All the flying you want, for $1,750 a month.
Sound too good to be true? It is true, however, but with some important qualifications.
First, the unlimited flying is only within California. That’s because Surf Air is currently not authorized to operate interstate flights. But longer term, the company hopes to expand its route network to include Las Vegas, Arizona, Texas, and other points further afield.
For now, Surf Air serves nine smaller California airports: Sacramento, Santa Rosa, San Carlos, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Burbank, Hawthorne, Palm Springs, and Carlsbad. Service to Truckee (near Lake Tahoe) starts on March 23, and Oakland flights launch on October 19.
By design, most are small to mid-sized airports, where passengers can park and board planes quickly and easily, with a minimum of check-in and security-screening hassle. As the company boasts on its website: “Imagine driving to the airport minutes before departure, then taking off with no lines, no waiting, no tickets, and no hidden fees.”
Take-off will be aboard one of the company’s Pilatus turbo-props, fitted with either seven or eight seats that rotate 180 degrees. The seats look comfortable enough, but they’re more akin to major airlines’ premium-economy seats than they are to lie-flat premium seats. And the small plane’s cabin is anything but spacious. Still, with most flights coming in at well under two hours, the ultimate in luxury is probably less important than the service’s convenience and time-efficiency.
Although the pricing is based on a monthly membership fee, the minimum initial membership is three months. So a trial membership is at least a three-month commitment.
Unlike private charter services and fractional-ownership models, Surf Air’s flights operate on set schedules. For some reason, the company doesn’t publish its schedules, but claims “up to 90 daily flights.” The combination of limited seating and a limited schedule could make it hard to book a seat on high-demand flights.
There aren’t many travelers who can rationally justify paying $21,000 for a year’s worth of flights to a limited number of cities within California. But for the few whose travel needs and budget align with Surf Air’s network and pricing, the time savings and stress-free flying could be a real bargain.
Reader Reality Check
How much would you be willing to pay for unlimited flying?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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