Charter vs. ScheduledWhich type of airfare is better to Ireland?

Attention! We do not know of any current charter flights from the United States to Ireland.

This is a tough question to answer so I figured I would give you the information so you can make an educated decision based on your own vacation requirements.

Charter Air is when a plane is leased by a private company to fly a certain route on a scheduled basis. In our case we have a company that flies between New York and Knock, Ireland which is located just above Galway. Charter flights tend to have lower operating costs and sell quite well due to their lower prices... thanks to Knock Airport which has lower taxes. So, you get lower airfares but you need to live near New York to effectively take advantage of it. You also have fewer dates to choose from to use a charter as they may depart and return on a set schedule which may not match your vacation plans.

Scheduled Air is really another term for the major airlines that have daily departures and networks of affiliate airlines including direct flights Aer Lingus, Continental, American Airlines and Delta . Airlines were previously struggling and now turning a profit, set the rates for the industry and pretty much do whatever they want in my opinion ... but they have direct flights daily which is a definite plus.

To determine what is best for you, determine if you are flexible on dates to obtain a lower rate and if you are close to the charter flight airports. You may also want to read the sidebar to read more specifics on charter flights.

Charter Flights from the US to Ireland

We do have a few charter flights available for Ireland and Scotland/U.K. including:

  • 2014: No Curent Charter Flights

If you would like pricing for these flights as well, please make a note on your Ireland Fly & Drive Budget Planner. There are a few caveats to these flights which is why I do not price them automatically.

Charter flights are typically one plane flying between two specific airports on a scheduled basis and not typically daily. If there are any mechanical problems with your plane, you cannot simply take the next flight out -- you must wait until that plane is fixed. Using scheduled air, chances are better that the airline will re-route you or put you on another airline to get you to your destination.

Charter flights have their own contracts which dictate rights and responsibilities, check-in policies as well as luggage restrictions. Charter flights will not recognized other airlines therefore if you have a connecting flight that is late and you miss your charter flight you must purchase a new ticket and lose the fare of your missed flight. Connections for international destinations should be no less than two (2) hours.

My first flight to Ireland was in 1994 using a charter and we were delayed 23 hours at Philadelphia International - I know first-hand the downside to charter flights.