Clarification On the Offer of Free Jet Flights for Top Tier Elites

An offer was announced by the European operations of Surf Air — which launched service in Europe with its first flight on Friday, June 23, 2017 from London Luton Airport to Ibiza Airport — pertaining to free flights aboard their fleet of airplanes if you have earned elite level status with a frequent flier loyalty program.

Clarification On the Offer of Free Jet Flights for Top Tier Elites

Surf Air is “offering free flights to top-tier frequent fliers in the programs of other European airlines”, according to this article written by Doug Gollan of Private Jet Card Comparisons. “According to an email from the sent by Surf Air the operator is making the offer to top-tier frequent flier cardholders in Europe. To apply, send proof of your status and you are ‘entitled to a free one-way test flight on Surf Air’s European network subject to availability.’”

Some confusion has resulted about what that means; so I asked Simon Talling-Smith — who is the current chief executive officer at Surf Air Europe Ltd. — for some clarification. I asked him if a person based in Europe but has elite level status in a frequent flier program based elsewhere — such as the United States — can qualify for this offer?

“Yes, anyone who is based in Europe and holds a top-tier frequent flier card can qualify”, he replied. “The offer is only for the top level, though this is often Gold in Europe anyway. Example cards would be British Airways Gold, American Airlines Executive Platinum, etc.”

Simon Talling-Smith also stated that a reservation for the flight — which is considered a trial flight — must be booked by the end of April of 2018.

Membership Subscription Costs of Surf Air

As I reported in this article on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, the business model of Surf Air is “all-you-can-fly”, which is based on membership subscriptions.

Two different types of memberships are available: you can enjoy unlimited flights every month for a single recurring subscription fee of either £3,150.00 per month for all flight routes in both Europe and the United States; or £1,750.00 per month for routes in Europe which are fewer than 600 kilometers in distance — equivalent to approximately $4,170.00 and $2,317.00 in United States currency respectively…

…or you can enjoy flexible private travel for yourself, your friends and your family by buying single seat leisure flights with an Escapes Membership for £1,300.00 per seat each way — equivalent to approximately $1,721.00 in United States currency.

Summary

Some articles have reported that the free flights are aboard a private jet, which is not exactly accurate. Yes, the experience may emulate one of a private jet — especially if no other passengers are aboard…

Phenom aircraft

Source: Surf Air.

…but the fleet of Surf Air in Europe is specifically comprised of two types of aircraft: Embraer Phenom 300 executive jets; and Swiss-made Pilatus PC-12 aircraft; and at least eight seats are aboard each airplane.

The flights being offered are trial flights which give select frequent fliers the opportunity to try out the products and services offered by Surf Air in Europe — so if you are based in Europe and have earned the highest level of elite level status of the frequent flier loyalty program of any airline, you may book a reservation for a free trial flight through April of 2018.

Surf Air in Europe is potentially a viable alternative to frequent fliers who either spend at least £3,150.00 per month as passengers aboard commercial airlines or £1,750.00 per month for shorter flights within Europe — or who spend less but value the amenities and benefits offered by Surf Air enough to be willing to pay the difference in cost…

…but one setback is the current limitation of service to only three airports, which Surf Air intends to remedy next year by serving as many as 15 destinations — with further expansion plans possible after that.

Source: Surf Air.

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