Aircraft-InteriorEmpty Legs for Last Minute Jet Charter Flights

When it comes to last minute travel, jet charter has always been a popular option, and it has grown in popularity since the pandemic. And with the rise of jet charter flights we have also seen the rise of another kind of flights—empty leg flights, which can be perfect for the last minute jet charter traveler.

What’s an empty leg flight?

Empty leg flights are trips scheduled without passengers, typically to an arrival or departure destination, or returning from a one-way flight. Since it’s not efficient for any charter company to fly empty, charter brokers and operators are motivated to fill the seats for these flights.

Empty leg flights are not always available, but you can always ask your jet charter broker or an operator, such as RAI Jets.  If available, an empty leg flight can be a great way to experience jet charter.

Empty legs are often deeply discounted.

On occasion, empty legs may be significantly discounted (anywhere from 30-75%) off the regular price of the charter. This helps charter companies recoup some of the cost of getting to their next destination. Still, even with the deep discount, flying charter can still be a four or five-figure investment. To discount your flight even more, arrange an empty leg price for a group. Depending on the cost of the flight, you might even end up paying a fare similar to that of a first-class commercial flight but be able to enjoy the luxury, legroom, and convenience of charter instead.

The timing of an empty leg flight can be tricky, so you should not expect to call a broker or operator and immediately hear about an empty leg flight. Sometimes the availability is known ahead of time; other times it is completely last minute. So empty leg flights work best for last minute jet charter customers, especially those only needing one-way transportation. Otherwise, you will need to arrange your own transportation home or book a different return flight through the jet charter company.

While all this may sound like a dream scenario for someone who needs a last-minute jet charter flight, empty legs work a little differently than standard jet charter. Here are a few things to know before takeoff.

It’s Important for to stay flexible.  By their nature, empty leg flights exist because someone else booked the other “leg” of the trip. If the original charter customer cancels their plans, the empty leg will be cancelled as well, and you will be responsible for your own alternate arrangements. That’s why it’s good to use empty leg flights in situations where you have some flexibility in the timing of your trip. Likewise, since the flight arrangements are pre-planned, you may lose some control over certain aspects of the trip, such as the departure time, type of aircraft, and the airport used for arrival.

Services may vary on the flight.  Check with your jet charter broker or operator about services you can expect on the empty leg flight. While top tier catering and concierge services are typical for a standard jet charter flight, this may or may not be the case on empty legs. Ask ahead of time so you can properly set your expectations for the flight.

RAI Jets occasionally has empty leg flights to fill.

Empty leg flights may or may not be possible for the asking, but know that finding one to the destination you want within the timing you want involves lots of flexibility, perhaps a little bit of travel creativity, and lastly, lots of luck. Recently at RAI Jets, our empty flights have been available from common destinations like Florida and Arizona. If you are looking to travel to a more obscure location, finding an empty leg flight may be extremely difficult.

Whether you are looking for an empty leg flight or a traditional jet charter flight, we can help at RAI Jets. Now is the perfect time to plan your charter travel for 2022. Call us for an estimate today!