Aviation Subscriptions Are Taking Off

For business travelers, traditional airline travel can be a hassle. It’s costly, time consuming, and sometimes downright miserable. But is necessary for corporate leaders, business executives, managers and sales staff to get from A to B quickly and with as little fuss as possible. That’s where aviation memberships and subscriptions come in – and they are taking off!

Beechcraft Air

On Monday, for example, the New York Times reported on Rise, a subscription membership service that flies between Dallas and Houston on weekdays, and to Austin, Vail, Seaside and other destinations on weekends. Rise calls it private-flight sharing, and it includes unlimited flights for all membership levels.Rise offers four tiers of membership:

Express$1,650/mo.2 reservations at a time$750/flight
Executive$2,150/mo.4 reservations at a time1 free per month
Chairman$2,650/mo.6 reservations at a time1 free per month
Corporate$3,700+/mo.

In addition to the monthly membership fees, a one-time initiation fee of $750 is charged.According to the New York Times, Rise doesn’t own any of the planes, but it leases eight-seat Beechcraft Air King 350 planes from other charter companies. The planes depart from private aviation terminals, so travelers can skip the TSA line and arrive at the plane just minutes before the planned departure time. In addition to free parking, Rise offers its passengers on-board WiFi, snacks and a concierge to help with connections.Rise is just one of several companies that are filling the needs of busy business travelers these days. Surf Air is another entrant into the private aviation subscription market. In fact, Surf Air says it is the first private air travel club offering unlimited flights. In addition to a first class experience, Surf Air boasts a personal concierge for its members, no lines, no waiting, no hidden fees, easy booking and hassle-free airports. What more could you ask for?Memberships begin at $1,750 a month for unlimited flights, with a $1,000 initiation fee. Surf Air offers up to 90 daily flights to 12 destinations, including the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles Metro area, Santa Barbara, Carlsbad/San Diego, Truckee/Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. Since its 2013 launch, Surf Air has attracted 2,100 members, according to the New York Times.Travelers seem to agree this is the new way to fly:

Surf Air tweets

     

Surf Air tweet 2

    Beacon is another all-you-can-fly service. For $2,250 a month, travelers can fly to and from New York and Boston (year-round) and the Hamptons and Nantucket (seasonally). Other services like HoboJet and Jumpjet are also private aviation alternatives to commercial airlines, but their business model is slightly different.Insider Take:If you travel a lot, private aviation memberships seem like a no brainer, making travel simpler, easier and more enjoyable. You get first class service tailored to your needs, and you skip the hassle of flying through a commercial airport that adds hours to your travel time. Even booking a reservation is easier than a traditional airline!If you make more than a few trips a month, an aviation membership will probably save you money too. For those who can afford it, this looks like a great way to travel. Where do we sign up?~ Dana E. Neuts, Business Insider