If you want a ride on a private charter jet, you need to learn how empty leg flights work, how they operate, and how you can cheaply fly on posh airplanes.
Our FAQs cover the basics for everything you need want and need to know including the deals you can expect, and where to find them.
What Are They
At times, empty leg flights can be references a dead legs, empty sectors, or one-way transients. Essentially, they are all the same type of unbooked flight where you can get a 30-70% discount if you’re able to fly within their pre-determined flight route and schedule.
The definition of a dead leg flight is the same as that of an empty leg flight. The dead leg refers to the empty connecting flight between the pickup of an already booked fare, or the return leg home from a one-way booking.
If a private jet flies without passengers, it loses money. So anyone wanting and able to fly within the predetermined dead leg flight can then charter it for a fraction of the normal cost.
The definition of an empty leg flight is when a private chartered jet needs to reposition itself without passengers at a specific airport. This can happen when having to meet their next pick up at a different location or when returning home after a one-way charter.
An example would be a private jet that is booked from New York to Miami but is currently located in Chicago. The empty leg flight would then refer to the jet repositioning from Chicago to New York with no passengers on board.
Since the cost of this connecting flight is already included in the original fare, the unbooked leg is then sold off on a first-come, first-serve basis. Anyone who wants to fly within the jet’s already pre-determined flight path (Chicago to New York), can then book this fare for a fraction of the normal charter cost.
Pros & Cons
The biggest advantage to buying an empty leg flight is the 30-70% discount off the normal cost of chartering a private jet. Everything else is generally the same, but you will have to fly within its already predetermined route in order to take advantage of the savings.
The biggest disadvantage to buying an empty leg flight is a lack of flexibility. Everything is predetermined, including the aircraft type, flight departure date, time, and destination.
Even when possible to make slight changes in the scheduled flight path, you’ll have to pay any extra airport landing/takeoff fees associated with the change. The flight dates and times, however, are generally quite rigid with little room for maneuvering.
Lastly, if you book your empty leg flight with only a few hours to spare, they may not be able to arrange your catering in time.