Expert Guide on How to Fly Private on a Budget

Friday, 09 February 2024 | 15 min read

It’s no secret that flying private can come with a hefty price tag. Charter flights range from the low thousands to more than $10,000 per hour, and other options like fractional ownership and jet cards can run you even more than that. Although this is supposed to be a more affordable option than buying a jet, it sure doesn’t seem that way.

It would be easy to think that flying private might be out of reach for you, but what if there was a better, more budget-friendly way to fly private? Well, now there is.

Vaunt is a newcomer in the private aviation scene who wants to make flying private more accessible for more people. Keep reading to learn more about how to fly private on a budget and how you can make your dream of flying private come true with Vaunt.

Debunking Myths about Private Jet Costs

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around about flying private, both from industry insiders and those who have never flown on a private jet. Since the luxury aviation industry was, and to an extent still is, based on connections and insider intel, it can be hard to find out what’s true.

Myths about Private Jet Costs

Some common myths include:

  • Buying is better than chartering

If you are a billionaire who has to fly overseas with a large team multiple times a month, there’s a chance that buying a jet may save some money over time. For most people, chartering is a much more affordable option for flying private.

If you were to sign up for a private jet membership at $60,000 per year, it would take you 120 years before you spent the same amount as someone who bought a brand new HondaJet Elite II for $7.2 million. Choosing to fly empty leg with Vaunt.

Of course, this all depends on your flying frequency and your needs, but it’s safe to say that chartering is a cheaper option for most flyers than buying.

  • Private flights have lots of fees

In commercial aviation, paying extra fees for amenities, luggage, preferred seating, and in-flight food is typical. Even getting through security faster with TSA PreCheckⓇ requires a fee. If you own your jet, costs for fuel and crew members compound on top of what you originally paid.

There are ways to fly private that help you avoid paying multiple fees per trip. Most jet memberships have all the fees included in your membership costs. With Vaunt, there are absolutely no hidden fees for booking, baggage, or fuel.

  • Private Jets are just too expensive

This statement is partially true. Private jets are unaffordable to many people if you have to own the jet or book a traditional charter. However, not all methods of flying private are exorbitantly expensive.

Flying with Vaunt is a great way to fly private on a budget. With Vaunt, you pay just one annual fee of $995. That’s less than what the average American pays for utilities every year. This membership gives flyers access to daily opportunities to fly on repositioning flights.

How to Fly Private for Less

With so many luxury services becoming more accessible thanks to the internet, why shouldn’t flying private be more accessible, too?

Where do you start? Well, when it comes to flying private, travelers have a few options:

  • Full Ownership

Owning a jet is probably what many people think of when they think of flying private. For some, the best choice is to buy a private jet, and pay all the operation and management costs themselves. The plane is theirs to use whenever they want, whether they fly five or 15 times a year.

Full ownership is by far the most expensive way to fly private. A brand-new private jet costs millions, making this option less than ideal for anyone looking to save money.

  • Fractional ownership

Fractional ownership means precisely what it sounds like: you own a fraction of a private jet alongside other flyers. You can purchase anywhere from 1/16th to 1/2 of a private jet. The time you get to fly is directly proportional to what fraction you purchase. Someone who owns 1/3rd of a jet receives greater priority than someone who owns 1/8th of a jet, etc.

  • Charter flights

Charter flights are where the passenger rents an entire aircraft for their trip. The charterer decides the departure and arrival time and books through a jet operator.

Chartering is another common way to fly private, but it can still cost you quite a bit. Flyers can end up paying extra for amenities like food and fuel. But they save on plane storage and aviation crew costs.

  • Jet cards

Jet Cards are memberships that grant members access to jets for a guaranteed amount of time for a regular fee. These fees can range from upwards of $60,000 a year to Vaunt, where you pay only $995 a year.

So which choice gives travelers the most bang for their buck? If you’re looking for the lowest price, memberships like Vaunt pose a clear advantage.

In 2022, the average price of a domestic commercial airline ticket in the U.S. was $382. For the price of about two and a half commercial airline tickets, you can bring four to seven guests, depending on the aircraft, on a private plane multiple times a year. How is this possible? The answer is easy: empty leg flights.

is it cheaper to fly private

The Secret of Last Minute Private Jet Deals – Empty Leg Flights

Vaunt helps members fly for less by taking advantage of empty leg, also called repositioning, flights.

When planes are chartered from a new location, they have to make their way there whether there are passengers or not. Close to 30% of domestic private flights fly without a single passenger. Repositioning flights are necessary, but there’s no reason for them to stay empty.

Flying empty leg is a fantastic way to achieve your goal of flying on a private jet for a substantially cheaper price than a traditional charter flight.

Vaunt gives users access to new waitlists for empty leg flights every day. Here’s how it works:

  • Download the Vaunt app on the Apple App or Google Play Store, and sign up for a membership.
  • Once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to waitlists for empty leg flights. Join as many waitlists as you like.
  • If you’re selected to fly, Vaunt’s concierge team will contact you to confirm the details and book your flight.
  • Show up at the FBO (or executive airport)and prepare for takeoff!

