What is a Charter Flight?

What is a Charter Flight?

If the words “charter flights” conjure up visions of private jets and celebrities, it’s time to recalibrate your travel plans.

The perfect flight: inexpensive, non-stop, and goes directly to where you want to go. If you don’t live close to a major airline hub, the odds of finding all three together are pretty low. Unless you take advantage of flights chartered by tour operators like Funjet Vacations.

Charter flights arranged by tour operators have much more in common with regular commercial flights than with the private planes hired by CEOs and starlets. Tour operators arrange charters, or buy seats on value flights, operated by well-known carriers like Southwest Airlines, Frontier and Sun Country, with all the usual amenities (like free checked bags).

You won’t find these flights on booking or airline sites, and they tend to be cheaper (with less variation in fares) than on scheduled commercial flights, especially when booked as part of an all-inclusive vacation package. Fares for charter flights also aren’t burdened with many of the restrictions imposed with commercial flights, and there are no fare-class distinctions (i.e., you won’t be forced to choose between a non-refundable “budget” fare and a refundable but more expensive “flexible” fare for the exact same window seat).

So what are the downsides to booking a charter flight? If you are a member of a frequent flier club, the perks may make it worth it to fly your preferred airline (which you can still book as part of a package with your travel agent or tour operator). And if enough seats on a charter flight are not sold, the tour operator chartering a flight can cancel it up to 10 days before departure.

If you live near Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, San Antonio, St. Louis, checking Funjet Vacations’ value flight finder before booking your next vacation is well worth it. Funjet offers non-stop charter and value flights from each of those cities to some of their most popular destinations, including Cancun, Riviera Maya, Punta Cana, Jamaica and Puerto Vallarta.