The FAA severely limits compensation a private pilot can receive and for this purpose, reimbursement counts as compensation even if the pilot’s still loses money. However, some reimbursement can be allowed for flight costs of fuel, oil, aircraft expenditures, and rental fees, so long as the pilot personally pays no less than their per capita share. In other words, the pilot and the passengers can evenly divide these costs between them. In order to do this, the pilot and the paying passengers must have a common purpose at the destination. The pilot must not hold out a public willingness to carry people on these terms.