It’s as simple as that! Sign up for Vaunt today to receive access to new empty leg flights daily.

Repositioning flights pose a unique and exciting prospect in the aviation industry. Opening up these flights to passengers allows more people than ever to fly private.

How Can Empty Leg Flights Offer a Lower Cost?

Because these flights exist to stop repositioning jets from flying empty and come with a few stipulations, they cost less than a traditional charter. Flying empty leg is a great way to fly private on a budget.

Because of the nature of repositioning flights, the plane would fly whether or not there were passengers in the cabin. This is a perfect chance for companies like Vaunt to offer up the unique opportunity to fly private for less. If the plane is flying anyway, why not let someone enjoy the ride?

You’ll get the opportunity to have the plane all to yourself, enjoy luxury amenities, and snap some great photos for social media. However, there are a few things you want to know about repositioning flights:

  • Empty leg flights are one way. You’ll have to arrange your trip home yourself.
  • These routes are not flexible, which means no pit stops and no changes of plans.
  • You don’t get to choose which model of aircraft you fly on, so choose your guests wisely!
  • Repositioning flights are spontaneous. If you’re selected to fly you be will notified a day before departure.

With all these in mind, you can decide if taking an empty leg is right for you. If you travel often or are just in need of a vacation, taking a spontaneous trip on an empty leg flight is a great way to save money on a luxury experience.

How Much Does Flying Private Cost: A Breakdown

Let’s look at a cost breakdown of what you could expect to pay when you fly with Vaunt instead of other methods of flying private.

Methods Initial Deposit Member Fees Operating Costs Hourly Fees Total Cost per year
Vaunt $1,000 Annually 0 0 0 $25 million
Other Jet Memberships Minimum of $60,000 0 0 $6,000 and up $120,000
Fractional Ownership (1/16th) Minimum of $549,000 $5,950 per month and up Fuel costs vary $4,200 and up $830,400
Full Ownership Average of $5 million 0 $10,000 per year for fuel, up to $200,000 for aviation crew 0 Over $5 million first year
How Much does Flying Private Cost

When compared to traditional methods of flying private, Vaunt soars above the rest in terms of affordability. With zero hidden fees or additional costs, members get access to unlimited flying hours on empty leg flights. All the luxury of an exclusive, private flight, with none of the commitment of ownership.

Save Private Flights: Book with Vaunt Today

Vaunt is an affordable alternative to traditional charter flights. If you want to fly private but don’t feel like paying a premium, book an empty leg flight with Vaunt and experience the magic of flying private.

For only a one-time, annual fee of $995, Vaunt lets members to join waitlists for empty leg flights. These flights provide an opportunity that, for many, was previously once in a lifetime. Now, Vaunt allows you to sign up for as many waitlists as you like, and take as many flights as you’re selected for. Soar to new heights when you fly on a private jet, and get a great deal doing it.

Download the Vaunt app day, sign up, and get right to flying.


How Much Does it Cost to Fly Private?

Prices for private flights vary, but it’s typically pretty expensive. A private jet can cost anywhere from $2 million to $100 million. Charter flights can range from $1,000 to $100,000 with added fees and operating costs. It would be easy to think flying private is just too expensive, but there are ways to fly private on a budget.

Is there a Cheaper Way to Fly Private?

Yes! With Vaunt, you can fly on a private jet multiple times a year for a one time, annual fee of just $995. This membership fee gives you access to daily opportunities to book empty leg flights.

Flying with Vaunt is significantly cheaper than flying on a traditional charter flight. It is also cheaper than many jet memberships that require a hefty deposit, monthly membership fees, operating costs, and more. Sign up for Vaunt today to get a great deal on private, empty leg flights.

What is a Private Jet Card?

A jet card, or private jet membership, is a program that gives holders guaranteed access to private jets. Usually they provide access to a certain number of hours for private flights.

Jet cards are a good choice for flyers who fly private somewhat frequently, but don’t want the commitment that comes with fractional or full ownership.

What are Empty Leg Flights?

Empty leg flights, or repositioning flights, are a type of flying that takes advantage of necessary jet repositioning by putting passengers on the plane, instead of letting it stay empty.

Empty leg flights are one way, private flights that fly between pre-set locations while a plane is repositioning. Today nearly 30% of private flights are empty repositioning flights. Vaunt is looking to match flyers with empty flights, so everyone can experience the magic of flying in a private jet.

How Can I Take Advantage of Empty Leg Flights?

Take advantage of empty leg flights today with Vaunt. Download the Vaunt app on the apple app or google play store. From there you’ll be prompted to sign up and join as many flight waitlists as you want. For just $1,000 there’s no limit to the amount of waitlists you can join.

If you’re chosen to fly, you’ll be contacted by our concierge team who will confirm the details and take care of the booking for you. Simply show up the day at the right time, and prepare for takeoff. Flying with Vaunt is a simple and convenient way to fly private for cheaper.


This article is intended for informational purposes only. Vaunt aims to provide accurate and up-to-date information, however Vaunt is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions of data or information that is no longer accurate due to delay, change in law, rules, or regulations.


For the most current information, please contact Vaunt directly.