“All You Can Fly” Concept About to Finally Take Off?

A Pilatus PC-12 aircraft operated by Surf Air. Image courtesy of Surf Air. Click on the image to access the official Internet web site of Surf Air.

Surf Air — whose concept is to offer its customers the opportunity to be a passenger on as many flights as they want for one monthly membership fee which purportedly will not be significantly more expensive than typical airfare prices — recently received permission by federal regulators in the United States to begin passenger service between four cities in California.
For that monthly membership fee, you receive such benefits as:

  • Flying as a passenger as many times as you want within a month for no extra cost or hidden fees
  • Always first-class luxury on executive aircraft with leather seats
  • A personal concierge to assist you with whatever you may want or need
  • Complimentary guest passes as long as you give a minimum advance notice of two weeks
  • Snacks and beverages are included in the monthly membership fee
  • No having to wait in line to pass through airport security checkpoints and be either scanned or endure a “pat-down” — or both
  • As few as 30 seconds to book your reservation
  • Quick access from your car to the aircraft — perhaps in as few as five minutes — at airports with free unlimited parking and complimentary Internet service
  • Be part of an “exclusive community of air travelers”

The four cities to where Surf Air will launch its airline service will be:

  • Los Angeles
  • Santa Barbara
  • Monterey
  • San Francisco

Expansion plans include destinations such as “Las Vegas, Palm Springs, San Diego, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, and the Sonoma/Napa area as quickly as possible.” Possible future areas to be served by Surf Air include the Eastern corridor, Pacific Northwest, Texas and Florida.
The aircraft to be used for the flights are propeller powered and can seat up to eight passengers. Customers who fly on aircraft which carry ten or more passengers are required to be screened by the Transportation Security Administration.
Originally to have debuted in the northeastern United States as PlaneRed back in 2011, Surf Air first offered potential customers the opportunity to become one of 500 founding members last year, which included special pricing on the purchase of monthly airfares and other benefits.
The monthly fee will supposedly be $1,650.00 per month — more than the initial monthly subscription fee of $790.00 per month announced last year, and far greater than the original $150.00 per month when the PlaneRed concept was announced.
Could a concept such as this become successful? With commercial aviation in the United States having become a oligopoly — as demonstrated when reservation change fees were increased by all four legacy carriers within three weeks from $150.00 to $200.00, for example — there could be a greater opportunity for a service such as this to possibly succeed. However, it will take a lot of resources to ensure the success of Surf Air.
However, Surf Air does face potential competition from the likes of airlines such as ImagineAir and SeaPort Airlines, which offer similar services but with somewhat different concepts.
What do you think? Would you patronize a concept as to be offered by Surf Air — or does it sound too good to be true?

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