How to Discover Empty Leg Flight Opportunities: The Insider’s Guide

Friday, 24 November 2023 | 15 min read

Private jet chartering is an exclusive, bank-breaking privilege, reserved only for the rich and famous, right? Not anymore.

Nowadays there are more opportunities than ever to achieve your dream of riding on a private jet. Vaunt is looking to make private jet chartering accessible, without sacrificing luxury. How is this possible? Easy: empty leg flights.

Sunset from airplane

Vaunt offers exclusive access to a range of jets and destinations through these flights. Vaunt’s goal is to make flying private happen for those who want it. This article will go over all the details of how you can make Vaunt’s services work for you, so you can ride in style and make your dreams come true.

What are Empty Leg Flights?

An empty leg flight is exactly what it sounds like; an empty flight with nobody on it.

After private planes are chartered, they have to reposition themselves. This means they have to fly to another destination, whether there’s someone there to enjoy the flight or not.

Working on flight

Today nearly 30% of all private flights are flown without a single passenger. These repositioning flights are necessary, but there’s no reason for them to stay empty. Now, these flights are being made available to a whole new group of passengers for a fraction of the cost.

Empty leg flights are always one-way flights, so in the past they may have appeared less attractive to the private flying milieu. There are those, who when opportunity strikes, are ready for spontaneous travel and unique elevated experiences. This type of flying has gained quite a bit of popularity in the past few years, with those who never knew they could afford to fly private, suddenly finding themselves on a luxury jet for a weekend getaway.

Now that you know what empty leg flights are, let’s get into the weeds to see how you can take advantage of this brand new opportunity. 

How Do Empty Leg Flights Work?

This type of flying doesn’t exist without a catch. It’s important to know how these repositioning flights work so you can decide if you want to take advantage. Empty leg flights are an excellent choice if you want to experience the magic of flying private for the first time, but they aren’t for every traveler.

Let’s go over anything and everything empty leg flying, so you can make the decision that’s right for you. 

Jet cruising above

When do Empty Leg Flights Happen?

In the commercial aviation industry, planes won’t even fly unless they’re sure they can book passengers on popular routes. The world of private aviation is different, private planes fly on demand and are booked individually for high price tags. For private planes, it’s important they fly where and when they’re called. This is how you get empty leg flights.

Empty leg flights often happen when a plane needs to be repositioned. When a flight is chartered it means there are paying passengers aboard, but during a repositioning flight typically there are no guests in the cabin. These repositioning flights happen regularly, which means that empty leg flights are frequently available to book.

Vaunt uploads new waitlists for empty leg flights daily. With Vaunt, there are more opportunities than ever to take advantage of these flights, so you can fly private to locations around the country.

What Influences Empty Leg Availability?


Just like with commercial aviation there are routes that are more popular than others. Living in a major metro area, or near a private aviation hub, will put you in closer proximity to more empty leg flights. Private planes do find themselves in less populated areas or places that are a bit farther from population hotspots, but they may be a drive away.


The private aviation industry isn’t immune to holiday surges in popularity. Planes are much busier around peak times like national holidays or in the summer months. Keep your eyes out for empty leg flights during peak times as they may be more frequent or have more options for destinations.

Schedule Changes and Last Minute Cancellations

Planes that provide empty leg flights are primarily chartered, this means if the charterer changes their mind the flight is subject to change. If someone decides they would like their jet flown to Las Vegas instead of Miami, the Miami flight would be canceled at the last minute, leaving the empty leg flight canceled as well. These are spontaneous flights, so to get the most out of the experience you should be ready to have a certain level of flexibility.

Make sure to take these into account when you consider booking an empty leg flight with Vaunt or another provider. Though there are travel hubs and more or less convenient dates, empty leg flights often pop up in unexpected places, making them accessible to those who live outside of cosmopolitan centers or who live on their own schedule.

What are the Advantages of Empty Leg Flights?

Empty-leg flights boast a ton of great advantages. They’re not just a supplement to traditional private flying, they can be an adventure all of their own. Some of the main advantages of flying empty leg include, but aren’t limited to:

All of the Private Jet Perks

When you fly empty leg you get all of the advantages of flying private without paying the  price. Kick back, relax, and enjoy first rate amenities that you don’t have to share. That means no fighting over the window or the aisle, no one reclining in front of you, and  no crying babies (unless you bring your own). Get the plane all to yourself, so stretch out and experience true luxury in the sky.

