Everything You Need to Know About Empty Leg Flights


Flying private is on everyone’s bucket lists, and for a good reason. Aside from the luxury of owning a plane yourself, flying private comes with unparalleled convenience and a bespoke experience. You can fly at your own scheduled time; there are no security lines, long queues or squeezing with other passengers while boarding the plane.

If you have ever researched “affordable ways to get a private jet experience”, you’ve likely found the term “EMPTY LEG.” Those flights are a great way to score highly discounted private jet flights and experience luxury travel while spending up to 75% less on regular prices. However, there are essential details you need to be aware of before jumping onto your next unforgettable journey. 

Here is our guide to “empty leg flights”, including insights about what empty legs are, how to experience the best offers and how to book them with SHY Aviation.  

How does chartering empty legs work?

When you charter an “empty leg” flight, you book the whole aircraft, so either just one or six people are flying the price will be the same. Please note these flights are quoted using an empty temporary base or linked flight from a previously booked charter.

In an event when the principal charter is cancelled or changed before departure, the price of the empty leg flight will be recalculated and advised. The client will then have the option to cancel their charter and receive a full refund or accept the new price.

How much do empty leg flights cost?

Empty leg flights are often available with up to a 50 – 75% discount on the usual charter price. The exact price depends on the route, jet and operator. Operators are often prepared to offer significantly lower prices at the last minute if they haven’t been able to sell the flight earlier. So, if you are flexible, an empty leg flight can be the best way of accessing private jet travel.

Why are empty legs available at a discounted price?

Private jet charter is a bespoke and on-demand travel solution. So, when the aircraft needs to be repositioned, the aircraft operator may be unable to find a willing full-price customer to travel one way to match that specific route and time on that particular aircraft. Since they need to move the plane anyway, the operator will generally happily offer the empty flight at a significant discount. 

How the empty leg experience differs from the regular private flight?

Empty leg flights are similar to conventional charters, so you’ll still be able to arrive up to 30 minutes before your flight. However, empty legs have stricter schedules to follow, so there’s less flexibility with delaying a flight if you’re running late. Additionally, empty legs usually come with either no catering or limited catering unless specially arranged in advance. This would generally include light snacks, soft drinks and basic alcoholic drinks.

As previously mentioned, empty leg flights are not guaranteed and could be cancelled anytime, even just before the scheduled departure time. Hence, it’s advised for you to have a backup option or be prepared to cancel your trip entirely if the flight falls through.

Pros & Cons of empty legs

 How can I find out which empty legs are available?

SHY Aviation is connected with thousands of accredited private jet charter aircraft globally, and we have access to a long list of empty legs available on the market. 

Although we don’t have an Open Empty Legs List, you can send us your request with your departure airport or city, number of passengers and travel date. 

Last-minute flights are subject to SHY Aviation terms & conditions. When booking an empty leg flight with SHY, you pay for the entire private jet, not just a seat.

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