Sunday, August 26, 2012

Surf Air: Would You Pay $1,000 Per Month for a Private Jet Subscription?


Jesse Draper is creator and host of The Valley Girl Show, through which she’s become a spokesperson for startups and helped pioneer the way of new media content distribution. Formerly a Nickelodeon star, Draper is now CEO of Valley Girl‚ where she oversees the show and runs technology blog

You arrive at the airport two hours early, check your bag, get through security, take out your laptop and liquids — the process can be nightmarish and stressful. It’s time for a major (good) shakeup in the travel industry. 

Could a startup called Surf Air be the ticket?

Founded by Eyerly brothers Wade and Dave, Surf Air offers subscription-based air travel on private planes. “We’re trying to provide access to private planes to folks who otherwise wouldn’t have had it,” Wade says. 

No extra fees, no security nightmares, and you are flying on a private jet. All this for a monthly subscription fee of about $1,000 for four flights per month. 

The company offers a membership similar to Netflix, but for flying. Members get a new ticket once they have used one. The ticket enables them to fly on an eight-person jet within different territories — Los Angeles to Palo Alto and two other locations within that territory. 

“The main problem with air travel is that the model hasn’t changed since the 1930s,” Wade says.

The Santa Monica based startup anticipates to debut the flights by the end of 2012. If all goes well with FAA approval, this could solve California travelers problems before the high-speed train. 

Story, video and comments:

Surf Air's Subscription Airline Flights Now Targeted By End of 2012  

Santa Monica-based Surf Air, the startup airline which is looking to remake air travel with its unlimited, subscription-based air flights between Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and a few other select locations, told its supporters today that it is now readjusting its timeline for launch, and anticipates flying by the end of 2012. The startup airline--headed by Wade Eyerly and backed by such venture firms as Anthem Venture Partners, NEA, TriplePoint Capital, Siemer Ventures, Baroda Ventures, and a number of high profile angels--is currently working through the process of FAA certification. The MuckerLab startup recently moved into its own offices near the Third Street Promenade. Surf Air is looking to offer up flights between private airports via subscription, using a reservation system to manage the dynamics of offering unlimited flights between its locations. The major barrier so far to the firm's service has been the slow process of FAA safety certifications for airlines.

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