How to up Your Chances of Flying on an Empty Plane
It happened to Karon Grieve just this week. It could happen to you.
Everyone has had that secret wish: the wish that the seat next to them on their flight would be empty.
Sadly, this wish almost never seems to come true. However, what if we could dream a little bigger? As in, getting the entire commercial plane to ourselves? Turns out, you actually can if you strike while the iron is hot.
For example, one woman, Karon Grieve from Glasgow, managed to get the private jet treatment on her Jet2 flight from Scotland to Crete earlier this week, and she only paid around $60 for the ticket. And last September, two American backpackers were the only passengers on a Firefly flight from Krabi, Thailand to Penang, Malaysia.
Your chances of getting this lucky are low. As aviation expert John Strickland told The Telegraph, most budget short-haul flights fly at 95 to 100 percent capacity.
But Grieve's success might be all about timing.
According to The Independent, the end of October is an interesting time for booking flights, especially budget airlines in the U.K. like Jet2 and Ryanair. As summer schedules end, fewer travelers book flights to places like Greece for vacation, and the number of routes drop dramatically.
That means travelers can actually book these budget flights pretty cheaply, but it’s usually at the last minute. And most of the time, the trip back will be booked solid with vacationers who are going home. After all, an airline has to make money.
Unfortunately, according to The Independent, your best chance of flying on an empty plane to somewhere sunny like Greece has probably passed this year. But there is an alternative.
“You can make the converse move next spring when the flights to Greece, Turkey, and Croatia start up again. The first outbound departures will be full with high-fare-paying passengers. But if you can get yourself to the Mediterranean in time to return on the first flight of the season, you’re guaranteed a bargain and plenty of room on board,” The Independent wrote.
Mark your calendars.