Almost anyone will probably agree that in a perfect world they’d be able to travel more. It is one of the most natural human desires to want to see different parts of the world and experience new things. And anyone who has traveled will probably agree that you don’t really appreciate or think about your home too much until you have the perspective of seeing how people live in other parts of the world.
The problem of course, is that travel has always been expensive. Although airfares have gotten cheaper over the years, they are still expensive enough that most people don’t fly regularly, and this is likely to remain the case. So unless you plan on suddenly getting rich, you’re going to have to come up with some discount travel solutions if you want to fly more, and a great thing to look into if you’re looking for a cheap flight are charter flights.
Charter flights are cheaper because they work on a different system than a started airline flight. A standard airline will have a set route between two cites: an airline will fly a certain amount a times a week between two cities, and this remains constant regardless of the amount of passengers. In other words normal airline routes function like bus routes, and sometimes there may only be a few people on the plane. It is this need to average out costs – to be able to afford all those times when the plane is a third full – that leads to high airfares.
A charter company can offer cheaper fares by working in a different fashion: they will charter an entire plane from an airline for a particular date and time, and thus receive a heavy discount on the cost. They can then pass some of this discount on to you by offering a lower per seat price for the flight. Most charter companies operate along very common routes during peak times – for example, sunny vacation spots during the winter.
Charter flights are much more reliable then other more radical ways of obtaining discount airfare, and fares will generally get cheaper as the departure date approaches. There is a certain amount of risk, however: a charter company can decide to cancel a flight if they haven’t sold enough tickets. Unlike a regular airline, which constantly has planes going to multiple destinations, the charter company may not be able o immediately put you on another plane. So instead of waiting a few hours it’s likely that if your charter flight is cancelled you’ll either be receiving a refund, or waiting at least a day or two for another charter – which of course can ruin any vacation.
That being said, there are many large and reliable charter companies, and charter flights — while not offering discounts as big as can be found through other discount travel methods – remain a reliable alternative to regular airfare. And if you’re flexible and willing to buy a ticket on short notice, you can find many excellent airfares from charter companies, making charter flights one of the more popular discount traveling methods.
Copyright 2006 John Navata