Charter jet services

Over 8 million people fly in airplanes every day. Of those 8 million, 99.8% probably wish they were in a private jet. (We leave room for those freaks of nature who actually enjoy being crammed into too small of seats next to complete strangers and sharing closet-sized bathrooms that feel ready to swallow you after every flush.) Alas, outside of the first class elite, not many can afford to charter a private jet. Don’t resign yourself to business class at best just yet, however: There is another way to get aboard a private airplane charter without having to fork over last month’s entire salary.

A little known facet of the aircraft charter services industry are these things called empty leg flights. A private jet empty leg flight is essentially an empty flight. After a private aircraft charter has dropped off its passenger(s) at their chosen destination, it must then fly back to its home base or next pick-up location. A private jet empty leg opportunity is created when the jet charter service has no passengers scheduled to make this return journey.

Rather than taking a total loss on this return flight, private charter jet companies will offer these un-booked empty leg charter flights for a discounted price. The caveat to these flights is you don’t get to choose your departure time. With private jet empty leg flights, you’re stuck flying on the charter jet’s schedule, but then, you were planning to fly on the commercial airline’s schedule before.

The beauty of private charter jets – – other than the whole private aspect, of course – – is their accessibility. Unlike their larger commercial counterparts, private jet charters have access to over 5,000 public use airports in the U.S. alone. That’s 100 times as many as commercial airlines can use. There’s over 2,100 charter jet operators across the nation flying in and out of these 5,000 airports. Nearly half of business private jet flights use airports with little or no other airline service. With so many planes flying, your chances of finding a private jet empty leg flight that fits your schedule and destination are better than you might think. A private jet charter may even be able to get you closer to your destination than a commercial flight would.

So how do you find these hidden gems? There are a couple ways. Certain websites have made a business of compiling private jet empty leg flights for consumers to pick from. A quick internet search will turn up quite a few. Another way is to go directly to the private jet charter companies themselves to see what they have currently available.

A word to the wise: while private jet charters are far more reliable than commercial airlines, their passengers aren’t always. First class business bigwigs tend towards capricious schedules. Budget a little leeway into your schedule just in case. You might focus on flights scheduled for three to 10 days out to ensure the broadest selection (hey, those capricious schedules can work in your advantage if the private charter service has a sudden cancellation) as well as the least risk of a changing schedule.

If you’re willing to forego the perk of setting your own schedule, private jet empty leg flights can be a great way to enjoy the other perks of a private jet without the hefty price tag. If you’re looking for an argument to persuade your boss the price is worth it, you might try telling him how productive you can be on board a private charter jet. According to one survey, private jet passengers flying for business said they were 20% more productive on board the plane than they even are in the office. Their commercial airline flying counterparts said they experienced a 40% drop in productivity while in flight. Not surprising seeing as there’s barely enough room for your knees on commercial flights, let alone your legs. Over one third of private jet passengers spend their flight time in business meets, of all things.

Private jets don’t have to be for the elite only. With private jet empty leg flights, flying a private charter jet can be more affordable than you think. Just ask Google.