What Is the Difference Between Scheduled and Charter Flights?

Scheduled flights are general transportation options open to all commuters, while chartered flights are registered to certain businesses or groups or for various purposes. Chartered flights are often exclusionary and selective on who is allowed to buy tickets. Both kinds of flights use planes of differing sizes and complete long and short trips.

Private airlines offer transportation options to the general public in the form of scheduled flights. These are all of the trips shown on booking websites and in airports as regular incoming and outgoing traffic. Any of these flights offer seats at various prices and allow people to buy passage in this way.

These same airlines also offer charter flights to private companies and groups. Chartering a plane requires paying for all the seats aboard and contracting with the organization that owns the vessel for fuel, pilots and other expenses. This ensures seats for everyone in an organization and often provides reduced fares for people aboard. It also allows the group to specify the trip itinerary, choosing the date and time to depart as well as the flight destination.

Major airlines provide scheduled and chartered flights. At the same time, there are jet companies that only cater to chartered flights. Exclusive providers like this offer luxury amenities in addition to the privacy of a dedicated flight.