Lower Prices

Empty leg flights come at a significant discount compared to traditional private jet charter. With most providers you can expect to save up 75% on the entire experience, with Vaunt you save far more than that. You get to experience all on board amenities as well as service from concierge teams just as charterers or jets owners do for a substantially lower price point. This is the main reason why many choose to take advantage of empty legs, but it’s far from the only reason.

A Unique Opportunity

The emergence of bookable empty leg flights provides the unique opportunity to fly private that until recently, was inaccessible for most people. Many people fantasize about flying on a private jet but think they can’t afford it, think they have to own their own private jet, or just don’t know where to start. 

Vaunt wants more people to know that private aviation is within their reach. If you’ve ever thought of flying private but found it inconvenient or inaccessible, this is your chance to experience something new and make lasting memories.

Now it’s time to look into exactly how to book your flight. Let the adventure begin.

Luxurious jet seating

Where and How to Find Empty Leg Flights

The first step on your empty leg journey is figuring out the logistics of booking a flight. Before you can book a flight you have to know where to find them. 

Building relationships with charter operators

This can get you exclusive access to empty leg flights before they hit the market. This could include continuing communications with an operator you’ve chartered with before, or who have chartered someone you know. These relationships can yield great deals for you on empty leg flights. If you’ve chartered in the past, consider reaching out to the operator you worked with to see if they have empty leg availability.

Alerts from Brokers

Word can spread about empty leg flights through newsletter or alert systems from private jet charter operators. Most charter operators have a newsletter or Insider program that can give you access to this information, but it may come with a price tag or some other commitment. If you are only interested in empty leg flights and not traditional chartering, this may not be the best option.

An Online Platform – Like Vaunt

The simplest way to find an empty leg flight is with Vaunt. Vaunt aggregates flight information into one place so you have access to a whole catalog of flights. This is a convenient option for those interested in empty leg flights as a means of regular travel, or who are looking for a discounted alternative to traditional charters. This allows you to be more proactive on your journey, join multiple waitlists, and apply multiple days in a row.

How to Book An Empty Leg Flight

Booking this type of flight isn’t a difficult process, you just need to know where to start. Here are some of the steps to find the right empty leg flight and book it stress free:

Choose a Flight

New repositioning flights are posted on the Vaunt app every day. This makes finding flight information simple and convenient. These routes are one-way and not customizable, so make sure to pick a destination you can get home from. 

Pick a destination from the available list, work out your return trip, and get ready to book. 

Speak with the Operator

Now it’s time to book the flight, so contact the operator and put yourself down for the flight. If you don’t know the exact available route, whichever operator you choose will have access to a catalog of empty leg flights that suit your requirements.

Confirm the Details

Once you’ve chosen your flight and spoken to the operator, or been chosen off the waitlist with Vaunt, it’s time to confirm all the details. Make sure that both parties have a clear understanding of the logistics such as meeting location, flight time, number of passengers allowed, and conditions of the flight. 


The most important step is finally here. It’s time for you to enjoy your private flight with all the amenities of a traditional charter for a smaller price tag. Meet your flight crew on the tarmac, strap in, and take satisfaction in getting a rare opportunity for a great deal.

Booking your empty leg flight can be a breeze if you’re equipped with the right information. Now that you understand the process, what are some of the things you should keep in mind before locking in your reservation?

Airliners lined up

Key Considerations Before Booking

As mentioned previously, empty leg flights do come with a few stipulations. Any method of travel will have features to consider before you book. So here are the key things to consider before you commit and book your first flight:

Route Flexibility and Availability

It comes with the territory that empty leg flights have pre-set starting points and destinations. Make sure that the takeoff point is accessible to you. Remember, this is not a traditional charter so dates and times are also fixed similar to a commercial flight. It’s important that the pre-stated take-off, destination, date, and time, are all do-able for you and your guests.

Aircraft Type and Capacity

Due to safety regulations, every model of airplane has a cap on the number of passengers. For Example, a HondaJet can accommodate up to four passengers. If you show up with five, someone will be turned away. This is a safety regulation that is not negotiable, so keep in mind your aircrafts model to avoid any awkwardness with your guests.

Safety and Operator Accreditation

In order to fly with complete confidence, check in on the safety features and operator accreditation with your empty leg flight provider. Soaring 10,000 feet in the air is no laughing matter, make sure whoever you fly with is open and transparent about all safety features, ratings, and accreditations. 

Terms and Conditions

Reviewing the terms and conditions for your flight is a must. This will prevent you from being turned away on the tarmac or souring the relationship between you and the flight operator. Check in on the operator’s policies including their pet policies, booking fees, and refund policy. Read the fine print and work with your operator for a smooth flight from start to finish.

