Flying on Empty: Empty Leg Flights and Why They’re Great

Flying on Empty: Empty Leg Flights and Why They’re Great

Who wouldn’t want to feel like a celebrity jetting off to lovely destinations on a chartered plane? You won’t have to wait hours at the airport just to get checked in. Imagine yourself sashaying up the aircraft steps with nary a care in the world, drinking and eating whatever you want onboard, and expecting VIP treatment (and getting it) from the aircraft staff on the ground and in-flight.

It’s a glorious dream, but flying private is expensive. Even so, there are ways – like getting on empty leg flights, sharing a private jet with strangers, traveling as a big group, and choosing low-demand seasons – that can help make it happen.

Learn all about empty leg flights. What are they, and how can they help you save money? Read on to find out how chartering empty leg flights makes private jet rental more accessible (read: affordable).

What Is an Empty Leg Flight?

An empty leg flight refers to – well – a flight without passengers. It happens when a private jet has been chartered for a one-way flight.

For example, someone rents a private aircraft to fly one way from Dubai to Istanbul. After the passenger disembarks in Istanbul, the plane must now make its way back to Dubai. The aircraft no longer has any passengers during the return trip. It’s an empty leg flight.

Consequently, the private jet operator or facilitation service it uses may announce the availability of seats on a private jet flying from Istanbul to Dubai on a particular date and time. If you can get on that flight, you can fly private at only 30% of the cost of a regular private jet rental.

Therefore, if chartering the aircraft from Dubai to Istanbul typically costs $25,000, chartering that same private jet on its empty return flight may cost you only $7,500. That is still more expensive than one first-class ticket on Emirates for the same route. However, if you’re traveling with at least one other person, the charter price becomes lower than what you’ll pay for two first-class tickets. The bigger your group of travelers, the more you will save.

Why Are Empty Leg Flights More Affordable?

Why are empty leg flights so much cheaper? It’s because, with or without passengers, the private plane will fly back to base anyway. Furthermore, it must make its return flight as soon as possible instead of waiting around for passengers to book it at regular charter prices. Every day the aircraft remains outside its home airport or hangar means airport fees, maybe even hangar rental costs, and accumulating flight and cabin crew per diem fees.

That said, private jet operators don’t really want to fly their planes home empty. This is why they drop their charter prices on empty leg flights: to encourage flight bookings and at least allow them to recoup some of their costs on the return flight.

Why Fly Empty Leg Flights?

Empty leg flights will let you cut private jet rental costs by as much as 70% without losing out on the experience of flying private. You will enjoy the same privileges and advantages that someone paying full price has.

  • You can skip long lines at the airport.
  • You won’t need to transfer aircrafts at airports and suffer multiple stops.
  • Enjoy VIP treatment at the airport and in-flight.
  • Experience private jet amenities and luxuries.

Additionally, empty leg flights can help you become more adventurous with your choice of destinations. If an empty leg flight becomes available for a destination, the significantly more affordable price (compared to regular private jet charters anyway) may be enough to make you willing to take that flight. Thus, you will travel to a place you never even considered visiting before.

Empty Leg Flights: What Are Their Disadvantages?

Empty-leg flights will save you a significant amount of money without diminishing the private jet experience. However, they’re not for everyone, and they’re not always suitable.

Empty leg flights are exceptionally short-notice. Thus, they’re also known as last-minute flights. It’s understandable. Private jet operators would only know their planes’ availability once an outbound flight had already been booked and finalized. Therefore, if you’re someone who needs plenty of time to plan, empty leg flights may not be for you.

Additionally, if you have a fixed flight date and destination, empty leg flights may not be suitable. There’s no guarantee that an empty leg flight will be available on the date you must leave for the country or city you need to visit.

How Do You Take Advantage of Empty Leg Flights?

Be ready to travel within a few days’ notice and be willing to fly to unplanned destinations.

Do you want to explore the wonders of UAE? Wait for empty leg flights from your city to Dubai or the neighboring emirate of Abu Dhabi. Go anywhere, somewhere – in luxury and style – by booking an empty leg flight to any destination.

Use the internet or call your favorite air charter rental agency to search for empty leg flights. Private charter operators and facilitation service providers have empty leg flight search portals.

Charter Empty Return Flights

Securing an empty leg flight presents an excellent opportunity to enjoy the luxury of private jet travel without the hefty price tag. With some flexibility and spontaneity, you can experience private jet travel at a fraction of its regular price.