What is an Empty Leg?
Is Empty Legs an opportunity?
The term “empty legs”, is used in the private aviation industry and refers to discounted private flights. How does this kind of flight work? Well, an empty leg –also known as an empty sector – is basically the unsold portion of a booked private flight on an aircraft. For instance, a customer books a one-way private charter flight from airport A (where the aircraft is based) to airport B in his/her destination city; this flight is called the “first leg”. Once the customer has arrived at the destination, the aircraft flies back to airport A empty to reposition for the next customer or returns to its home base. This repositioning flight is called the “empty leg”. If your travel plans match an empty leg flight, you can come aboard and save up to 75% of the usual charter price.
Repositioning flights often take place before the original flight. For instance, if a customer books a private jet for a flight from Quito to La Paz, but the aircraft is currently on the ground in Bogota, it must fly empty to Quito to collect its passenger(s) before starting the chartered flight. In this example, the Bogota to Quito flight is a potential empty leg. Even though the timing of an empty leg flight is determined by the original flight itinerary, sometimes empty leg customers have a degree of choice concerning their departure time. This usually happens when the original flight is booked early in the morning and the repositioning flight takes place the day before. In this case, the empty leg customer may be able to specify the takeoff time during the afternoon or evening before the original private flight.
It is worth pointing out that these flights come with certain restrictions and limitations when compared to standard charter flights. First, they cover one-way flights only. Second, they are only available on short notice and are subject to change or cancellation. Third, available empty leg routes are limited. As such, you must be diligent and choose the best offer. They do, however, have their pros. In fact, if you book a private jet empty leg flight you can save 35% to 75% of the normal charter price and most operators are always willing to negotiate prices. They are also ideal for last-minute flight opportunities. In other words, empty legs have become an excellent way of enjoying the comfort of private jet flights while saving money.
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