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Private Jet Charter Quotes – Ten Terms You Should Know

Private Jet CharterWhen comparing private jet charter quotes, take note of the following ten items that might make a difference in which quote you choose;

Hourly Rate

The largest charge on your private jet charter quote will be the hourly cost to charter the aircraft.  The hourly rate will be based on either actual air flight time or based on block time (billed from when the aircraft starts taxiing until it. Actual air time starts when the aircraft takes off and ends when it lands.  Block time starts when the aircraft taxis away from the ramp and ends when it parks at your destination.  The difference between the two methods could mean as much as 12 minutes on each leg, as the average taxi time is typically 6 minutes on either end of your flight.  Compare the estimated flight on each quote as well as the hourly rate.

Fuel Surcharge

Some charter companies (and most fractional and jet card providers) charge this additional fee to cover the rising costs of jet fuel.  Fuel surcharges were popular on private jet charter quotes in 2006-2007  and in 2011 when oil was trading over $150 a barrel. It became a source of income that some providers were reluctant to give up, even after the price of fuel was lowered.  This surcharge can make a significant difference in the quoted hourly cost of your charter.  When comparing costs, be sure to include the fuel surcharges into the hourly rates of each aircraft.

Daily Minimums

Some charter companies will charge a minimum flight time charge for each day the aircraft is away from its home base.  This is usually billed as 1 or 2 hours at the hourly charter rate of the aircraft.

Repositioning Cost

This is the cost of moving the aircraft from its home base to your location to begin your flight.  Typically the cost for your charter will be lowest if you use an aircraft that is based near your point of departure.

Ramp and Landing Fees

Ramp fees are the amount charged to the charter operator when utilizing a private jet terminal facility or FBO (fixed base operator).  Landing fees are usually a fee imposed by the operator of the airport to help fund airport maintenance and operations.  Some charter operators use these terms interchangeably or possibly group the fees into one category to keep the private jet charter quote from becoming too detailed.

Overnight Fees

Overnight fees cover the expenses incurred by the pilots when the aircraft stays at your destination overnight, such as hotel rooms, meals, rental car, etc.

Federal Excise Tax

Federal Excise Tax, or FET, is required to be collected by your charter provider and remitted to the IRS.  This tax is 7.5% of the total charges for your domestic flight, not including catering, ground transportation or other third party-provided services.  You’ll also see FET listed on private jet charter quotes on your international flights when the destination is within 225 miles of the U.S. borders.

Segment Fees

Segments fees are collected on domestic flights on a per person, per leg basis, and remitted to the IRS by your charter provider.  Currently, segment fees amount to $3.70 per passenger for each leg flown.  If you are flying to or from certain rural airports, segment fees do not apply.

International Segment Fees

International segment fees currently are $16.10 per passenger, per leg.  This tax is only collected when your international flight includes crossing a U.S. border.


Handling fees are usually incurred when traveling to international destinations.  Paying for a local handler to assist your flight crew can be a huge time saver for the passengers as they normally help expedite your clearance into the country you are visiting.  Handlers can also make arrangements with reputable local companies for services such as ground transportation and catering.

Understanding these ten terms will help you differentiate the quotes you receive for your next private jet charter flight.

Need a Private Jet Charter Quote?

Contact Desert Jet to book your next private jet charter flight at (760) 399-1000 or email at

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