Charter Flights

Specialisation of the airlines on a Charter Flights - for flights in certain regions

Charter Flights

There are generally two types of tickets which can be booked by customers looking for a flight to a particular destination: charter flights and scheduled flights. Charter flights differ from scheduled flights in that they are never booked directly with the airline, and are instead booked through a third party provider such as a tour operator or travel agency. The main advantage of this is that in the UK, booking companies must be registered as part of the ATOL scheme. This means that customers' money is protected should either the travel agent or the airline be unable to deliver the expected service - perhaps due to financial insolvency, which is a particularly pertinent issue in the UK today. Additionally, customers can often book charter flights cheaply, especially if booking close to departure. This is because the third party provider has already paid for the seat on the aircraft, so is especially keen to recoup some of the cost.

On the other hand, charter flights do have some limitations. Generally, charter flights are only available from the UK to popular destinations, such as holiday resorts or major cities. Booking a scheduled flight directly with the airline has traditionally been the best way for customers to get to destinations which are off the beaten track. However, in recent years, and with the rise of online tour operators who can offer a wider range of holidays and packages at a low cost, this is starting to change. There are also advantages to using scheduled flights when travelling long haul; the airlines often have agreements with other companies to ensure that, if changing flights en route to the final destination, the customer does not need to collect and transfer their own luggage. However, for the vast majority of journeys for tourism or business purposes, there would be many advantages to booking charter flights and few relevant limitations.

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