There have recently been news about a woman who has managed to get a whole plane for herself by purchasing a ticket to a flight where no one else showed up:

But when she finally boarded her flight, flight attendants informed her the other two passengers did not show up. So, she scored a private, four-hour flight to Crete. And the best part? It only cost $60.

How can I identify such flights so that I can replicate the experience? We already have a question on identifying flights with "fewer" passengers, but I'm looking to locate flights which have none.

  • 4
    I'd say this was pretty much impossible to guarantee.
    – user29788
    Feb 23, 2018 at 5:05
  • Indeed, unless you have access to an airline's internal system you can't know how many passengers there are. Only exception is when they say, during ticket purchase, how many tickets are left (usually when it's less than 10).
    – Marcus
    Feb 23, 2018 at 10:08
  • 4
    If there was a way to figure this out, the airlines would do it themselves and not schedule that flight. Feb 23, 2018 at 14:22
  • 1
    There’s a hint at the end of the linked article that could point you in the right direction for flights with very few people on board (last outbound flight of the season for a seasonal flight). For airlines which allow / force you to pick your seat before paying, you may then get more info. But it can’t guarantee that nobody else will book after you...
    – jcaron
    Feb 23, 2018 at 14:32
  • I'd look for flights where, due to subsidies or other external factors, the airline has an incentive to run the flight even though demand does not justify it. I've heard this said about Essential Air Service flights in the US which serve small towns, but I have no data to confirm. Feb 23, 2018 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


The article you found looks like a loosely veiled paid advertisement to me.

The emphasis in bold is mine.

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

So you could become a leisure blogger/social media semi-celebrity like this person did.

Homecrafts expert on TV and radio, cook book author, photographer and bit of a blogger

I'm not sure this is what happened in this case, but having your own following in a particular niche does have its perks. If your following is large enough, you get invited to all kinds of events for free. You usually receive the best service and the best discounts. Sometimes, some sponsors will even pay you to disseminate promotional materials on their behalf.

If that idea doesn't entice you, the next option is to visit a country that had a recent terrorist attack. I am actually very serious about this. Tourists are easily spooked. But if you keep yourself informed of current events, figure out where the specific areas you need to stay away from, and speak to the locals (not just in the travel industry and therefore not with an incentive to lie to you) wherever you go to ask about what's safe and what's not, you can get yourself some very cheap flights and still be relatively safe. And you'd actually be helping with their local economy during a time of hardship.

And yes, those flights will most likely be empty on the way there. But unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the flights coming back won't be filled up to capacity, or to near capacity.

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