Alternatives to the Airlines?

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Old Apr 7, 18, 1:19 pm
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Question Alternatives to the Airlines?

I've been following with great interest the ever-expanding offering of airline alternatives, including charter air, air-taxi and regional shuttle providers such as Surf Air and Wheels Up. Even though I can usually fly at least Business Class, I really hate the whole airline experience, from terminal checkin, security lines/TSA, drunk/rude passengers and more - so I'm looking to get out of it whenever I can.

Has anyone in the Forum had good luck with any of the airline alternatives, especially the membership-type programs? I fly frequently enough that I think I could justify the cost, but I'd be interested in hearing other's experiences, recommendations and thoughts. Thanks!
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Old Apr 7, 18, 1:26 pm
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There is a dedicated FT Forum for Other Air Travel options which addresses your query
Moving thread to the other Air Travel Forum. Please follow there.
Thanks...
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Old Apr 8, 18, 5:09 am
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Originally Posted by moneylab View Post
I've been following with great interest the ever-expanding offering of airline alternatives, including charter air, air-taxi and regional shuttle providers such as Surf Air and Wheels Up. Even though I can usually fly at least Business Class, I really hate the whole airline experience, from terminal checkin, security lines/TSA, drunk/rude passengers and more - so I'm looking to get out of it whenever I can.

Has anyone in the Forum had good luck with any of the airline alternatives, especially the membership-type programs? I fly frequently enough that I think I could justify the cost, but I'd be interested in hearing other's experiences, recommendations and thoughts. Thanks!
Wheels Up is really for full aircraft charter -- the hourly rates are around $4,500 to $7,000 per hour after you pay the $17,000 membership fee. Surf Air you pay a monthly membership fee - a couple thousand dollars - and you get to reserve single seats on their scheduled flights - the difference being you are on a small plane - in some cases a turboprop - but that you don't use the main terminal so you save time by using the private aviation facilities at the airport - much quicker! However, they don't operate to Sarasota.

You might take a look at JetSmarter. Download the app and you can see what type of shuttle activity they have from the airport you are based at - Sarasota? They're membership structure and fees for flights are changing so the website might not be accurate. :roll eyes:
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Old Apr 19, 18, 11:07 am
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Sorry, please delete.
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Old Apr 29, 18, 7:21 am
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Where are you based? SRQ? Do you fly to regular locations on a relatively advance schedule or is it wherever pops up on a whim? Also range is a factor. It takes legwork but going direct or cutting out a few of the regular middlemen can save you tons. There are plenty of folks that own a light jet (or turbo prop) and use it maybe ten times a year and would be happy to rent it out if you help cover their annual fixed costs. Lowest you’ll probably get is about $2,000 an hour for a jet. This is why those Cirrus’ are so popular cuz you can fly them variable cost for $120/hr but where you get hammered is on OW’s or when you have overnights because you should assume $500/day per pilot plus hotel and food and while most jets can be flown with a single pilot you might want two. This should also serve as a reminder to especially the small business owners out there that your business/umbrella providers may have somewhere very specific requirements when it to how you travel and who can travel (ie all firm principals) on the same plane
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Old May 30, 18, 11:30 am
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Smile Checkout AURA

AURA launched yesterday. Developed by a company called ZED Aerospace. The most beautiful plane I've ever seen with fares that are super affordable--private airport to private airport.
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