How to Book a Last Minute Private Flight

Unlike flying on a commercial flight, it’s not necessary to book a flight on a private jet weeks or months in advance.

That’s because, unless it’s for a trip to a high profile event like the Super Bowl, there’s usually no need to book far ahead.
Private jet customers have access to a wide arrange of available aircraft around the world, who are all ready to be booked and flown at a moment’s notice. This means that there’s no significant price advantage to booking very far in advance, unlike for airline tickets.

But sometimes a customer will want to take off on a private plane as soon as possible, with some looking to take-off as soon as one hour later. This is what we call a “go now” or “pop up” flight.

“Go now” flights can happen for a variety of reasons, such as the client’s airline flight has been cancelled, there is a medical emergency, or simply the client just wants to get going very quickly.

In November 2019 we arranged our fastest ever – with the client airborne within 16 minutes of calling us.

This flight was for a last-minute business meeting, where the client had experience flying privately; he knew that he would depart from Teterboro Airport when in New York City, so he called us as he was arriving there by car.
One of our Flight Advisors identified an operator with an aircraft and crew already positioned there, and made the arrangements in record time.

16 Minutes is unusually fast! Usually it takes an hour or two to position an aircraft and have the crew arrive to the FBO; however, sometimes the stars align – and often only aligning for private jet flyers.

But just how “last minute” can you book a private plane flight? Here’s an example of how it works:

Time since inquiry Local time What’s happening now?
0 minutes 11:00am A client in New York sends a flight request via PrivateFly’s iPhone app for New York to Boston departing ASAP.
1 minute 11:01am The Flight Team calls the client back within one minute to verify their requirements.
2 minutes 11:02am our technology pinpoints aircraft already at New York and those due to arrive there shortly. Our technology is integrated with aircraft operators’ scheduling software and identifies the best available aircraft.
10 minutes 11:10am The client receives an update and leaves by car for the short drive to the FBO (private terminal) at Teterboro Airport, so they can be ready for boarding as soon as the aircraft is ready.
12 minutes 11:12am Six aircraft are available and quotes are submitted within 10 minutes (some within seconds). The clients sees each quote immediately and chooses the most competitive aircraft, a Citation CJ2. The aircraft is already stationed at the airport.
14 minutes 11:14am The client confirms the booking, paying by credit card. The passengers have flown with PrivateFly before so we already have their passport details to pre-clear for security, saving time on arrival.
40 minutes 11:40am The aircraft is set up and ready at Teterboro. The Captain introduces himself to the client in the FBO lounge. A flight plan is acknowledged with the authorities, with a take-off slow at 12:00 local time.
50 minutes 11:50am The passengers are taken directly to the steps of the aircraft and they board. The aircraft is now ready for take-off, with all checks complete.
1 hour 12:00pm The aircraft takes off from New York, heading north to Boston. Our Flight Team liaise with the FBO at Boston Logan International, to arrange to have a car waiting at the other end for the passengers to make a quick exit.

How quickly can I go from booking to flying?

While this depends on the route, usually a few hours between booking to flying is no problem – with many flights can be arranged within one hour.

Can I pay by bank transfer for last minute flights?

Absolutely. A credit card hold is required to secure the aircraft for flights at very short notice. But customers can choose to pay by other methods after the hold is taken.
Find out more about our accepted methods of payment.
My airline flight is canceled so I have booked a private jet flight instead. How do I get to the private jet terminal at the same airport?

Our team will send you full, clear directions to the FBO (private jet terminal). For larger airports, car transfers can be arranged within the site.
The aircraft is ready, when can we take off?

All departures are subject to approval by Air Traffic Control. So while many flights can be off the ground almost immediately, sometimes there will be a wait for a take-off slow, while the aircraft is cleared.

At smaller airports, there are fewer slot restrictions and the runway is less busy, so take off can often be faster.

If you need a last minute “go now” private plane, contact us or call our 24/7 Flight Team at 212-655-0561