A double-round trip happens when an air charter itinerary is designed in a way that it would be more costly to keep the charter plane away from its home base than it would be to return home empty, then return to pick up passengers to complete the air charter itinerary. In essence, you could end up with two empty leg flights in a situation like this.
The Cost of Private Jet Travel
One of the main reasons double-round trips happen has to do with the cost of private jet travel. In addition to expenses such as jet fuel, repositioning fees and landing fees, an air carrier needs to consider factors such as:
- Pilot and crew wages
- Crew per diems
- Crew overnight fees
- Ramp fees (parking)
All of these costs add up. Sometimes it’s simply easier and cheaper for a charter jet to fly home and come back later. In some instances, the aircraft could actually be used to complete a separate air charter mission before returning.
Potential for Empty Leg Flights
Rather than fly home empty, charter operators often try to advertise empty leg flights at discounted prices. This helps them make up for the lost revenue. For the cost-conscious air traveller, it means reduced private jet charter rates. As you can see, empty leg flights can be a win-win for both parties, so long as passengers have a little more flexibility in their travel schedule.