All You Can Fly Airline – The Future of Business Travel

SurfAirWell it was just a matter of time. Everyone loves the “All you can eat buffet”, right? So why not an airline that offers “All you can fly”? Surf Air, a new small airline, launched in June of this year, is doing just that to select cities on the California coast.


For a flat fee of $1650 a month, subscribers will be able to take all the trips they want among four California cities: San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Surf Air’s co-founder and CEO, Wade Eyerly, claims that the airline will give frequent commuters the experience of a corporate jet for not much more than regular airline prices.


The company is currently located on the far side of the Burbank Airport in metropolitan Los Angeles. Surf Air will fly out of smaller, less populated airports and avoid the large, busy terminals. There isn’t any TSA screening required, so the delays that the searches create won’t be a concern.


“You’re about probably 50 feet from the plane as it pulls up, and then the concierge will come get you when it’s time to go,” Eyerly says. The total amount of time it takes you from parking your car to stepping onboard the plane can be less than five minutes.


The planes are Swiss made eight-passenger turboprops that have a single engine with two pilots at the controls. The longest flight, between San Francisco and Los Angeles, will take just over an hour.


Surf Air travelers can only have four boarding passes at a time, which Eyerly explains: “It keeps any one member from sort of boxing everyone else out from every flight and makes sure there’s enough capacity for everyone to be able to book regularly,” he says.


Eyerly says that he knows if passengers aren’t happy, they won’t renew their subscriptions, and the airline will fail. However, even though he is new to the airline industry, Eyerly isn’t too worried about failure. “This is a market desperate for disruption. The Airline Industry is literally the only industry that ranked below cable companies for what people think of them, dead last among 47 industries surveyed. No one likes flying,” he says.


Surf Air claims, 80 percent of its members are CEOs and entrepreneurs with an average annual income of $300,000. They are wealthy, but not so rich they won’t commit to the cost of locking in fractional ownership of a private jet. At the same time, they are traveling for business which means that time is money. “They can immediately relate to what we are building and why. They understood the problem of delays at airports,” said Eyerly.


The question is, can an airline offer an unlimited flight deal? JetBlue seemed to have success with their plan. Although they limited the pass usage to one month and the days you could use them (unless you paid extra). Even though JetBlue never released the details of the financial success of the “All You Can Jet” pass, it is kind of obvious since they discontinued the plan to go with GoPacks instead. GoPacks is a 10 ticket pass that sells for $699 to nearly $2,500.


It will be interesting to see if Surf Air will succeed in giving business travelers a much needed new option.