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(Huffington Post)   Spirit Airlines is the future of air travel in the US because Americans ain't got no time for the fine print. Spirit Airlines trifecta in play   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 57
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2397 clicks; posted to Business » on 29 May 2013 at 11:29 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-30 04:48:33 PM

Contrabulous Flabtraption: I don't think you're in touch with normal, average Americans.


If enough of you are going it is actually cheaper.

Carth: Doesn't work on international flights. Looked into it last year for 10 of us flying to Europe would have cost around $40,000 business class tickets were only around $2k. I'm willing to bet it is even more expensive going to Asia/Africa.


True. There is that. I should have made mention that it applied only to domestic.

dukeblue219: ull.

You can fly 5-6 people cross country, in first class, for maybe $8,000. Last second full fare and need first class still? Ok, maybe it costs you a way overpriced $20k to do it.

If you want to fly 5-6 passengers cross country without refueling in a chartered jet you're looking at a 8-10 seat jet minimum, which is going to cost you around $5000/hr including surcharges and taxes, or about $50,000.

You're right that it's less hassle and convenient, and I'm sure it's nice, and if people can afford it that's great. But I think you are WAY out of touch with most normal folks. Because chartering a plane is not even in the same ballpark as flying commercially. Show me some numbers that made it work for you please.


It is nowhere near that expensive. 9 of us went to Florida (although I guess this was three years ago) for a hunting trip and the TOTAL cost was a little over 12k, round trip.

redslippers: I call shenanigans. Chartering a jet is incredibly expensive. I know. I'm a pilot (not professionally-just a hobby), and my brother in law flies private jet charters, and my father in law runs a flight school but charters his Cirrus on the side.

You aren't fitting 6 people and all the requisite luggage on anything smaller than a small jet for a long flight. (prop planes need to stop and refuel on longer flights and aren't terribly feasible time wise for much more than going across a state or two) And even a short chartered jet flight is going to run you will over 10K. You MIGHT save a little if you know some pilots and are flexible and fly a dead leg, but the scenario you put forth above is bullshiat.


See the above. Here is the company that I have used quite a few times for smaller flights with just the family, I've also chartered a jet through them though they didn't have the greatest prices for that:

http://www.maineinstrumentflight.com/?page_id=138

Feel free to contact them for information about larger craft, they don't just use prop planes. I'm positive this is true because I have done it. Many times... Your experience, while not without standing, doesn't match my own. Small jets aren't that expensive, I posted an example price above.
 
2013-05-30 05:03:34 PM

UnspokenVoice: See the above. Here is the company that I have used quite a few times for smaller flights with just the family, I've also chartered a jet through them though they didn't have the greatest prices for that:


Fair enough. I was assuming you were talking jet service only, in part because I thought you were talking about high class, full-service, smooth ride, turbine performance and not just "how to get there cheaply and conveniently". If you're considering piston twins, like a Baron, then that's a whole different price point of course. For a few hundred mile trip, especially from remote locations, I can believe it would be comparable to, or better than, airline prices. Of course, if you put 4 passengers in a Baron you're going to need multiple fuel stops and probably two days to fly cross country (I know you didn't say anything about cross-country).

For reference on jet prices, this will give you a vague idea:  http://www.jetcharters.com/private-jets/falcon-50.cfm  and  http://www.jetcharters.com/private-jets/cessna-citation-vii.cfm

Those are the kinds of planes most people are thinking of when they think about chartering a flight, and you need a surprisingly large plane to ferry 6 passengers 2000 miles. There's going to be additional charges on top of those rates, too.
 
2013-05-30 05:05:08 PM

dukeblue219: Yeah, I too am just a hobbyist, instrument pilot, so while I haven't personally chartered a jet I also know you aren't putting 6 people and bags on something like a Citation Mustang and flying cross country for the weekend. You're talking more like Gulfstream, Falcon 50, Citation X territory and many tens of thousands of dollars.

I won't argue that it's not worth it if you have the cash... but I can't come up with a scenario where a charter is going to even remotely resemble the cost of 6 first class tickets, much less coach.


See the above, they only list prices for the smaller planes but they have a couple of jets that they also charter out. I think that they're quasi-reserved for state representatives, businessmen, and whatnot out of the capital as you sometimes have to work around their schedule when you charter one of the larger planes. I linked to a few of the prices above as well, it's really not that expensive.

I am, admittedly, healthily retired with a fairly sound amount of cash but that doesn't mean I'm aloof enough, out of touch enough, or wealthy enough to simply ignore prices. We took nine of us to Florida (and back) for just about 12k which wasn't a whole lot more than what first class tickets and all the baggage fees would have cost us. Hell, I flew non-stop to Egypt a couple of years ago (first class) and the tickets for that were just about 12k EACH as I recall. Hmm... No, I think it may have been 12k for the two of us? Meh... I'm too lazy to go through and look it up but, needless to say, it was a lot.

But no, I did well and retired well but not well enough to just ignore prices. I even pay attention to prices when I shop for food and buy gas. It wasn't retirement that clued me into the chartering. It was actually while I still owned my business (we did traffic modelling and transport consulting) and we'd have to send a number of people out to a site. As a lark I checked with my travel agent (we used those back then) and discovered that chartering was less expensive in some areas and nearly the same in others. We made good use of it after that. I have continued to use it since.
 
