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What is an empty leg?

What does the crew do during an empty leg?

Empty legs, also known as ferry flights, are flights performed without passengers on board, to position the aircraft into a specific airport for the next flight, or to re-position back to base an aircraft which just left the Customers at their destination. 

Empty legs can be extremely common on certain routes and for customers are a great deal: by booking one of those flights the saving can be up to 90% of the full fare. Due to the nature of the flight itself, they are not eligible to be booked too much time in advance. In order to earn some money, the company will try to sell the empty leg to be flown with passengers on board until the very last minute, so keep in mind that those flights are frequently submitted to changes. It’s therefore important that you leave the aircraft as clean as possible before an empty leg: you never now.

Typical routes that often includes empty leg are Paris, London, Milan, and New York, but can bee from anywhere, anytime it depends on t company’s operations 

But what does the crew do during an empty leg? Well, what pilots do is pretty obvious (they fly the aircraft), but what does the flight attendant do?

With a lot of time available, this is a great opportunity to do all those time consuming activities such as expiration dates check, sanitise of the waste bin, deep cleaning of the floor and seats, organisation of the linen and bed sheets in the wardrobe. 

Use this time to get even more familiar with your aircraft (personally, I suggest to invest this time to better learn the entertainment system!), to organise the space and prepare the aircraft for the next flight. Usually ferry flights are performed by the crew in full uniform although no customers are present.   

Good chance also to go on with some paperwork such as crew expenses, feedback forms, invoice (for freelancers) handovers or customer’s profile. 

Crew is allowed to have a meal on board (usually no catering is order for empty legs to avoid expensive delivery fee: maybe a take away from the hotel room service, a sandwich bought at the supermarket – on company’s expenses-  or also catering leftovers). 

Take this chance to practise food plaiting and plate decorations – there’s a full chapter about this topic on the manual ;  ) .

Divide the time to organise your workload and also to relax a little bit. 

If it’s short flight just to go and pick up the guests (from Milan to St. Moritz for example – 25 mins block time), you will probably ordered catering already before the empty leg (in Milan) to avoid possible delays. Get your service ready, prepare all your equipment clean and ready-to-use.

Private Jet Coach can help you in achieving the necessary self confidence, to look professional and always be aware on what is expected from you in any situation.  

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