Does waiting in the TSA line have you daydreaming of flying private? Well, you may be one stop closer. A half dozen start-ups have launched, each with its own bright idea on how to get you onto that jet.
BlackJet The Big Idea: What if private jets sold individual seats instead of the whole plane?
You Get: A seat on a private plane, where and when (within a three-hour window) you want it. In 2009, fueled by celebrity money, BlackJet kicked off the “Uber of the sky” trend. After a bumpy patch, it relaunched with a shift away from the Uber model to better match seat-supply with demand.
Price of Entry: A $5,000 annual membership gets you 80 percent off a seat on someone else’s jet or on a charter of your own if you’re bringing the whole crew.
JetSmarter The Big Idea: What if we let people book empty jets returning from a charter?
You Get: A whole aircraft for yourself or all of your friends that you can book straight from your phone.
Price of Entry: $8,499 annual membership, then any empty-leg flight is all yours.
ClipperJet The Big Idea: What if we created a country club 30,000 feet in the air?
You Get: Flights between L.A. and NYC on ultra-luxe Gulfstream jets. Plus exclusivity: There are only 90 members per hub city. Five more “city pairs” are on the way this year, plus flights to events such as Cannes and the Kentucky Derby.
Price of Entry: $9,700/month for unlimited standby flights, four one-way trips, and access to special events.
Victor The Big Idea: Let’s to hop the pond and get in on this private jet boom in the United States.
You Get: One of the U.K. company’s 7,000-plus chartered aircrafts where you want it, when you want it, booked from your phone.
Price of Entry: No membership fee. Book an empty-leg trip (from $1,500) or charter a flight (from $25,000).
SurfAir The Big Idea: What if we gave NorCal/SoCal commuters a civilized, efficient flight—on an 8-seat Pilatus PC-12 jet?
You Get: From Oakland to L.A. in 120 minutes, with no pass through security.
Price of Entry: $1,000 initiation fee + $1,750 a month + 3-month commitment = unlimited free flights.
Beacon The Big Idea: Hey, why doesn’t the East Coast have a SurfAir?
You Get: Quick and easy flights between Boston and NYC, plus to the Hamptons and Nantucket, in season. (So long Amtrak. Bye, bye Jitney.)
Price of Entry: $2,000 monthly membership, then all you can fly.
Photo by David Black