What is an Empty Leg Flight?

Empty Legs are flights with pre-defined departures and destinations. Perfect for short notice leisure trips.
If you fly regularly by private, then chances are you might have taken an empty leg flight before.

But what does it actually mean?

If a customer books a private flight the aircraft will potentially need to fly to another destination to pick up its next client. Therefore, this connecting flight (known as a ferry) is the ‘empty leg’ of a one-way private chartered flight.

Empty leg flights will have a pre-determined aircraft type, departure date and time, and destination. The details of an empty leg flight generally will not be released until a few days before it is due to depart.

What are the benefits of an Empty Leg Flight?

Because of the nature of their pre-determined requirements, empty leg seats can often be a cost-effective way to book private flights

Sometimes up to 75% cheaper than a regular private charter fare, empty leg charters are a great way of accessing private travel, providing that you can be flexible with your arrangements or manage to find a one-way flight that meets all your travel needs.

Because of the volume of single private chartered flights being taken, there are typically many empty legs available at any given time, from airports all around the country. If you have a schedule that is fairly flexible and open to change, then hopefully there will be a single flight that fits in with your schedule at a price that suits your budget.

What do I need to be aware of when booking an Empty Leg Flight?

While empty leg private flights offer a cost-effective way to travel in luxury, they also come with exact departure airports, destinations and timings. This eliminates the spontaneous nature of private flight travel that many customers prefer or require as part of their busy lifestyle. If you need to be in a certain place at a certain time for a meeting or an appointment, then an empty leg flight might not be for you.

Unlike a traditional private flight, your empty leg plane will be flying in from another destination before you board, therefore your flight time will depend on when the aircraft lands and is ready to depart again.

The exact timings of your empty leg flight are based on the original passenger’s flight requirements; therefore, the final availability and departure details might not be available until just before you are due to depart. This is why a degree of flexibility is essential when booking this type of flight. For example, if the original flight is cancelled, then your empty leg flight will no longer be available, so you will need to make other travel arrangements at the last minute. This mode of travel, therefore, will not suit some passengers for whom reliability and precise timings are of huge importance when booking a private charter flight.

You will also need to ensure that your return journey is covered independently as this will only be a one-way flight. You can either book a separate chartered private flight for your return journey or find another mode of travel. Our team can help you find suitable options that work for you, often combining empty leg flights with standard private charter flights.

If you see an empty leg journey that corresponds with your preferred journey timeframe but not with your exact required destination, then get in touch with a member of Airlink Express team to see if there’s a possibility to modify the flight destination. In some cases, there may be an option to re-route the empty leg flight plan to a nearby airport, so it’s always worth asking the question.