If you’ve spent any amount of time researching private jet charters, you’ve probably heard something about empty leg flights. An empty leg flight is a mostly empty flight intended to re-position a plane to its home airport after a flight or to get it ready for another scheduled flight. These flights are technically only supposed to have pilots and crew on board, but if you’re heading to the plane’s destination anyway, you can often book an empty leg flight at a massive discount. An empty leg flight may not have the flexibility of most private charter flights, but there are still plenty of benefits to seeking one out for your next trip.
Naturally, the biggest benefit to booking an empty leg flight is the cost. Companies such as Stratos Jet Charters often book empty leg flights for drastically discounted prices. In some cases, an empty leg flight might be marked down as low as 75 percent of the regular price. Seeing as how expensive private flights can be, any discount is welcome for most travelers.
When empty leg flights are posted anywhere, it’s usually on very short notice. You often have to know how to find an empty leg flight and be ready to scoop up a ticket as soon as it’s available. While that might sound like a negative, it also means that you can book an empty leg flight at the last minute if you keep your ear to the ground. This can come in handy if you need to get somewhere quickly during an emergency. In fact, if you know how to look for them, it’s easier to find an empty leg flight on a private jet than it is to find a last-minute flight through most commercial airlines.
Private charter jet companies usually book flights based on passengers’ schedules, but that often means booking two or more flights at once when several parties want to fly. Since empty leg flights happen regardless of how many people are on them, you can cut down on the number of flights that are happening by buying a ticket for one. In other words, booking an empty leg flight can mean one less plane in the air, which is better for the environment.
Private jets already offer more space than most commercial flights, but empty leg flights can provide even more than your typical charter. As their name implies, empty leg flights are mostly devoid of passengers. There’s even the possibility that you’ll have an entire jet to yourself if you book this kind of flight.
Most people think flying on a private charter jet is something that they can never experience. Commercial airline tickets can be expensive enough for many people, but the cost of booking a private charter jet can be thousands of dollars. On the other hand, empty leg flights can provide the experience of flying in a private jet at a fraction of that price. You can experience the kinds of amenities and service that you wouldn’t get from a commercial airline, you’ll likely visit private airports that you otherwise wouldn’t see, and you can all but skip the lines and crowds present in most airports. If you know how and where to look for empty leg flights, you might even find a flight that is cheaper than some commercial flights.
As convenient as empty leg flights can be, you still need to know how to book one. Many private charter jet companies list empty leg flights on their websites, but they also post them on short notice. They can also be canceled or re-routed with little-to-no notice, so you really need to be flexible with your plans if you want to book one. Still, there are far too many advantages to booking an empty leg flight to overlook, so keep your schedule open and pay close attention to charter jet company listings the next time you’re planning a vacation.