What Is An Empty Leg Flight And How To Book

Simply put, an empty leg, also known as an empty sector, is a scheduled flight without booked passengers. Operators open these flights last-minute for booking at a discount, typically anywhere from 50-75% off the original charter price to avoid flying without paying passengers.

Empty legs occur for one of two reasons. 

  1. Another charter customer books an aircraft, and the aircraft needs to reposition to pick that person up at their desired departure point. The flight from the aircraft’s home base to the pickup location is the empty leg.
  2. A charter customer books a one-way flight, but the aircraft needs to return to its home base after dropping off its original customer. The return flight is the empty leg. 

Many charter companies, including PJS, offer empty legs to their clients. There are many advantages to finding an empty leg flight, but it is also important to understand all factors involved with this type of booking. 

Pros:

  • High Supply40% of private jet trips are empty legs. This number increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as commercial airlines limited capacity, and people turned to private aviation for more safety, security, and flexibility. The industry expects the demand for private aviation to stay high, leaving more options for empty legs than ever before. 
  • Flexible Travel — If you have ever told yourself that you need to be more spontaneous, empty legs are the perfect opportunity. Empty legs are ideal for spur-of-the-moment trips where you have the luxury of being flexible with your travel. They are also worth looking into for unexpected business travel to avoid overpriced last-minute commercial flights, where your dollar goes further with private travel.
  • Money Savings — Depending on the length of the flight, empty legs can end up costing less than a 1st class commercial plane ticket. Typically, these already discounted prices also cover the entire jet, which means you have the option to fill all of the seats on the plane yourself. Bring family along on your trip or split the costs between friends.

Considerations:

  • Pre-defined Flights — Since empty legs center around someone else’s original private jet charter, departures and destinations are already determined. Changing locations to accommodate an empty leg flyer’s preferences or conveniences is not possible. 
  • One-way Ticket — Empty legs are one-way flights. You are responsible for booking your return travel, either chancing another open empty leg or booking a more certain flight at full price. 
  • Subject To Change — While operators and charter providers do their best to ensure your scheduled travel moves forward without a hitch, flight times and dates can change at a moment’s notice. Changes typically occur when the original charter flight is canceled, changed or the flight becomes available for another full-price charter. In such cases, the empty leg flight becomes no longer available. 

Now that you have the complete picture, know that at PJS, we do our best to ensure your empty leg will move forward. If your flight changes or is canceled for any reason, PJS will do everything possible to find you another flight. 

PJS has empty leg flights available weekly. To receive empty leg flight notifications from PJS directly to your inbox, sign up here