Everything You Need to Know About Empty Leg Flights

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Flying by private jet is on everyone's bucket list for a good reason. Flying privately comes with unbeatable convenience and provides passengers with an exceptional, bespoke travel experience. You can fly at your own scheduled time; there are no security lines or long queues, no squeezing with other passengers while boarding the plane, and complete privacy during the flight itself.

If you have ever researched "affordable ways to get a private jet experience", you've likely found the term "EMPTY LEG." Those flights are a great way to score highly discounted private jet flights and experience luxury travel while spending up to 75% less on regular prices. However, there are essential details you need to be aware of before embarking on your next unforgettable journey. 

Here is our guide to "empty leg flights", including insights about what empty legs are, how to experience the best offers and how to book them with SHY Aviation.  

What is an empty-leg flight?

An empty-leg flight occurs when a private jet is chartered to a specific location and doesn’t have any passengers for the flight back to its home airport. As a result, if you need or want to get from where the aircraft is to where it’s home base is located, you can take advantage of the opportunity to jump on board for the “empty leg” of the flight.

Empty-leg flights can offer exceptional value for potential customers. If your plans are flexible or you need to travel at very short notice, you may well be able to fly by private jet for significant cost savings.

How does chartering empty legs work?

When you charter an "empty leg" flight, you book the whole aircraft, so whether just one or six people are flying, the price will be the same. Please note that these flights are quoted using an empty temporary base or linked flight from a previously booked charter.

In the event that the principal charter is cancelled or changed before departure, the price of the empty-leg flight will be recalculated and advised. The client will then have the option to cancel their charter and receive a full refund or accept the new price.

How much do empty-leg flights cost?

Empty-leg flights are often available with up to a 50 – 75% discount on the usual charter price. The exact price depends on the route, jet and operator. Operators are often prepared to offer significantly lower prices at the last minute if they haven't been able to sell the flight earlier. So, if you are flexible, an empty-leg flight can be the best way of accessing private jet travel.

Why are empty legs available at a discounted price?

Private jet charter is a bespoke and on-demand travel solution. So, when the aircraft needs to be repositioned, the aircraft operator may be unable to find a willing full-price customer to travel one way to match that specific route and time on that particular aircraft. Since they need to move the plane anyway, the operator will generally happily offer the empty flight at a significant discount. 

How does the empty-leg experience differ from a regular private flight?

Empty-leg flights are similar to conventional charters, so you'll still be able to arrive up to 30 minutes before your flight. However, empty-legs have stricter schedules to follow, so there's less flexibility with delaying a flight if you're running late. Additionally, empty-legs usually come with either no catering or limited catering unless specially arranged in advance. This would generally include light snacks, soft drinks and basic alcoholic drinks.

As previously mentioned, empty-leg flights are not guaranteed and could be cancelled anytime, even just before the scheduled departure time. Hence, you are advised to have a backup option or be prepared to cancel your trip entirely if the flight fails.

How can I find out which empty-legs are available?

SHY Aviation has access to the finest accredited private jet charter aircraft globally, and we have access to a long list of the empty-legs available on the market. 

Although we don't have an Open Empty-Legs List, you can send us your request with your departure airport or city, number of passengers and travel date. 

*Last-minute flights are subject to SHY Aviation terms & conditions. When booking an empty leg flight with SHY, you pay for the entire private jet, not just a seat.

Do not hestiate to visit our online quote to obtain a price estimate for your next journey.

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