2013-05-30 05:10:38 PM

UnspokenVoice: I am, admittedly, healthily retired with a fairly sound amount of cash but that doesn't mean I'm aloof enough, out of touch enough, or wealthy enough to simply ignore prices. We took nine of us to Florida (and back) for just about 12k which wasn't a whole lot more than what first class tickets and all the baggage fees would have cost us. Hell, I flew non-stop to Egypt a couple of years ago (first class) and the tickets for that were just about 12k EACH as I recall. Hmm... No, I think it may have been 12k for the two of us? Meh... I'm too lazy to go through and look it up but, needless to say, it was a lot.


I appreciate you replying and actually giving the honest numbers. I certainly have nothing against you taking the charter flights, I mean, I'm a pilot too. I was just stuck in the mindset of long-ass jet charters which are crazy expensive, and time and again I've heard folks ask about such charters and be shocked at the sticker price. And yeah, I'll bet you did pay $12k/ea to fly international first class.... at least. Business class maybe $12k for the two of you.

Seems most "average Joes" out there freak out about flying on a regional jet, not to mention if they end up needing even a large turboprop for a connecting flight. Flying a Baron is a dream for most pilots, but a nightmare to a large segment of the flying public, sadly.
 
2013-05-30 05:13:41 PM

dukeblue219: UnspokenVoice: See the above. Here is the company that I have used quite a few times for smaller flights with just the family, I've also chartered a jet through them though they didn't have the greatest prices for that:

Fair enough. I was assuming you were talking jet service only, in part because I thought you were talking about high class, full-service, smooth ride, turbine performance and not just "how to get there cheaply and conveniently". If you're considering piston twins, like a Baron, then that's a whole different price point of course. For a few hundred mile trip, especially from remote locations, I can believe it would be comparable to, or better than, airline prices. Of course, if you put 4 passengers in a Baron you're going to need multiple fuel stops and probably two days to fly cross country (I know you didn't say anything about cross-country).

For reference on jet prices, this will give you a vague idea:  http://www.jetcharters.com/private-jets/falcon-50.cfm  and  http://www.jetcharters.com/private-jets/cessna-citation-vii.cfm

Those are the kinds of planes most people are thinking of when they think about chartering a flight, and you need a surprisingly large plane to ferry 6 passengers 2000 miles. There's going to be additional charges on top of those rates, too.


With the hunting in Florida trip the fee was 12k and was on a jet that would have seated maybe up to 20 people. Because we had so much gear with us they'd pulled out some of the seats to make room for all of our gear actually. It was similar to the prices offered by the commercial airlines. Unfortunately that's the only price/experience that is comparable that I can recall at the moment and it's not like I keep records of the stuff.

As for being in a huge rush? No. Not really. So long as you leave and depart on scheduled times it is all good. In my experience it hasn't taken all that much longer overall either and I have gone across the country but that was fairly expensive and just had a few of us. We chartered a jet simply for the privacy and comfort for a couple of those and those are pretty pricey.

It isn't always cheaper but it often is if there's a group of you going. The benefits make the cost worth it (to me) sometimes if they're even more expensive. The company that I linked to is pretty decent, as mentioned the jets can get expensive, and I've also had pretty good service with them. They may have even allowed some casual misbehavior on their flights in the past. ;) I mean, yeah, we did go to FLORIDA after all.
 
2013-05-30 05:22:36 PM

dukeblue219: I appreciate you replying and actually giving the honest numbers. I certainly have nothing against you taking the charter flights, I mean, I'm a pilot too. I was just stuck in the mindset of long-ass jet charters which are crazy expensive, and time and again I've heard folks ask about such charters and be shocked at the sticker price. And yeah, I'll bet you did pay $12k/ea to fly international first class.... at least. Business class maybe $12k for the two of you.

Seems most "average Joes" out there freak out about flying on a regional jet, not to mention if they end up needing even a large turboprop for a connecting flight. Flying a Baron is a dream for most pilots, but a nightmare to a large segment of the flying public, sadly.


See:

UnspokenVoice: They say the smaller planes are less safe and statistics seem to bear that out but I've yet to have any issues other than being tossed around a bit more during storms.


Anyhow, they get a little pricey and long if you're going across the country. Flying from Maine to California took a day pretty much. I don't mind the smaller planes. I kind of like them and have been thinking about picking one up and learning to fly. I've flown a little (took some lessons even) and often the pilots of the smaller craft will let you climb up in front and even pilot the plane for a while.

I also tip said pilots by the way... I'm not sure if it is customary or not but I do it. I've never had them look at me funny or refuse it. I don't really know the protocol for that to be honest. It's usually another hundred or so each way, sometimes a couple hundred if I enjoyed the flight. It is also worth it, in my experience, to develop a relationship with the company. The one I linked to is one that I keep a card from in my wallet. I know them, they know me, they know my friends and family, and they're responsible for our lives as they take us around to experience new things. They've taken us to weddings, funerals, vacations, and business meetings. There's a lot of trust there and having a relationship with them is important. They're not my staff, they're valuable people who help me achieve my goals.
 
2013-05-30 05:40:32 PM

dukeblue219: And yeah, I'll bet you did pay $12k/ea to fly international first class.... at least.


Quick update, yeah they were just a little over 12k each. I was curious so I went and looked. I seem to recall that the penalty for cancelling was quite high too. Needless to say, we didn't cancel, I'd have gone even if I was dead. People seem to think that flying has gotten more expensive. As near as I can tell it is cheaper than it ever was. Some exceptions, like a flight to Egypt, apply. That was just absurdly expensive.
 
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