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What Is an Open Leg Flight? Everything You Need to Know

An open leg flight, often referred to as an empty leg, is a discounted private jet journey. It occurs when an aircraft returns to its base empty after dropping off passengers. This option provides significant savings for travelers seeking flexibility and cost-efficiency in their air travel.

Open Leg Flight - The Early Air Way

Traveling always leads to new experiences and adventures – and it doesn’t matter why or where you are going. You could be traveling with your family to visit extended family. You could be heading out on a solo trip to explore a new destination. Or maybe you are just traveling for work to meet with a new client. Whatever the reason, the open leg flight is always a great option.

Believe it or not, you are in charge of your travel experience.

You can choose to fly commercial and deal with all the headaches that come with it, such as rigid schedules, long lines, crowded flights, and long layovers. Or, you could choose to fly private and actually enjoy your flight experience.

If you are under the impression that private travel is not within your reach, think again. Thanks to open leg flights, you have the very real option of traveling via a private jet without the hefty price tag. Sure, there may be a few limitations, but there are many more benefits.

Let’s explore open leg flights. Here’s everything you need to know.

Open Leg Flights: What Are They?

As its name suggests, an open leg flight is one that, well, has an open leg. Perhaps someone chartered the flight to where you are currently located. Now, that private jet needs to be in another location (or back where it came from) for another flight.  So, they have a choice – they can fly where they need to go with no passengers and covering all the costs. Or, they can give a deal to a traveler looking for a flight while also offsetting their costs.

In other words, let’s say someone took a flight from Miami, FL to Chicago, IL.  Although it is a great city, the pilot of that jet doesn’t want to get stranded because he or she has work to do back in Miami. For someone in Chicago looking to spend some time on the beaches of Miami, hopping on this open leg could come with a great discount. It is a win-win for everyone involved.


When it comes to traveling via an open leg flight, you get the opportunity to experience the benefits that come with flying private. And, the best part is that you can enjoy them for a fraction of the cost! A few of the best benefits are the luxury accommodations inside each jet, the savings you receive, increased flexibility, as well as reduced travel time. Ready for a closer look?

Luxury Accommodations

Whether you have never been inside a private jet or you have only seen inside through pictures or other media, it is time you see just what you have been missing. The level of luxury will vary depending on the aircraft you fly on, but there is no doubt that the accommodations you find on a private jet open leg flight will far exceed anything you will encounter in the world of commercial air travel.

Private airports and FBOs have very little traffic and lines are nonexistent. That’s right – you will not encounter long security lines here. Usually, you just pull up and board your flight within minutes. But, if you find yourself with time to spare, the inside of these private airports bring much comfort.

Once on the private jet, you will find that seating is not elbow-to-elbow with strangers, but rather roomy. The seats are often comfortable and the atmosphere much more relaxed. Again, the level of luxury you encounter will depend on the type of private aircraft you are on. Let’s see what else an open leg flight has to offer.

Cost Savings

When you travel on an open leg flight, you have the full amenities and comfort of private travel without spending the full amount. Though private travel has become much more affordable than it used to be, who doesn’t love to save money?

Open leg flights offer the opportunity to travel in luxury while also going easy on your wallet.

An Open Leg Flight Is a Little Bit Different

True, an  open leg flight gets you to where you want to go while treating you to the amenities that come with private travel, but there are a few slight differences that set these flights apart from those full-priced bookings. It is important to keep in mind that these differences are often minor and do not interfere with the comfort and experience you get when you fly private.

Let’s take a look.


One of the perks private travelers enjoy is flexibility. When booking, you have the choice of when you’d like to depart. And, since you are the passenger, if you get delayed due to traffic, for instance, the jet is not going to take off without you. Unlike commercial aircraft that are on stringent deadlines, private jets allow for some wiggle room.

For those traveling on an open leg flight, the flexibility is still there, but less so. For instance, the jet may not take off without you if you get stuck in a little traffic, but you may not be able to book your flight to travel on your schedule. If that jet needs to be somewhere by a certain time, it’s not going to be less accommodating to your needs.

You choose this open leg flight because it is heading in the direction you want to go – by choice or by chance. You are the one who needs to be flexible if you want great savings!

Open Leg Flight: Special Amenities

Finally, we all know that there are so many special amenities that come with flying private. The biggest by far is often the catered food. When booking these flights, you can have the choice of certain meals or even takeout from local eateries, as well as specific drinks or snacks on board. It’s truly one of the perks of flying private – something you won’t get when flying commercial.

Open leg flights are different, though. Because you are booking last minute, all the planning and scheduling time is not there. This means that some of those special, personalized amenities may not make it on board at all.


If you have to fly, fly private. If you want to save money, look for open leg flights. Despite all the differences, there are still many benefits to be enjoyed while on board a private jet.

Open Leg Flights - The Early Air Way