A private jet is a terrible thing to waste.

At least that’s the mindset of Alastair Badman, director of Bespoke Air Charter. Bespoke recently started offering “empty leg charters,” an opportunity for folks who typically fly coach to score a seat on a private jet. We sat down with Alastair to learn more about empty legs, and how you can save up to 80% on your next (or first) flight on a private jet.

Q. What is an empty leg charter?

A. Empty leg charters are a great way to access the world of private jets at a fraction of the cost. Empty legs occur when an aircraft is positioning either from its base to the beginning of a job, or back to that base after its completion. Empty legs can be quite restrictive as obviously the route is predetermined. And the dates on which you can fly are also limited, although there is usually a small window. But if your plans coincide with the movement of the aircraft then there are some great deals available.

Q. Is it true that almost 35% of private jets fly empty because the passenger did not book a return journey?

A. That’s correct. It can either be because a client only required a one way trip, or more often because the length of their stay means that the aircraft needs to reposition back to its base in order to be available for other jobs during that time.

Emirates’ Airbus 319 Luxury Private Jet Service ‘Emirates Executive’

Photo by Roderick Eime/flickr

Q. Do you have the plane entirely to yourself for the empty leg flight?

A. Yes, absolutely. Apart from the restrictions on route and timings, your experience will be no different than if you had booked a “regular” private jet charter. You will have the benefit of boarding through a private jet terminal so no queues at check-in. You can turn up just 15 minutes before your flight and you won’t have to worry about any baggage restrictions. On board there will be the usual high-end catering and cabin crew to ensure your every comfort. And at your destination, a customs and immigration officer will often come and clear you on board, while your bags are being unloaded. No passport queues, or waiting for baggage that may have gone astray!


Photo by Florian/flickr

Q. We’ve never flown on a private jet before. What’s it like?

A. There is something very exciting about flying on a private jet for the first time. The whole experience is very slick and efficient. The focus is on making sure the customer has the best possible flight, with no hassles, hold-ups or delays. The aircraft themselves are often very luxurious, with leather and wood interiors, and the seats will be far more comfortable than those you find on the airlines.

Rear view of private jet

Photo by David Brossard/flickr

Q. What is the cost of a traditional flight on a private jet? And how much do you save on an empty leg booking?

A. Every trip is different, of course, but a short 90-minute flight on a private jet to the south of France from England would cost you in the region of $10,000. While a trans-Atlantic trip on a larger private jet will be over $180,000. Savings on empty legs can be up to 80% of the book value. So you could be flying yourself and five friends from England to Venice, or Nice, or Mallorca for as little as $2,000. That’s not much more in peak season than an Easyjet flight!

Q. How can someone go about finding and booking an empty leg flight?

A. It’s best if you don’t have too fixed an idea about where you want to go. It’s unlikely you will find an empty leg on a private jet that perfectly coincides with your plans. But if you have some dates in mind for a special occasion then it’s very likely that a broker, like Bespoke Air Charter, will be able to find you a flight that suits.

This was a sponsored post created in partnership with Bespoke Air Charter. We occasionally work with travel companies whose goods and services we believe will be interesting to readers. For more information on our advertising policy, drop us a line at fromwayuphigh@gmail.com.

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