Chartering a Private Plane?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Glock&KimberLady, Sep 6, 2015.

  1. Glock&KimberLady

    Glock&KimberLady Morior Invictus

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    We're considering going to Turks/Caicos in 2017 in the summer, and flights are not terribly expensive (as of today lol), but we're looking at going with two other families.

    A suggestion was made to charter a private plane and split the cost three ways.

    Has anyone ever done this, and is it worth spending the scratch to avoid all the dreary airport garbage? As it stands, for the number of people flying and the areas they're coming from, the total cost for plane tickets flying commercially would be about $10,000.

    Internet searches haven't yielded much and the answers are wildly varying. Most seem to be slanted toward chartering private jets which is out of my cost range.
     
  2. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    Is the private plane going to make multiple stops since you are not coming from the same place? This can get expensive quickly.
     

  3. Glock&KimberLady

    Glock&KimberLady Morior Invictus

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    I imagine the folks on the west coast would fly commercially out here, and we'd all leave from the same airport.
    (Dulles). The online calculators seem to base their estimates on miles flown, so it would be from IAD to PLS (Providenciale).
     
  4. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

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    Just so you're clear on the language, you're chartering a commercial flight with a commercial (on demand) operator. You cannot (legally) charter a private plane, which by definition is a non-commercial operation.

    That said, there's tons to choose from, especially in the Caribbean. Most are pretty ****ty but rarely crash.
    (I'm assuming you're looking at flying airlines down to Miami and then chartering out of there.)

    If you're looking at chartering a private flight for everyone from your point of origin all the way to T&C, don't bother unless your time is worth more than money. The airlines are really good at getting people to places quickly and cheaply. Really good.
    A guy and his King Air are not going to beat the airlines at their own game.
    As 'glamorous' as arriving at a Caribbean destination in a chartered plane sounds, a King Air's cabin is cramped and noisy, there's no drink service, the lav is the half the size of the tiny lav in a 737, and the plane flies at half the speed and 15,000 feet lower than the regularly-scheduled Delta 737 that just streaked past you way up there in smooth air, destined to arrive at T&C 45 minutes before your pilot even has the islands in sight.
     
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  5. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    How many people could fit in a King Air and how much baggage?
     
  6. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    I agree. Multi-hour flights in a KA200/350 can get kind of unpleasant and won't be cheaper.
     
  7. Glock&KimberLady

    Glock&KimberLady Morior Invictus

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    Lots of good information here. Yes, on-demand.

    I'm not looking to charter a plane because it sounds glamorous, though. Exactly the opposite - more to save on airfare so that we have more available money to spend on the place we want to stay in (hint: houses that can accommodate 12 people with plenty of room are expensive)

    Drink service and little luxuries...not so important to me. Peeing and poopin in a plane are unpleasant regardless of circumstance.

    Time to arrival was not so important as not hassling with all the BS involved in an international flight for 12 folks with assorted baggage (I imagine at least one full sized suitcase per adult couple [3 couples] and then kids could share between them [6 kids, so 3 more full size suitcases]...so, 12 people and 6 full sized suitcases. God knows about carryons. Then again, I'm assuming that flying on demand is less hassle than going through international airport shenanigans.

    Is it?
     
  8. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Yes.
     
  9. Glock&KimberLady

    Glock&KimberLady Morior Invictus

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    Dealing with smaller slower plane with less amenities (for less cash) is worth it to me to not shuffle thru the long line and deal with international customs indignities!
     
  10. devildog2067

    devildog2067

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    12 people plus luggage (even if half are kids) will be 2000+ lbs... you need a reasonably good sized airplane. I don't think it will save you any money.

    Yes, on the airport end -- but I'd argue spending twice as long at half the altitude actually flying cancels that out.
     
  11. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    I doubt seriously it will be for less cash, but maybe. Be suspicious of the operator whose prices are that much less than all the other guys. A King Air 350 will carry the load you envision, I can't remember the range stuff for the type, but non-stop from Dulles probably is like 1000nm, a long trip even at 275kts.

    Check that, I just looked, it is like 1200nm, ugh.
     
  12. Joshhtn

    Joshhtn The eBay Guy Gold Member

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    Well, I guess that's the important part.
     
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  13. bipe215

    bipe215

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    Depends on the model
     
  14. czsmithGT

    czsmithGT

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    You won't save money. You will have less hassle because I don't think there are any direct flights from Washington to Turks and Caicos. As far as International travel hassles, I don't see why there would be any difference- you all still need passports and will have to clear customs when entering T&C and again when re-entering USA.
     
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  15. GamerGirl

    GamerGirl 100% Relevant

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    My in laws do this a lot from the east coast to the Bahamas and they say it saves on transit time and security time plus you usually use a satellite airport so you clear customs almost immediately.
     
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  16. RenoF250

    RenoF250

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    What about meeting in Miami and chartering a boat? Maybe hitch a rid with drug runners and skip customs. That would add a little excitement.
     
  17. Glock&KimberLady

    Glock&KimberLady Morior Invictus

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    Pretty sure I want to avoid hanging out with drug runners. What with the the kids and all...
     
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  18. yz9890

    yz9890

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    The charter airline will also usually charge you to put the plane in position if they're not based out of the destination you're planning on. And they'll bill you for either the cost of the crew to stay with the plane for the return flight or the cost to return the plane to its base and back for your return flight. We had 3 families book one of our 18pax turbo props from Denver to Beef Island (BVI). It saved them money but wasn't what I'd consider a comfy flight.
     
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  19. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    It will be interesting to see if this could be done and end up being close to the same cost and comfortable enough to manage a few hours.
     
  20. Z71bill

    Z71bill

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    Back in the 80's and early 90's I few in a King Air almost every week - mostly 500 miles or less - but they were really comfy.

    The B200 (I think that is the model) was set up for 5 or 6 passengers - but you could put a couple people in a side seat that was sort of like a love seat.

    They had a larger one that was set up for 7 or 8 passengers but you could put one more in the back if you had too.