First-class travel has long been the pinnacle of air travel. However, in recent years, a new kid on the block has become more prominent, giving first class some competition.

Whilst still expensive, private jet charter is now more accessible than ever. And many are now choosing its convenience and comfort over frilly first class.

Here we look at the differences between the two and discuss the reasons for this shift.

The famed first-class cabin

Etihad First Class

Etihad First Class

When most people think of luxury air travel, flying in the first class cabin will usually spring to mind. Privacy, five-star service, and fine dining to match. These are just a few of the perks.

Others include special check-in areas, luxurious pre-flight lounges, and Earlier boarding and disembarking times. These privileges have for a long time been enough to tempt high rollers into the front end of the plane.

But things seem to be changing. Step up the private charter jet.

Are private jet charters superior?

Delta Private Jets

Delta Private Jets

One of the biggest attractions of chartering your own private jet is the flexibility that it comes with. As well as all of the advantages of first class – perhaps even more – you can plan and customise your route as you wish. This means no more inconvenient connections and transfers.

Not only that, modern-day private jets are now consistently more roomy and sophisticated than the best first class cabins on the market. With private jet charters, the comfort is increased dramatically thanks to spacious cabin areas, bespoke catering and second-to-none amenities.

But, of course, the increased comfort and luxury comes with a price. Having said that, some private jet charter companies finding ways to make their fees more affordable than you might imagine.

Empty leg flights

Private Jet Luxury Air Charter Service

Private Jet Luxury Air Charter Service

Empty leg flights are when a jet has been chartered on a one-way trip and will have to fly back anyway, often with no paying passengers on board. These flights are not as customisable as regular chartered flights as the departure and destination airport, along with the time of departure, are pre-defined.

They are, however, usually on sale for a markedly reduced price. Should the itinerary suits your need, they are great for last-minute trips or urgent business travel, potentially offering the kind of value that you might not expect from a private jet charter.

First class vs private jet charter

Emirates First Class private suites on B777

Emirates First Class private suites on B777

Photo: Emirates

The next time you’re booking a first class seat, it may well be worth checking out some private jet charter companies and seeing what they have on offer. While both are exceedingly luxurious, private jets just about edge it with superior privacy, amenities and personalised cuisine. And if you can find an empty leg flight that suits your plans, even better.