Vaunt has no booking fees, or hidden fees of any kind.  Flights do come with terms and conditions, but you’ll never be asked for more than your annual $1,000 membership fee. Learn more about terms and conditions when you download the Vaunt app. 

Passenger at airport

How Much Does an Empty Leg Flight Cost?

It’s no secret that private aviation comes with a big price tag. Most private jet memberships cost upwards of $100,000, which isn’t practical or even possible for the majority of people. Because of this, empty leg flights are a great alternative to chartering that won’t break the bank. An average empty leg flight costs up to 75% less than a charter, making private flights more accessible than ever before.

So how much will an empty leg flight cost you? Different operators have different cost breakdowns. You could pay a discounted hourly rate, a lower flat fee, or you could pay a one time membership fee for unlimited access to empty leg flights. This is the easiest and most affordable way to gain access to private flights. 

Vaunt membership consists of a one-time, annual payment of $1,000. This all inclusive membership unlocks access to last-minute, one-way flights across the United States. This membership covers the entire cost of unlimited private flights. There are no hidden fees for extra passengers, baggage, or booking. Pay a flat rate for the entire year and experience the magic of flying private.

Book an Empty Leg Flight Today with Vaunt

Empty leg flying is a unique opportunity to experience the luxury of flying private for a fraction of the cost. Last-minute, one-way flights become available daily, so why not take advantage? If you’ve always dreamed of flying private but thought it was outside of your reach, think again.

Vaunt is one of the simplest and most affordable brokers of empty leg flights. Everyone should experience luxury in their life, and that starts with opening up opportunities to all those who want them. 

Empty leg flights aren’t just about luxury on a budget, they’re about embracing a sense of adventure and spontaneity in the way you travel. Seize the day with a last minute business trip, or to surprise a loved one.

Luxury, comfort, affordability, and adventure all come together on an empty leg flight. When you have the opportunity to fly private, travel becomes as much about the journey as the destination. Embrace the exceptional, and give you and your chosen guests the opportunity of a lifetime. Vaunt is thrilled to bring this hidden gem of the aviation industry to a whole new market.

Sign up with Vaunt in a few easy steps:

  • Download the Vaunt app on the Apple App Store or Google Play store. From there you’ll be prompted to sign up for a membership. Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll have access to all products and services Vaunt has to offer.
  • Explore the app and check out the waitlists for your opportunity to experience a private flight. There’s no limit to how many times you can fly, so join as many waitlists as you like!
  • Each waitlist closes 24 hours before departure. From there if you’re selected Vaunt’s concierge team will reach out to arrange the details.
  • Now it’s time to fly. Bring your family, friends, and pets along for the ride on our private planes. Or fly solo! This is your adventure, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Sign up for Vaunt today and take your imagination to new heights by booking an empty leg flight.

Man boarding jet


How can I get updates about empty leg opportunities?

Empty leg opportunities are most often posted on online platforms like Vaunt. Sign up with Vaunt and you’ll receive daily updates about empty leg flights flying to and from fixed locations. Get on the waitlist and you’ll be notified if you’re first in line when it’s time to fly.

Are empty leg flights good for last minute travel?

Last minute travel is where empty leg flights shine! Due to the spontaneous nature of this way of flying, empty leg flights are often not booked until days, or even up to 24 hours in advance. If you’re looking to get away for the weekend, take a quick break, or even just want to go on a last minute adventure, flying empty leg is an excellent choice.

What influences the availability of empty leg flights?

Empty leg flights are influenced by many of the same things commercial flights are influenced by. Route popularity, seasonality, weather, and crew availability can all influence an empty leg flight’s availability.

How do empty leg flight prices compare to traditional charters?

Empty leg prices are significantly less expensive than traditional charter flights. You can expect to pay up to 75% off the usual price when you fly empty leg. Some charters can cost upwards of $6,000 per hour, but when you fly empty leg you can have the same experience for a smaller price tag. Private aviation is within your reach!

Can I make requests for amenities or services on an empty leg flight?

Absolutely. At Vaunt, customer service is a top priority. It’s important to us that your trip is as luxurious and pleasant as any private flight. With Vaunt, our concierge team will get in touch with you about amenities and travel requests the second you are chosen off the waitlist. Flying private should be a premium experience from start to finish, that includes customizable amenities.


This article is intended for informational purposes only. Vaunt aims to provide accurate and up-to-date information, however Vaunt is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions of data or information that is no longer accurate due to delay, change in law, rules, or regulations.


For the most current information, please contact Vaunt directly.