Empty leg flights are often cheaper than regular commercial flights, since there are fewer people involved and they’re not operating to the same schedule. This can make empty leg flights seem like a great deal, but they do have some downsides that you should be aware of before booking one of these planes. Let’s look at some of the negative effects of empty leg private jet flights so you can decide if these flights are right for you or not.
The extra cost in your budget
Purchasing an airplane ticket is never inexpensive, and the cost can rise considerably if you’re looking for a seat on an empty flight. To get around the high prices, consider taking a bus, train or even renting a car to travel to your destination. These choices might take longer but they’re much cheaper than an airplane ticket.
The long wait before departure
With no passengers scheduled to fly, an empty leg may mean an hour or more on the tarmac. I have had my fair share of waiting around and it can get boring really fast. You may also be stuck inside the airplane if the weather is bad and cannot be de-iced.
No assigned seats at the gate
The biggest reason that people choose to fly on an empty leg flight is because they can avoid paying the high cost of coach tickets. But there’s a problem with this scenario: what if you’re flying with a toddler or baby? Empty leg private jet does not offer any seats at the gate, which means you’ll have to walk the long distance from your ticketed seat to another set just for one person. And these seats aren’t reserved for those who need them, so anyone and everyone could take them without notice.
No assigned seats on board
If you want a seat on the plane but don’t want to purchase an entire flight, an empty leg flight may be the option for you. These are usually just one-way trips, meaning the airline will fly from point A to point B and then back from point B to point A without anyone on board. This type of flight offers travelers the luxury of paying for just one ticket or giving themselves two travel days instead of one if they need to work during their vacation.
No overhead bin space for carry-ons
When I boarded the plane for my vacation, it felt like I was missing something. The plane was full with passengers filling every row and seat in between. Suddenly, my stuff didn’t seem as important to me, because there were so many people that needed the overhead bin space for their carry-ons. There was plenty of room on the floor below the seats for my luggage but this is where most people put their feet during takeoff and landing.
The airline’s flight attendant said we should be grateful for all the empty seats on this flight because airlines sell those seats at a lower price than regular fares. That seemed fair enough but how would you feel if your next flight from New York to Los Angeles had one or two empty seats?