Ever wished that you could fly private? It’s a travel experience traditionally associated with A-list celebrities, sports stars, and the super-rich. However, don’t assume that flying on a private jet is out of reach. It certainly isn’t. Empty leg flights offer a practically identical experience, with a greatly reduced price tag.
This article will look at how to find empty leg flights and tell you what they are all about.
What is an Empty Leg Flight?
An empty leg flight is a term given to a sector or ‘leg’ of an airplane’s journey with no paying occupants onboard.
You’ll also hear them referred to as positioning flights or ferry flights.
There can be several reasons why these flights are performed. The airplane could be due elsewhere for routine maintenance or was only hired to fly one way and is now returning to base.
Empty leg flights offer significant discounts when compared to the usual price of chartering a private jet. The cost can vary based on the type of airplane, but you can expect a hefty discount, which sometimes can run up to 75% off the usual asking price.
How do Empty Leg Flights Work?
Just like most forms of transport, airplanes are not always needed for round trips.
If you’ve caught a service like Uber recently, the concept should be quite familiar. There will be a portion of the driver’s journey where he will be traveling without passengers. This could be while he is on the way to a fare or returning home after work.
This principle is identical to private jet airplanes. Often clients will book a one-way ticket and not need to return with the airplane. This means that the aircraft will be flying with a full complement of crew and no passengers. This empty time isn’t billable, so the provider isn’t making any money.
Private jet operators would rather make some money than have an empty airplane flying around the sky, so they offer empty leg flights at a heavily discounted rate.
The benefits are that you can get a private jet travel experience very cheaply. An experience that most people would love to try.
The downside is that empty leg flights are not consistent, and you might have to be slightly flexible in where and when you travel.
However, provided you do your research and are willing to maintain a slightly open mind with your travel plans, there is no reason why you can’t experience the joy of flying private.
What is it Like Flying on an Empty Leg Flight?
Flying on an empty leg flight is no different than if you had hired the jet at full price.
You get to check-in at a private jet terminal, an area that is much more sedate and refined than your usual terminal check-in experience. From there, you will be taken to board your very own airplane.
The uptake of empty leg flights is variable. Often you’ll find that you’ve got the entire aircraft to yourself! Depending on the size and configuration of your airplane, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the facilities normally afforded to the wealthy.
This could include a rest area, huge comfortable seats, and an extremely pleasant travel experience.
Also, remember. The airplane is only devoid of passengers, not crew. You can expect the same service from the crew as they’d give to any other client. You are a fare-paying passenger, after all!
Remember how we said you might need to be a little flexible? Often business jet’s home base is not a major international airport. One of the beautiful things about flying private is that you can land into much smaller (and very exclusive) airfields.
While the celebrities may have a waiting limousine to take them to their destination, you may have to arrange your own onward transport to make your journey work.
How to Find Empty Leg Flights
Depending on your location, you will find that many operators advertise empty leg flights on their website.
Some agencies offer them also, but it is best practice to book your journey direct. That way, you can contact them with any questions, and they’ll be in the best position to advise you.
Empty leg flights can be a little sporadic at times. Sometimes there are many, sometimes there are few. With the increase in private travel due to national travel restrictions, there are lots of deals available.
If you’ve found an empty leg flight, there’ll be a few key pieces of information you’ll need to make a note of: –
Sometimes this is given, sometimes you’ll be required to contact the operator to request a quote.
The Type of Aircraft
This is where it gets exciting. You’d be amazed at the range of aircraft available. Generally, the larger and more well-equipped the airplane, the more expensive it will be. There are some beautiful jets out there, like the Gulfstream G550 and the Cessna Citation X
The Departure Point, Destination, and Time
This is crucial. Most empty leg flight advertisements will say where the airplane will be going. This cannot be changed or moved (unless you want to charter the jet at the full price, of course).
With regards to the time, you often have options. Sometimes the jet is available over a ‘window’ of a few days.
How do You Buy and Empty Flight?
The easiest way is to find a flight that suits your travel plans and contact the company to enquire. Most professional business jet operators are very used to dealing with inquiries from customers and will happily answer any questions that you may have about a proposed empty leg flight.
Empty leg flights are a great way to experience all of the joys of private flying without the associated price tag. The experience is practically identical. Provided you are willing to be slightly adaptable in your travel plans, you can get a great deal and an unparalleled travel experience. Sun Air Jets offers empty leg flights between countless destinations on a range of aircraft.