“Empty leg” is a phrase you hear often in aviation, but what is it? An empty leg flight is also referred to as a repositioning leg. This is a segment of a trip that places an aircraft in the correct location for the next flight. Why do they exist? Whether the aircraft needs to move for another flight, the passengers are not returning to the destination or it is too costly to keep the aircraft in that destination for the duration of the trip, empty leg flights are a frequent occurrence.
Empty Leg Benefits
Why should your ears perk up when an empty leg is available? Rather than having an aircraft fly empty to a destination, operators offset that cost by discounting the trip. Travelers can pay a discounted rate and still experience flying private. Empty leg flights can be discounted 25% or more depending on the aircraft and routing.
There are key aspects of empty legs that travelers looking for a deal should keep in mind. Firstly the routing for an empty leg is set so customizing the itinerary is not usually possible. Secondly, empty legs are almost always short notice so being prepared to jet set within a day or two’s notice is important. Lastly keep in mind that while discounted, empty leg flights are not comparable to commercial airlines in pricing.
Why Aren’t Empty Legs Priced at Commercial Rates?
While an empty leg flight does not have booked passengers, meaning that revenue for the operator is not guaranteed, why not sell these flights dirt cheap? The short answer is to maintain the integrity of the brand and the aircraft. Discounted pricing is not the standard when flying private, therefore operators want to protect the quality of the product, which is the experience and the aircraft. There are however exceptions to this. The price PER PERSON may be closer to first class commercial on an empty leg, if all seats were to be filled. The overall cost of the aircraft however is not comparable to a single commercial ticket.
Contact our sales team for a customized quote for your charter needs. We would be happy to provide more information and updates on our current empty leg flights.