Flying on a Business Jet: Does it really save money????

Imagine avoiding commercial airport TSA security lines, flying to an airport near your place of business, and traveling in comfort. These are some of the standard advantages a business charter operator might use to describe the benefits of corporate aviation.  While all of these are persuasive, I think there is a more important and far more lucrative argument for the use of corporate aircraft, this being the underlying economic benefits of using an aircraft as a business tool.

There are certain basic assumptions we need to make with regard to a business aircraft flight compared with a commercial airline flight. It is required for a commercial flight that you arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before departure.  This allows you ample time to stand in a line to check in, then to stand in line to give your luggage to TSA to screen it, then stand in line for the personal TSA security line and wait your turn to remove everything off of your person (shoes, jackets, watches, jewelry, belts etc..).  Meanwhile you are waiting for the person in front of you with all multiple carry-on bags that they refused to check due to the ever-increasing cost of checked luggage. Once you have made it past all of these checkpoints, it is not uncommon to arrive at your gate only to find that your flight has been delayed or cancelled. Now what do you do?  You may have to wait for the next flight, if it is not over booked, or be forced to cancel your meeting with your new client and risk having your competitor get the deal before you.

Now let’s take a look at the same process for a corporate aircraft. Your aircraft will be departing from a smaller airport where, mostly likely, there is very little traffic or delay. You get to the aircraft 10 minutes before departure. You drive right up to the aircraft. You board the aircraft.  The flight crew checks your I.D. to verify you are the correct person against the manifest, loads your luggage (up to 400 lbs!) and shuts the door. You take your seat and the aircraft departs immediately. Meanwhile you have complete privacy to have a meeting on the aircraft with other executives. This would not be possible on an airline flight. You cannot discuss privileged information in front of two hundred other passengers. The aircraft lands at your destination where a car is waiting at the aircraft to drive you to your meeting. Once finished, you drive back to the aircraft, board and you are onto your next meeting wherever that may be.

On a single flight flown with a corporate aircraft, you save roughly 4.0 hours compared with taking a commercial flight. Using basic mathematics and common sense, a typical business trip covering three different destinations, with at least one overnight being a factor, a senior level executive can save close to 24 hours by chartering a business jet.  The opportunity cost alone of having your CEO and top executives wasting a full day standing in line and sitting at an airport would certainly outweigh the cost of a corporate flight!  The bottom line is simple.  How much is your time worth??


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