3 Factors to Consider When Booking Last-Minute Private Jets

Although thousands of aircraft are registered in the United States, only a tiny percentage of them are accessible for ad hoc charter trips. Even fewer are commercially run, and only a small number of those have Argus Gold or Wyvern Safety certifications, the highest independently assessed safety requirements. 

As a result, as you might expect, the market can be entirely restricted, particularly during peak travel months or around specific events. Demand for private travel remains ‘exceptional,’ making it even more challenging to book that last-minute flight. On this note, it’s wiser to try and secure an aircraft well in advance to lock in a better pricing. Plus you’ll get more aircraft options that you would get in a last-minute flight. 

With that said, let’s dive into the key factors to consider when reserving a last-minute private aircraft. Continue reading!

1. Availability Could Change Any Moment

Some of the planes for which you may have received quotations are privately owned but controlled by an operator. If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Owners Approval Required,” you know what it implies. Before the jet may be contracted, the owner must provide their consent. While this is usually not an issue, there is always the possibility that the owner will refuse, for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Profit margins are low based on flying hours.
  • Schedule clashes
  • Maintenance
  • They intend to use the aircraft on those days or at the very least want to leave their options open.
  • They did not feel like it or did not answer promptly.

Sometimes operators may quote a trip assuming that their aircraft would be finished with maintenance on time, and as luck would have it, it never is. In some circumstances, you may have signed a contract for a flight and believed everything was OK, but then the owner rejects (or changes their mind, which they will almost certainly have language in their agreement allowing them to do), and you are back at square one. Only now do you have far less time to locate an alternative solution, and your other options are no longer available.

To reiterate, just because you have a quote does not always mean that the aircraft is available. Aircraft confirmation can only be provided once a contract has been executed and payment or a credit card authorization has been set in place.

2. You’ll Have to Be Aware of the Terms and Conditions 

Operators will typically pre-authorize the credit card for the full charter amount to secure the aircraft. The client may indicate whether they intend to pay by credit card for an additional 4% fee, or wiring the funds in full usually 3 days prior to the flight. 

It’s always important to read contracts thoroughly and see all of the cancelation terms for one ways and round-trip flights. It is common practice in the industry for all one-way flights to be non-refundable, specially during holiday peak season. Round-trip flights are often cancelable but it does come with certain cancellation fees.

3. Be prepared to pay a fee if you cancel.

As mentioned above, if you cancel your flight, the operator will charge you a cancellation fee in many cases. This fee is typically a percentage amount of the flight. You may ask, why would I want to pay upwards of $5000 if I cancel? This covers the cost for the operator to replace the contract you canceled on and any costs incurred by the operator.

Booking last minute flights within 24-48 hours or less of a scheduled flight, significantly exposes you to be inside the penalized cancellation window that ranges up to 50%-100% cancellation fee of the charter for any last-minute cancellations. If you cancel 2 weeks prior to a round-trip flight, oftentimes you may be lucky and be able to get out of a contract without penalties, but of course, this all depends on the contract terms of that air charter operator.


As you can see, there are many moving parts to chartering a jet last minute. But the main takeaway is that you have options! You may have to take a bit more time to find what you are looking for, but with a bit of research and effort, you can get your last-minute flight secured.

Velox Air Charter is your go-to American private jet charter service, providing a wide range of aircraft, from Turbo-props to light Jets, mid-size Jets, ultra-long-range jets, heavy jets, and Airliners. If you need a private air charter to Las Vegas, we can get you a quick charter estimate. Call or email us at (954) 686-4191 and charter@veloxjets.com.

Velox Jets

Our primary focus is to build a reputation around providing our customers with excellent service, pristine planning, incredible hospitality, and top-notch safety.

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