Aircraft Hourly Rate
Every aircraft charges an Hourly Rate for flight time (time in the air), which makes up the bulk of most charter flight costs.
Visit our Jet Charter Pricing section to learn more about aircraft hourly rates and the other costs involved in the average private jet charter.
Aircraft Tail Number (#)
Each aircraft has a unique code registered with the FAA called a Tail #, which is used by passengers and crew to identify the plane.
Crew ‘Day Room’ Charges
The FAA allows a crew to rest at any point to break their duty time. Putting the crew to rest during the day on a charter in order to accommodate later flight times is called ‘Day Room’.
In instances where a charter requires longer time on the ground than the standard duty day (usually 12hrs) allows, the crew can be put to rest during the day in order to come back on duty later on, past the standard day cut-off. This additional rest period must last 10 consecutive hours.
Day Room charges vary by location, crew and aircraft but range from $600 – $1200, on average.
Crew Duty Time
The FAA has strict regulations on the number of consecutive hours a charter pilot can be on duty.
The standard duty day for a crew is 14hrs total, which includes the time required to do pre and post-flight routines. The general rule of thumb for a standard duty is that the charterer can have the aircraft under their control for a maximum of 12hrs, which allows for crew to perform pre and post-flight checks.
There are complexities involved in the FAA crew duty day and details will vary by trip and aircraft.
Pilots are paid a base wage for flying on each charter. Pilot base pay varies by aircraft and owner, but is typically $300-$800 per crewmember.
An Empty Leg refers to a route (leg) flown by a charter airplane with no passengers aboard, and thus often perceived as a loss in billable flight time to the owner.
Browse our featured empty legs and learn how they can result in major savings for charter customers.
Daily Minimum Flight Time Adjustments (Daily Mins)
Many aircraft require the charterer to pay a daily minimum in flight charges in order to reserve.
For short trips, it is often more costly for an owner to fly the airplane, pay a crew, devote operational resources to booking/payment/client service/etc. than it is to charge less than 2hrs of flight time to a customer.
In order to protect the owner from losses on such trips, Daily Min fees are imposed. Daily Mins typically range from 1.5 – 2.5 hours, depending on the aircraft.
De-ice Charges are required when an aircraft has been subjected to the winter elements while on a charter.
In heavy winter weather conditions, aircraft may require a de-icing fluid to be applied to its wings. The fluid is charged by the gallon, provided by the ground crew at the airport and the pilots determines how much the aircraft needs.
While de-ice Charges are impossible to predict, they can range anywhere from $100-$600 on small aircraft and up to $2,000+ on large jets.
FAA Part 91 Certificate
The certification required for aircraft to perform ‘owner-operated’ flights. For private aircraft owners and personnel only, flying non-commercial missions.
The certification required for aircraft operators to perform ‘air taxi’ services. All aircraft in the private jet charter marketplace must hold a valid FAA Part 135 certificate.
Federal Excise Tax (FET) of 7.5% is paid to the IRS for all domestic Air Transportation charges.
Fixed Base Operator (FBO)
Charter flights utilize privately owned base operators at the airports they land in, which cater to the needs of private flights. The FBO provides fuel, maintenance and passenger services.
Landing Fees are paid to the airport you fly into and will vary by location.
Major metro airports like Los Angeles International (LAX) and Miami International (MIA) are considerably more expensive to land in than smaller, rural airports.
Landing Fees can range from $100 – $2,500, depending on the airport.
Overnight Fees are assessed when an aircraft and crew are kept at a location overnight, and typically include hotels for the pilots and hangar fees for the airplane.
Crew overnight costs are typically $600 – $1000 per day, per pilot. Hangar Fees vary by airport.
Repositioning fees are flight time charges related to flying an airplane to or from a destination in order to facilitate a charter.
As the charterer, if you are booking a flight from a destination that has no aircraft on location, you will often pay to fly a plane in to pick you up. In addition, when dropped at your destination you are also often responsible for flying the plane back to its base.
Repositioning fees are sometimes discounted, but are typically price the same as the Base Hourly Rate of the aircraft.
Segment Fees are paid to the IRS on a per-passenger basis for each leg of every trip. Domestic flights are $4 per passenger. International Segment Fees are $17.50 per passenger.
Short Leg Fees
Short Leg Fees are assessed when an aircraft is made to fly for a very short distance (anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes, depending on the aircraft).
Flying a plane up in the air and back down again is called a ‘cycle’ in aviation. With each cycle, the plane’s value effectively decreases due to wear and tear on the engines and various insurance and maintenance triggers.
Repositioning a plane from its home base to a nearby location in order to pick up passengers will often result in Short Leg fees, in order to compensate the owner for the loss in value to his aircraft without sufficient air time charges.
Short Leg Fees are almost exclusively seen in jet charters (not turboprops) and can range from $200-$500 per instance.