June 16, 2016
Air travel has been infamously troublesome for more than a decade. Between security lines, flight cancellations, and uncomfortable chairs, there is no way to enjoy the traveling experience when you have to go to the airport. And while other modes of transportation enjoy innovation and affordability in the form of ride sharing and Hyperloop technology, air travel has been stuck in the 1950s for the last half century. Fortunately, there are companies trying to bridge the gap between costumers and providers of air travel services.
While convenience is important to costumers, the big problem with flying today is how expensive it is. These services aim to curb the rising cost of air fare with everything from membership fees to startup deals, typically shuttling business-focused passengers between their major cities of operations. The goal is to save money on the multiple trips business employees often take on a monthly basis.
“If I fly four times a month, it’s as cost-effective as Southwest and you get the private experience,” says Michael Mitchell, a Dallas-based investment banker. “Being on the plane with other business people makes it like a business social club.”
One such company that is aiming to make a difference is Rise Air. Their membership model, albeit far too expensive for this writer, provides costumers with the seamless air travel experience people direly need. You can choose, change and cancel any flight without fee or hassle. You can arrive at your own private terminal just minutes before your flight and enjoy free WiFi while you wait. You can even take advantage of corporate and business deals that make the price not seem so scary. And it’s not just for big wigs and fat cats!
“70 percent of our members have never flown on private airplanes,” says Nick Kennedy, CEO of Rise Air.
The air travel business, however, is not one to enter lightly. For every Rise Air, there are dozens of Beacons, an all-you-can-fly shuttle between Boston and New York that closed in September 2015 after opening in April 2015. Even with high market need and little competition, air travel is a business that requires an unmatched attention to detail, a risky mentality, and enough airline peanuts to feed 30 or more hungry executives on any given day. After all, what’s a private plane without a mid-flight snack?
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