Flying first class and flying on a private jet have one thing in common: they represent the best in luxury air travel.

If money isn’t an issue with you, then the only way to fly would be either. The question is, what would you rather do: Buy a first-class ticket on a commercial airline, or fly on a private jet charter?

Let’s take a look at several aspects of air travel and see how both options stack up.

The Airport Situation

It is not uncommon for airlines to make arrangements with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to give their first-class passengers the benefit of shorter lines on their way to boarding their flights. That means first-class flyers enjoy faster screening, check-in, and customs procedures.

Private jet travelers, on the other hand, have an entirely different airport experience. For one, there are no security lines for people flying on a private jet. Private jet pilots may check the ID of the person who paid for the flight, but that’s pretty much it. For another, passengers boarding a private jet typically pass through a Fixed Base Operation (FBO), a private hangar separate from the commercial terminal.

If lines are shorter for first-class passengers on commercial flights, private jet flyers don’t have to stand in line at all.

The Differences Between Flying First Class and Flying Private Jets

Baggage Restrictions

The typical baggage limit for a passenger holding a first-class ticket is 50 kilograms.

For private jet flights, there is no such thing as baggage restrictions.

As long as the total weight of your luggage is well within the capacity of the jet you chartered, you can bring just about anything you want on a private jet.

Flight Schedules

First-class flights have plenty to offer in terms of luxury. Generously-sized seats, plenty of legroom, excellent food choices and drink selections, entertainment systems, and enhanced privacy are par for the course for passengers flying first class.

The thing is, they’d still be flying on a commercial flight, which is bound by a fixed departure time. For all the amenities they enjoy, first-class passengers still have to leave at the same time as those in coach.

Meanwhile, people who book private jet flights can take off at any time they choose. Private jet passengers own their schedule and practically enjoy a similar degree of luxury, too.

The Differences Between Flying First Class and Flying Private Jets

Airport Destinations

Flying first class on a commercial flight means you’ll be on a huge airliner, which naturally requires big and busy airports. If that airport is quite a distance from your intended destination, you will have to take another flight—a smaller one at that—or other modes of transportation to get there.

One great thing about private jets is that they can land pretty much anywhere, mainly because of their smaller size. If your destination has a smaller airport, your private jet charter can directly take you there, eliminating the need for yet another trip.

Level of Privacy

Given that they are seated in a separate and exclusive area of the aircraft that accommodates a limited number of passengers, first-class flyers have a higher degree of privacy than most other passengers of the same flight.

Complete privacy, however, is what a private jet can offer. Whether you’re flying alone, with your family, or your closest friends and colleagues, you won’t have to mix in any way with strangers on the plane, allowing you complete privacy throughout the flight.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Airports, airlines, and private jet companies all implement health and safety protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection on their flights.

Since they are in an area separate from all the other passengers, first-class passengers will have no problem following social distancing rules. Most airlines also provide them health and safety kits, which include hand sanitizers and high-quality face masks.

Every single member of the flight crew is also on strict orders to follow all health and safety protocols to the letter at all times.

Sanitizing planes is also part of airline protocol against COVID-19.

Private charter companies do all of the above, too, but they take things a step further by providing passengers with copies of a travel policy listing down COVID-19 protocols and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS). Following them is a must for private jet passengers, or they will not be allowed to fly.

Some private jet charter companies also mandate that only their pilots are allowed to handle passengers’ luggage, a stark contrast to the myriad people touching baggage—that of first-class passengers included—on a commercial flight. Such a policy further reduces the risk of coronavirus infection.

These are just some of the differences between flying first class and flying private. Now which one would you go for on your next business or luxury trip?