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Private jet pilot of 15 years earns astonishing amount before receiving tips from passengers

Private jet pilot of 15 years earns astonishing amount before receiving tips from passengers

You may have thought private plane travel sounded nice for the passengers, but it turns out it's a pretty good gig for the pilots, too

A private jet has revealed they earn a frankly astonishing amount – and that’s before even receiving any tips from passengers.

Many of us are unlikely to ever be rich enough to afford private plane travel, meaning our experiences in the air usually tend to involve mini tubes of Sour Cream and Onion Pringles, someone falling asleep on your shoulder and noisy hen parties bound for Malia.

Sure, it’s all part of the fun, but it doesn’t stop the curiosity about how it could be.

And, it turns out, private jets aren’t just great for the uber-elite passengers – they happen to be a pretty cushty gig for the pilots too.

A Reddit user, who has been a professional private jet pilot for around 15 years, hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) to offer up some of their insight.

Kim Kardashian loves travelling by private jet.

“The largest jet I currently fly has a range of 4,000 nm and can carry around 9 passengers,” they wrote.

“The purchase price was $23MM. This aircraft can make the west coast to Hawaii, and NY to London non-stop.

“I have spent time in the sales office selling what we call ‘Charters’ (one time jet rental flights), as a full time charter line captain, and now Chief Pilot and Dir of Flight Operations for a private flight department.

“I have flown a fair number of high profile people, as well as lesser known but wealthier individuals.”

When someone asked the inevitable – how much they made – the pilot replied: “A pilot at my level can expect $250k - $350k based upon a few factors such as home base, schedule, etc...”

Another user replied to say ‘pilot pay websites’ list the gig as ‘around $257k max’, adding: “That’s working (gone from home) 18 days a month. Not great.”

But the pilot encouraged them to take those numbers ‘with a grain of salt’.

“I haven’t spent 18 nights away from home yet in all of 2023,” they continued.

“The rates have increased greatly with all carriers over the past 12 months. Delta pilots can easily pass $400k now. Some international captains will be over $500k.”

We can dream...
Kim Hunter/Pixabay

Someone else asked if they got tipped by their clients, to which the answer was yes, sometimes – but that there were also many ‘other perks’.

“Charter pilots can usually expect some tips,” the pilot explained.

“One of my fave passengers when I flew charters was a well known football player for the Chicago Bears whom has since retired. I used to fly him to Vegas and he would tip $1k without fail.

“Other perks are things like collecting hotel rewards points. I stay at Marriott properties and built up enough status and points that all of my personal vacations are free. The same is true for rental cars.

“Not to mention when a passenger goes to a cool destination, I am there enjoying it as we typically stay nearby in case they want to go home early. So if they are in Iceland for a week, so am I, and they are paying for everything.”

Hands up who now suddenly thinks they’re in the wrong profession?

Featured Image Credit: Mark Andrew Thomas/ Ahry / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: World News, Reddit, Travel