Empty Leg

Lear 45 Private Jet Charter

Empty leg flights result when an aircraft is chartered for a round-trip mission, but flies one leg empty. This is because the charter plane needs to return to its main base of operations, or reposition elsewhere to provide private jet charter services for other clients.

Empty legs happen for several reasons, including:

  • Client doesn’t intend to return to point of origin
  • Too costly to make aircraft and crew wait for return leg
  • Operator needs the charter plane elsewhere

Discounts on Empty Leg Flights

Empty leg flights present a problem for air carriers because they aren’t making money if no one is riding in their plane on the way home. To incentivize air travelers into purchasing an empty leg flight (also known as a deadhead flight), operators will often advertise them at a discounted price.

Savvy travelers can take advantage of empty legs, however, it requires a certain amount of flexibility. This is because the scheduled flight might not align perfectly with your itinerary and travel needs. You might find yourself having to:

  • Fly out of a secondary airport (executive or regional)
  • Ride in a charter plane you’re not used to
  • Fly at an inconvenient time

In some instances, the charter operator might be willing to work with you to coordinate a flight plan that works with your schedule, but it’s not always possible.

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