case, it is unlikely you will travel by private jet. Flights of this type are usually by piston-engine or turbo-prop plane. If you have ever seen the television series Northern Exposure or the feature film Never Cry Wolf, you have probably seen how some of these flights were in the old days. Even the smallest prop planes today allow passengers to travel in far greater safety and comfort than ever before. With the increasing interest in eco-tourism ? traveling to ecologically sensitive areas or the planet in order to see unusual and exotic flora and fauna in a way that minimizes impact on the local environment ? usually involves charter flight as well. However, in the case of these kinds of flights, charter is usually done through a travel agency that specializes in these kinds of tours.