Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just pay a monthly subscription fee and hop on a plane as many times as you need or like? Just imagine all the places you could visit just for the day or the weekend? You would never stop traveling if you had a pass that let you board a plane as many times as you like. That would encourage so many more people to travel and increase their awareness of the world they live in. The idea would be the same as a monthly bus pass that gives you unlimited rides all month long but instead of a bus it would be a private jet. Fancy.
Rise in Travel Demands
Business travelers will tell you that hoping on a plane first thing Monday mornings is so routine that they know all the stewardess on the regular routes they fly that the crew also knows all their preferences for everything, both coming and going. The challenge with this model on commercial flights is that you have to get there early, check-in, wait in line for security check, and then wait some more before getting called onto the plane.
Many major airlines offer services now where you can cut some of that wait time by a quarter, which is still not much, if you undergo a deep background check, so you don’t have to go through security each time. The airlines even go so far as to offer VIP status where you can wait in a different lobby and get a faster security check done without waiting in line. The issue to all of this though is that you still have to get there at least two hours ahead of time, which is the recommended time given my airline companies, and you still might run into delays, so the question becomes, if you have money, or your company can afford it, why not get a subscription service to flying? It saves time and money in the long fun if you fly a lot.
Companies that are Fixing the Problem
Entrepreneurs look for problems that they can fix in order to help people. In this case, there are companies out there that are looking to make it easier to travel without all the hassle that airlines like to put people through today. Instead of having to buy your tickets way in advanced in order get a good deal, why not pay a subscription free that lets you book your flight whenever you need it.
Passengers still have to go through a security check but the time it takes is so short that it barely interferes with the 15 arrival time from when you park to when you take off. The advantage to this model is that it saves time for everyone because they don’t have to deal with ticket issues, waiting in lines for everything, and boarding. Most planes fit 6 to 12 people and so without any hassle of having to load any luggage underneath, everyone is able to get on in a quick amount of time and take off right away.
Beacon is one company that is like the Uber of private flight. It is interesting to learn how their business model works because they don’t exactly own any planes because they contract with another company to provide them and maintain them. This cuts down on a lot of overhead that most major airline companies have to deal with everyday. The rate is $2,250 a month for unlimited flights between New York and Boston. This company was started by the same founders as SurfAir.
Another company is, SurfAir, which services only cities in California, making it faster and easier to get around. They are like the Netflix in a sense that you can use their service an unlimited number of times and still enjoy the service. The company leases a few planes in order to meet the growing demand and with the membership numbers on the rise from 300 hundred just two years ago, this is a company that is capitalizing on a growing need for business people. The membership rate starts at $1,750 a month.
Rise is a company that is dominating the Texas market by offering unlimited flights between cities. Their company model allows them to contract with a carrier to provide the charter planes and outsource their maintenance. They have offer different levels of membership that can range from $1,650 to $2,650, with the top one offering the most perks for flying a month.
There is one company called, OneGo, that is looking to take advantage of the commercial airlines by offering unlimited travels with major carriers. All travelers will be able to determine the level of service they need with add-on fees. A traveler will be able to make as many changes to their reservations for an additional $750 on top oft heir regularly monthly fee, which can range from $1,500 to $1,950 and those prices depend on the region of travel within the US.
Challenges with All-You-Can-Fly Memberships
The awesome thing about being able to fly anytime you want is getting to travel all the time and not have to wait to hop on a plane and be in a new city. This way of traveling though is really for the higher end business people who have to travel all the time to get around so this model of flying would make sense. Right now the services are limited to geographical locations but once they open up to the whole US, more and more people will be signing up for this service than commercial flights and that right there is where the problems will start to happen.
The purpose of this article is to make people aware of the new services that are being made available to people, and once more people start using the service, which is still intended for the wealthy, these companies will start to face the same problem that major airline carriers have been facing for decades; long lines, customer complaints, terrible service, and long delays. The nytimes article mention this same problem but the issue is very valid unless the companies can figure out how to avoid that very problem. It will be nice to use it in the beginning but once more people start to use it, it will feel just like regular public transportation.
The idea of being able to fly unlimited is nothing new, infact, American Airlines used to offer AAirpass which were very expensive passes that granted users unlimited flights all over the world and for the wealthy people who signed up for them, they took complete advantage of them and why not? It grants unlimited flights anytime you want. To read more about the people who bought those tickets, read this story.