What are the differences between a scheduled and a charter flight?


When you think about an airline and just a regular flight, it is more likely to be the scheduled flight. You buy tickets (nowadays usually online) for a certain time and date, you have to through check-ins, past security screening, and generally a lot of time-consuming processes and plenty of restrictions of what you can and cannot bring into an airplane with you. It is fairly common amongst business people to fly with scheduled flights, as they have a strict location and time schedule. Charter flights are usually much smaller flights, and it is more popular amongst families going on holidays and other casual travelers. They do not have the regular schedule of flights, and they can fly whenever is suitable for the group. With that being said, charter flights can be prebooked, but it is always through some travel agency that has already booked the flight. It works the same way as buses that travel for a certain touristic agency – from point A to point B, for a certain group of people that have booked the trip via that agency. There are not so many restrictions about luggage and what can go into it. In general, it allows you to skip all the long annoying check-ins, security screenings, and more freedom in general. With charter flights, you can have a more relaxed and quiet flight.  

1. Flying with a group

Traveling somewhere with a group of people can be a nightmare when flying on scheduled flights. It is rare that you can book all the seats to be together and close, or even if you do, it needs to be done a lot in advance. If not, you have to hope that others will kindly move their seats so you guys can be together. And even if that works, you will still have a hard time talking to each other and navigating through narrow passes between seats. That is why a company that travels in a group, usually opt for charter jets. Charter flights fly with smaller plains, and the whole experience is similar like the one from movies when you see people in their private plains – essentially, that is what charter flights are – private flights. Therefore, if you are not an employee traveling with your company, but just a simple tourist, charter flight has to go through a tourist agency. Usually, you have to book the entire trip via that agency, but nowadays it is not uncommon for tourist agencies to offer only flight tickets, in case they have not filled the quota. In that case, you have to negotiate the price for the flight only, because usually, the prices go a little up than if you would book the entire trip. All in all, charter flights tend to be cheaper than scheduled ones, as tourist agencies cover the entire private jet hire cost, therefore the agency depends on the number of passengers

2. Choose Your Timing

Scheduled flights have a regular schedule that they follow throughout the year. Charter jets fly only when needed, although, in practice, many of the charter jets follow a set schedule (that is, again, based on group’s needs). It is also common for charter jets to have prescheduled flights only during a holiday season since that is the time when touristic agencies usually hire charter jets. Option for choosing your own time for a flight is mostly used by companies that go on group vacations or meetings. That way you don’t have to waste your time on trying to fit in everyone in a specific schedule, and you can just choose the time that suits you the most – whether it is 12 pm or 4h in the morning.  

3. Choose Your Location

Unlike scheduled ones, charter jets can fly into almost any smaller airport, meaning that your choice of destination is almost off-limits. This option is probably the most valuable and convenient for business people who have to travel bigger distances for meetings in specific destinations. Imagine having a meeting in Napa County, and having to fly all the way to San Francisco, and then taking the bus to Napa County. It would be completely time-wasting, and not to mention more expensive and stressful. With scheduled flights, options are pretty limited to big cities, that are often quite far away from your target destination.   

If you aren’t using airlines frequently, it is likely that you haven’t been aware of the perks of charter flights. Now that you know a little bit more, you can start planning your next vacation having all the benefits that charter flight offers.

Author's Bio: 

Growing up in a village helped me become what I am today. Constantly surrounded by nature
and animals my curiosity was satisfied. In my teen years, I moved to a city and started helping
out at my dad's construction company. This is how I got the idea to become a civil engineer.
Since then constantly studying and finding new projects to work on has taken almost all of my
time. But hey that’s what I love doing so it’s not hard!