The Truth About Private Jet Empty Legs

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What is a private jet empty leg?

When it comes to private jets you’ve no doubt from time to time heard the term “empty leg”, but do you actually know what it means? Also called “empty flights”, “repositioning legs”, “dead-heads”, or “ferry flights”, a simplified description of these empty leg flights would be passenger-less one-way flights that have become available when an aircraft drops passengers off at a destination and returns home empty, or vice versa.
There are also often short haul empty legs resulting from repositioning flights between two cities or even two different airports in the same city.


Why are empty legs cheaper than private jet charter?

The empty leg flights are typically offered at a discounted rate because as far as the jet operator is concerned the aircraft is going to fly the route anyway. So passengers paying a fare on the empty leg flight may be preferable than no passengers and no fare. Some money is better than no money. Do you agree? Some jet operators do.


How much does an empty leg cost?

We’ve seen empty leg flights discounted by up to 80% off the standard charter price and which if divided between a group of people on a per-seat basis brings the price into the realms of commercial air travel. The actual price will depend on the aircraft, operator and route.


What the downside or risks of empty leg flights?

Private air travel has traditionally been the favoured mode of transport for the rich and famous, and the secret of flying private for low commercial airline prices is empty legs. Sounds a tad too good to be true, doesn’t it? On the face of it empty leg private jets flights are a fantastic way to experience “how the other half live”, but what are the risks?

1. Routes

Finding an empty leg on a popular route such as London to Paris with some flexibility in your departure date is relatively easy. However, if you were looking to fly from say Birmingham, UK to Enkhuizen in Holland on a particular date it may not be so simple.

2. Flexible travel itinerary

Empty legs are in effect scheduled flights, meaning that unlike standard on-demand air charter, you need to fit in to the aircrafts departure time slot and not the other way around. So you’ll need some degree of flexibility in your travel plans.

3. Cancellations

Empty legs typically occur when an aircraft is returning to base empty, or flying empty to collect its passengers. Therefore, you are relying on a principle charter to be booked and then for it to run accurately to plan for your empty leg flight to take place. Simply put, no principal charter means no empty leg, which also means you are at the mercy of others. And if the principal charterer decides to change their itinerary at the last minute it could mean despite informing your entire friendship circle you’ll be flying private, you find yourself queuing at the easyJet check-in the following day with your shades on and cap pulled low over your red face. We recommend empty legs more for leisurely flights where you have flexibility rather than essential travel.


How to find empty leg flights?

It’s not all doom and gloom and the chances of snagging an empty leg deal are very high. We book empty leg charters day in day out. Every day countless people the world over fly on empty legs and you can be one of them. To find yourself your perfect empty leg head on over to our empty legs page. SuperFly has hundreds of empty leg deals from Aruba to Zimbabwe. Don’t forget that private jets usually make use of smaller airports that tend to be much closer to towns or cities. So apart from the considerable time-saving factor (arrive only 15 minutes before the flight and travel less distance to your final destination) with low-cost empty leg jet travel you still qualify for that VIP champagne treatment with no check-in queues or intrusive security checks. And combined with commercial flights and other modes of transport it can be a wonderful way to elevate your travel experience. Search SuperFly’s empty leg deals or feel free to contact our charter team and let us get you airborne in a private jet at an unbeatable empty leg price. Bon voyage!