Surf Air: Celebrating Five Years of Travel
In an industry that’s often characterized as a race to the bottom, Surf Air has changed the way we fly. Surf Air is the nation’s first private air travel club offering unlimited “all-you-can-fly” monthly flights. Operating for five years and geared toward frequent regional business and leisure travelers, Surf Air provides a hassle-free flying experience for its Member community. Today, its growing fleet of executive private aircrafts operate from convenient private airports in the United States and Europe. And the company also provides global charter services via their Surf Anywhere program.
Within the United States, Surf Air transports its Members via a fleet of Swiss-built Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprop aircraft. The two-pilot aircraft seats eight passengers comfortably, has a range of 1,200 nautical miles, and can fly at up to 320 miles an hour. While this might seem slow compared jetliner, 300mph is ten times as fast as what Surf Air’s true competition: a California freeway moving at 30mph. Equally important, USB plugs and worktables complete an ideal place to get some real work done, something that can’t be accomplished while driving.
Distinguishing itself from its competitors, Surf Air doesn’t sell Members the entire aircraft as a traveler might get with on-demand charter or jet cards, which costs thousands of dollars an hour. Instead, passengers get a seat or however many seats that may be purchased or a membership entitles a traveler to.
Equally important, there is no TSA screening and attendant lines at the smaller airports Surf Air serves. While there are lounges at many destinations, frequent fliers may not spend much time there, as passengers can arrive just 15 minutes before the flight takes off. Normally travelers must arrive over an hour before departure. On arrival, Surf ground personnel will help put arriving passengers in a rental car, ride-share vehicle or cab to their final destination. In other words, it means for flights under two hours, a traveler can cut his or her total travel by more than half.
Strategic partnerships. These types of Surf Air experiences originally began as a way for Members to make the most out of their weekends through curated experiences available at across California. But since then, Surf Air has partnered with other luxury vendors to further enhance a Member’s travel experience.
This July, Surf Air has partnered with All Roads North, a California company that designs unforgettable road trips across America. With each journey tailor-made from the ground up by a trained travel specialist, All Roads North’s utilizes its relationships with the finest hotels, lodges, and ranches to create an insider experience brought to life by local, on the ground experts. All Roads North have taken the quintessential American journey to a new level.
Finally, Surf Air also has a relationship with the popular FoundersCard, a members-only community of over 25,000 entrepreneurs and innovators who receive unprecedented benefits and networking opportunities. Exclusive benefits range from VIP travel privileges (i.e. complimentary elite status, priority check-in, and savings off standard fares) to access to its popular collection of top hotels and resorts, specifically offering privately negotiated preferred rates, added amenities and flexible cancellation privileges.
Europe and beyond. Surf Air’s American expansion is in addition to its already popular European routes. In fact, Surf Air Europe has announced it will add a number of European destinations to its network, including Milan, Luxembourg, Munich, Brussels, Basle/Mulhouse/Freiburg, CH, and Nice, through a partnership with virtual carrier JetClass (Vienna).
JetClass is a licensed travel agency based in Vienna, essentially a virtual “bizjet operation” which allows passengers to buy seats on aircraft sourced from others partners such as GlobeAir, relying heavily on Artificial Intelligence algorithms to optimize its aircraft placement.
Surf Air Europe, as in the United States, offers all-you-can-fly membership plans to customers. According to the caviation schedules module, it offers scheduled flights out of London City to each of Zurich and Sion. The carrier’s flights are operated by FlairJet (UK) with EMB-505 equipment. The carrier also advertises flights to Cannes Mandelieu, Geneva, and Vienna, some of them operated with PC-12 aircraft.
The carrier has simultaneously announced it will start offering global membership plans, covering both its US and European operations, as well as less expensive “Escapes” plan for customers who fly less frequently and mostly to leisure destinations.
Additionally, the company has introduced a Surf Air Escapes program for leisure and more infrequent travelers. It has a lower subscription and an incremental fee per flight for access to the Surf Air network making it more accessible to non-business travelers.
Flying into the future. To support these new membership plans, Surf Air released a new version of its Apple iOS app that adds the ability for members to book a guest on their flight and access to a new charter desk, Surf Anywhere, to arrange flights outside of the company’s network. Customers booking a Surf Anywhere charter flight will automatically be enrolled as a Surf Air Escapes member for that calendar year at no extra charge.
If a frequent flyer wants the ultimate freedom of flying on a fleet of Pilatus PC-12 single-engine turboprops in California and Texas, he should get five of his friends, co-workers or acquaintances to join Surf Air -and maybe get a full year of membership fees gratis. In celebration of their fifth anniversary of its inaugural flight with a limited-time-only promotion to accompany the date, the first five people to refer five new customers to Surf Air will get the next year of their membership for free. This is applicable to both existing Surf Air members and non-members who wish to explore the possibility of enrolling in this service and is only available for a limited time.