What is an Empty Leg?
Empty leg flights are a repositioning for the aircraft to be able to fly its live leg. The live leg is either the flight for the next customer or simply to return to its home base. In contrast, the dead leg flight is when a plane flies empty without passengers to get from one airport to another. For instance, an example of this repositioning is a private jet needing to fly from San Diego to Los Angeles because that jet’s next flight is out of Los Angeles and not San Diego. Essentially, the dead leg flights are empty seats on private jets. These legs are perfect for short-notice flights. This is important to know if you want to fly on and find an empty leg flight. They occur most commonly because clients only charter a one-way trip, the charter needs to be repositioned, or because it is returning from light maintenance. Because of this, empty legs are often one-way and never guarantee a flight back.
How Much Do Empty Legs Cost
Empty leg flight costs are not the same for every jet and depend on different factors such as the route and model. They are usually at a discounted price because they are expensive and they try to minimize empty seats on a private jet as much as possible. Many companies falsely advertise that empty legs can be as cheap as $500. However, an empty leg for a private jet is typically 50% off of its retail price. These discounted private jet flights will never be very comparable to commercial flights. Some examples of pricing is an empty leg private jet charter from New York to Florida has been seen as cheap as $5000. Another great private jet empty leg route is from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and the best price that we have seen for that is $2500 for the 40-minute short leg flight. Nonetheless, even though empty legs are at a lower price, they are more expensive than commercial flights.
How to Know Where Empty Legs are the Most Popular
Typically, empty legs are the most popular in the larger metropolitan areas. Specifically, they are larger numbers of them between New York and Florida and back. These areas are your best chance to be able to catch one of those empty legs.
Another important tip to maximize your chances of finding an empty leg flight is to go the opposite way of traffic. For instance, the day after Christmas everyone leaves the Northeast to the Caribbean. It would be in your best interest to go on December 26th from the Caribbean back to the Northeast. Another example is during the Winter flying from Palm Beach to New York City as many people like to escape the winter in New York and enjoy that season in the sunny weather of Palm Beach, Florida.