You are looking forward to that special ski trip, or summer hiking trip, to Aspen from your home in New York City (NYC) with the family and you do not want to waste time or money getting there, what do you do? You have several options, but not all of them really make sense for your trip. Driving is probably the least expensive, but do you want to use up four days of your time off getting there and returning home not to mention the hassle of the drive through the mountains of Colorado and potential for poor driving conditions (at least in the winter). So flying is the only sensible option.
While flying is the most efficient and quickest way to get to Aspen and then back home to NYC there are no direct flights to Aspen from NYC, or for the return. While this may not be a surprise with today’s commercial air travel system, this trip will involve at least one stop and in many cases two stops (one airline stops at Washington Dulles and again in Denver), probable aircraft changes and 10+ hours of travel time. With the plane changes required, and the possibility of lost luggage, why not consider private jet/charter as an option? Flying by private jet will cut your travel time in about half, but few aircraft can make the NYC to Aspen leg non-stop which defeats part of the reason to consider private jets for this trip and can be expensive. There are some private jet aircraft that can perform the trip non-stop, but they are few and far between and can become exponentially more expensive. In addition, you must make sure the provider is aware of your passenger load and any baggage that you are bringing since this will impact the performance (range and take-off and landing field length needed) of the supplied aircraft.
So what can you do to cut your travel time in the most cost effective and efficient way? My thought is to mix charter flying with commercial flying. Fly commercially to an airport that is relatively close to Aspen and then fly a private jet, or even a turboprop aircraft (if your commercial flight’s destination is close enough to Aspen to offset the slower aircraft speed of the turboprop). This scenario will be more expensive than the commercial trip all the way to Aspen, but you will save time and the potential hassles of an additional stop(s), plane change(s) and lost luggage (which we know happens frequently these days).
Another thought would be in the case that another couple or family members are traveling to Aspen from some other location than NYC. Both groups could fly commercially to an airport that provides non-stop service from their point of origin and then fly together privately into Aspen. This would defray the cost for both groups for the trip.