What is an empty-leg flight and how can you use it?

Over the last few years, private jet usage has soared. Referred to as ‘PJs’ by the rich and famous, you might find yourself wondering whether a private jet could right for you if you love a little bit of luxury. 

But if the price is holding you back, you might want to look into empty-leg flights. If you’re not sure what an empty-leg flight is or how you can use them to your advantage, read on. 

What is an empty-leg flight? 

It’s no secret that flying by private jet is one of the most lavish ways to see the world. However, it does have its drawbacks for the aviation industry. 

We’ll explain why. Private jets can be flown from anywhere, to anywhere. So, the place where a jet has finished a charter is not necessarily the place it will next be chartered. This means that often, private jets are flown – you guessed it – empty to their next pick-up location. These empty journeys are called empty-leg flights

Given how costly private jets are to operate, many companies try not to have many empty-leg flights at all. But if they do happen to have one, you can often get the private jet experience for a fraction of the price of chartering a jet for yourself – up to 75% less in fact. 

Is there anything you need to be aware of when using an empty-leg flight? 

Yes! Although empty-leg flights are a great option, they do come with a few drawbacks. Firstly, they are often made available at the last minute and the route will be set. So, you have to fit in with where the jet is going, not the other way around. 

If you fly on an empty-leg journey, you’ll be tied to exact departure airports, destinations, and timings. So, this eliminates much of the spontaneity you would normally get by chartering a jet, as many clients prefer to have this on-demand flexibility to fit in with their lifestyles. 

If you need to be in a certain place at a certain time for a meeting or an appointment, then an empty-leg flight might not be for you. 

Why is an empty-leg flight a good option?

Whether you use private jets already or simply want to dabble in private aviation, an empty-leg flight is a great way to get all the benefits of a private jet – without the price tag. Providing that you can be relatively flexible with your departure date, destination, and time, empty-leg flights can be a great option. 

Empty-leg flights are also a better option if you care about the planet. Why? Private jets emit 33m tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. By chartering a plane during an empty-leg journey, you can offset the emissions and make the journey worthwhile. 

So, now all that’s left to do is sit and wait for the right empty-leg journey to appear near you!