Flying can be difficult. It’s a cold hard fact. The process begins with parking in a lot and boarding an airport shuttle or paying a taxi to drop you off. Once inside, you’re often met with long security lines, crowded terminals and the never ending hunt for an outlet to charge your dying iPhone. Then you board the plane, squeeze into your seat and wait until it’s your turn to take off.
For the leisure traveler, those going on vacation or traveling to visit family and friends, this ordeal is usually tolerable as good times await on the other end. But for business travelers commuting for work on a regular basis, the romance of traveling has likely worn off years ago and the process has become unbearably annoying.
It’s primarily these business travelers, the die-hard sky warriors, that California-based airline, Surf Air, is here to save.
Launched only four months ago, Surf Air is an all you can fly, members only airline flying six-passenger executive style planes between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Barbara. For a $500 initiation fee and $1,650 per month, members can fly as many times as they’d like on any of Surf Air’s routes.
You can think of Surf Air as a hybrid of flying commercial (i.e. Virgin America) and flying private (i.e. your own private jet). Like a commercial airline, there are scheduled flight times and you’ll be flying with other passengers — or in the case of Surf Air, members. According to the airline, 90 percent of their members are entrepreneurs, CEOs, founders and presidents of companies, so you may actually want to talk to the person sitting next to you on these flights.
But like flying private, you’ll be traveling in and out of the same private terminals as celebrities and heads of industry on small planes with big leather seats, and there’ll be no crowds and no security lines (there’s no TSA here). All you’ll have to do is stroll from the free parking lot right outside, through the terminal where you’ll check in with a Surf Air concierge and pick up a tasty drink or snack, and walk out to your plane waiting on the tarmac. Easy as that.
With perks like those you’ll want to fly in Surf Air style all the time. Surf Air, however, isn’t right for everyone and big planes and global routes aren’t part of their master plan. However, they’ve certainly got their sights set on replicating the success they’re experiencing in California and expanding into various markets throughout the United States. In fact, there are over 50 markets throughout the country where Surf Air believes they could bring travel sanity to the lives of frequent business travelers. Basically, anywhere business travelers get in their car or on a train and commute two to six hours, Surf Air may one day soon be the best (or at least the most luxurious) way to get there.
Always interested in travel innovations, especially in the painfully slow to evolve air travel industry, I’ve been following Surf Air’s progress long before their inaugural flight four months ago. To get a closer look at and to share the Surf Air experience with you, my crew and I recently flew on Surf Air from the Los Angeles area’s Burbank Airport to the San Francisco area’s San Carlos Airport (half way between San Francisco and Silicon Valley).
As I say in the video, and as you probably already know, I travel a lot and have been on all kinds of flights all over the world. I’ve never, however, had a flying experience as unbelievably easy, stress free, and luxurious as the one I had with Surf Air. I’m looking forward to seeing them continue to expand their routes in California to cities like Tahoe, Palm Springs, Sacramento, and Sonoma, and from there, bring their innovative service to markets across the country.