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12 differences between commercial and private airlines

Flying to a destination with a private airline was, for a long time, considered to be an extraordinary luxury that was affordable by only a chosen few passengers. The situation that has arisen in conjunction with the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and the associated safety measures have proved this is no longer quite true. A lot of people have needed to use the services provided by private carriers. Look what advantages private flights offer compared to commercial ones and how they differ.

Date and time of departure tailored to your needs

The date and time of departure is the first thing, right after selection of the destination, which people deal with when choosing a flight and airline. With commercial flights, you have multiple options to choose from, but you are always limited by the fixed flight schedule. Thus, you cannot often choose a departure time that fits you or choose an ideal arrival time at the destination.


With commercial airlines, it is usual practice that the earlier you book the flight, the less expensive it is. The same applies to night flights. However, this prevents you from being flexible, you do not have room to make changes and you may also find yourself in a situation where you spend hours waiting at the airport. But with the private airline, it is you who determines when exactly you want to fly, and in the case of unexpected situations or delays the airplane waits for you.

HINT: When you book a flight with a private carrier and you do not insist on a precise date or time, ask the operator whether they can find a similar date or time for you for a better price. This may easily save you thousands of crowns.

Option of choosing the nearest airport

Commercial flights have their target airports clearly defined and these in many cases are large international airports. These are usually quite far away from the city centre or are situated on the outskirts, and transferring from them to a hotel or to a meeting takes rather long. Besides that, you will not avoid crowds of other passengers, queuing and waiting.

Thanks to the size of private jets, you can land at small, local airports which may be much closer to your destination. This will save you money not only on transfers, but also time you can dedicate to other things. The operator will arrange for the transfer to/from the airport for you, if required.

You can leave your air ticket behind at home

The times of paper air tickets and the need to personally check in are gone. A lot of large airlines, however, still require passengers to have an air ticket in electronic form and to check in on-line, as well. If you arrange a private flight, you do not need to worry about an air ticket at all.

When you book a flight from a private airline, your operator will advise you already during the booking procedure or several hours before departure what terminal you should arrive at. If you also have transport to the airport booked, you do not need to deal with it at all. Upon arrival, the captain of your flight will be waiting for you in the airport lounge, or the handling personnel will take care of you. With a private flight, everything is arranged so that you do not need to be concerned about anything.

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The earlier you arrive, the sooner you will fly

Commercial flights have their flight schedule fixed, and their aircraft can never depart from the airport earlier. On the contrary, they can even get delayed due to technical or operational complications. With private airlines, it is possible that you will be able to depart earlier than originally scheduled.

Flying without waiting

Flying with a private airline is in many aspects much more comfortable than with commercial flights. The aircraft is available only to you and everything revolves around your needs and wishes. Before departure, you have a private terminal available with all the amenities. You can get refreshments, drinks or use WiFi and answer your e-mails before departure.

You also have these options in large commercial terminals, of course. However, unlike private ones, you will share the space with other passengers and opportunities to get refreshments are more restricted, whether due to busyness or distance.

Differences between cancelling a commercial and a private flight

Cancelling a flight is an unpleasant situation which, however, may occur for a number of reasons, from technical problems to bad weather or sickness of the pilot. In the case of commercial flights, passengers will receive some kind of compensation, whether in the form of accommodation or refreshments when waiting for another flight, or a refund of at least some of the air fare.

With private flights, you have 100% certainty that you will be taken care of and in most cases, you will get to your destination as you need and require. Verified flight operators, which also include the JetBee private airline, will agree to everything with you in advance during the flight booking procedure so that you do not need to be concerned about unpleasant surprises even in the case of force majeure events which cannot be anticipated in advance.

TIP: It pays to choose a reliable flight operator, not the lowest air fare.

Choose any seat you want

When you fly with a commercial airline, your seat will be automatically assigned. Almost all large airlines allow you to choose your seat during the booking or check-in procedure, however, this service is usually not free. In addition, the best seats, e.g. by the window or with greater leg room, are more expensive than the others.

On a private jet, you choose the seat that suits you the most. Every seat is situated by the window and passengers have more room and greater comfort than usual for seats in business class or first class on commercial flights. And you can also choose who you will sit next to. You do not often have such freedom on commercial flights.

Air hostess or steward on board

Commercial flights always have air hostesses or stewards available on board large aircraft who take care of the passengers and provide them with any and all information during the flight. If a steward or air hostess is not available on a private flight, the safety instructions will be provided by one of the pilots and you will enjoy an undisturbed flight.

Internet during the flight

In the past, passengers used to switch to airplane mode on their mobile phone upon boarding the aircraft, thus being cut off from the world during the flight. A WiFi internet connection on aircraft of large commercial airlines is no longer exceptional today. But you often have to pay for the connection and the price depends on the internet speed or flight duration. WiFi is not available on JetBee aircraft during flight yet.

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Meals, refreshments and beverages

It is customary with large airlines, mainly on long-haul flights, that the air fare includes meal, beverages or at least a sandwich or snacks. You cannot expect such comfort on short-haul flights.

With private flights, catering is usually included in the air fare. In JetBee, refreshments are naturally part of the booked flight. We usually order standard cold catering for our clients, or we can prepare refreshments according to the client’s wishes during the flight. If the catering is more expensive than the set budget, the client is informed about the price. Snacks and a minibar are always available on board. When flying with JetBee, you will enjoy a gastronomic experience in the air.

In the aircraft cabin like on a visit

Anyone who has ever travelled on a large commercial airliner knows full well that after landing the cabin looks like a storm has hit it. Litter all over the floor, new stains caused by spilt beverages or food and other contamination.

But with private flights, you do not have to share the space in the cabin or toilet with anyone. Private airlines properly clean the cabin before each flight, even disinfecting it, if required. All care before and during the flight is dedicated to you alone and you can thus expect maximum possible comfort.

Arrange for collection from the airport

When you fly with a large transport carrier, you will land at an international airport. There are a number of options of how to get to your destination. There are taxi cabs, mini-buses and other carriers waiting outside the arrivals hall, and it is often serviced by public transport, as well.

With private flights, you naturally also have these options available. Besides that, a private airline may arrange for your own transport so that you do not have to worry about how to get to a meeting or hotel or waste your time waiting for a bus, train or vacant taxi.

Private and commercial flights differ in many aspects. If you are planning a flight with a private airline such as JetBee, it pays to be aware of the differences and the specifics. You will know exactly what to ask the carrier about. Also have a look at the 5 tips if you are deciding on a private flight.

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