If you have private trips 1,200 miles or less, and you have six or fewer passengers, it is likely you could utilize a small jet or light jet as they are called in the industry. There are many models on the charter market and within fractional and card programs and light jets can range from the smaller four-seat Cessna Citation Mustang or Embraer Phenom 100, to a six/seven seat Cessna Citation Bravo to a rather large, eight/nine-seat Westwind (note the Westwind offered may be over 30 years old). Light jets offer good performance, access to shorter runways, and a cost-effective alternative to more expensive midsize and large-cabin aircraft. Offering better speed than propeller driven aircraft, using a light jet is a good answer for intra-continental flights.
While light jet performance and range may meet your needs the cabin space on board and baggage capacity of a light jet is at a premium. A six or seven seat jet looks roomy when empty, but once loaded with six or seven tall and or large adults, might be a little tight for a longer trip. Thereare many on-line resources (like jetadvisors.com) to help you familiarize yourself with the cabin layout and show the pros and cons (speed, range, passenger capacity, baggage space, head room, lavatory type, if any, and field performance) of the light jets available in the market place. If you are planning on ordering catering or bringing food on your trip, check if the jet has any food storage, refrigeration or warming capability. Most light jets do not. If you like your beverage in a cup or glass be sure your provider or caterer includes the glasses as most light jets will not have these on board.
Consider the length of time you will be in the air. Most light jets have a lavatory, but some of the older models do not. If it does, be sure to ask if it is fully enclosed with a solid door or just a privacy curtain. Also most experience flyers know that the longer the trip the smaller the cabin feels over time.
As with all aircraft, there is a balancing act between passenger count, baggage and fuel that is allowed on board to stay within the jet’s operating limitations. With light jets, if you fill all the seats with people, you will have to carry less fuel, resulting in a fuel stop. Also, more passengers might mean you will need to travel very light. There is nothing worse than showing up to the ramp only to have your crew inform you that you won’t be able to bring all the baggage you brought. A competent provider should discuss these things with you prior to or at the time of booking your flight. Filling all the seats, flying non-stop, and bringing an abundance of luggage, a step up to a larger or more capable aircraft might be necessary, so consider the Citation Bravo.