Every international budget traveler, and many domestic budget travelers as well, will eventually be introduced to the idea of using chartered flights. Using charter flights has important advantages and some drawbacks to be aware of.
There is no doubt that airfare is one of the biggest expenses of any vacation. Airfare costs can easily represent at leas half of the total cost of a vacation, and if you do not get the best possible deal on airfare it is easy to go over budget.
One advantage of charter flights is that they can often allow a traveler to fly to a popular destination, like Europe, in the high season for a much lower cost than comparable commercial flights.
That is because commercial airlines generally greatly increase their airfares during the popular high season, due to the effects of supply and demand. During the high season, charter flights can often be much less expensive than those ion traditional airlines.
Another advantage of charter flights that many people are unaware of is that it is sometimes possible to upgrade to first class for very low prices.
Many travelers do not realize it, but charter planes do have first class sections. Since few people who can afford first class transatlantic flights fly on charter airlines, the first class section is often almost empty. Due to this disparity, it is often possible to upgrade to first class for very low prices.
When you check in for your charter flight, always be sure to ask if an upgrade to first class is available. These upgrades are almost always available, and the price can be as low as $50. This is an unheard of deal for a long transatlantic flight.
These price advantages, of course, often come with some associated drawbacks. One of the most significant disadvantages of many charter flight operators is that their level of customer service can be much worse than the major commercial air carriers.
From late opening ticket windows, to flight delays to luggage problem, many charter airlines have a bad reputation for customer service.
Fortunately, the internet has made the process of finding reliable charter airlines, and avoiding the bad ones, much easier.The many travel related web sites and newsgroups are great ways to learn about the various charter airlines that operate international flights, swap stories and tips with those who have been there, and of course to compare prices.