Maybe a good idea, but the site does a bad job of selling it.
The front page starts with a big rant about how bad existing airlines are. That's not how you sell things. You should focus on what you do, which is SFO-LAX flights through private terminals on a monthly subscription.
The private terminal is a huge win -- it saves a good hour on travel. But that's buried in the FAQ. You should redesign so that all of the following are on above the fold on the home page:
- Monthly subscription $79/6 flights
- Private terminal
- Book online last minute
Don't pretend to be a full-service airline except in the fine print it says only SFO-LAX. SFO-LAX is exactly what thousands of people need. For people who need something else, you shouldn't lead them on (but you should let them give you their email address and desired routes so you can let them know when you add them.)
Does this actually exist, or are you gauging interest?
Don't mean to rain on the parade, but you were basically asking if anyone on HN was interested in helping you build this a month or two ago. [0, 1]
It doesn't seem plausible that you'd be able to arrange terminal space, airplanes, pilots, insurance, etc. so quickly. Would be happy to be wrong though, as I fly this route several times per year. Maybe I'm missing something about how this is all organized.
This looks pretty cool. If I was foolish enough to live in the Bay area and had reason to visit family in the LA area I might sign up for this. If you have more than two weeks notice you can do better with Southwest though. They've got OAK-to-BUR (and vice versa) at $55-$67 depending on the day of the week.
That said, why LAX and SFO? Why not pick cheaper airports like OAK and BUR? I'd imagine the runway fees would be less too. Plus just driving out of LAX at a reasonable time of day adds an hour to any itinerary.
EDIT: After reading other comments and skimming through the FAQ I think this website needs to be re-done. The landing page should say in bold letters "Last minute. Private terminal. Zero lines!". Other airlines might match you on price if booked in advance but they can't win on intangibles like skipping the sardine line and government mandated TSA massage.
I can't tell if this is a real business or not. The website appears to be a placeholder intended to test the market demand for their product.
 Jumpdrive doesn't appear to be incorporated or organized in California or Delaware, which is a necessary predicate of them having signed contracts with regional airlines or with LAX/SFO for private terminal space.
I applaud anyone trying to enter the market but the site as-is leaves a lot of questions open to a first time visitor. At first I assumed this was some kind of discounting system on top of the commercial operators. Reading through the comments here it seems they are flying their own planes. Given that they're a company I've never heard of, and flying their own planes, it would be nice to at least see the planes in their livery.
The landing page featuring minimalist text with lots of whitespace might be the popular thing to do for upstart software companies but a company in the business of physically moving people with their own planes shouldn't appear so sterile, IMO. JetSuiteX (https://www.jetsuitex.com) and SurfAir (https://www.surfair.com/) are in more or less the same market and make me feel much more comfortable about considering their services.
Could we get a title on this that's a little more accurate? It doesn't appear like this is an actual service but an effort to gauge interest which makes the title fraudulent.
For folks seeking some context on why LAX-SFO route, here's a list of busiest air routes in the world based on passenger volume :-
5.Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo
7.Los Angeles-San Francisco
LAX-SFO is the 7th most busiest.
I could see Aviato moving into this space...
Hmmm, so after reading the FAQ and the comments, I don't really see what the advantage here is over just flying one of the major carriers.
Changing the pricing model is useful, but only really for people who cannot predict their schedule enough to get the lower rates from the commercial carriers. It seems to me that people who fall into that class, and yet are willing to subscribe to a few flights a month might not be super common. Particularly once the service starts to fill up, and you can't guarantee a seat at the last minute.
The private terminal thing might be helpful, but frequent travelers are going to have already bribed the government to skip the full security line. Last time I was in SFO the precheck line only took me about 2 minutes. If I had checked in early, and only had carry on luggage, I could probably have gotten to the airport when boarding started and still made my flight (haven't went through LAX security in a few years can't comment there).
So, while the GA/private terminal would be enticing if it were operated like a charter plane (aka no TSA to worry about at all), and the flights were small enough they would be willing to hold it if I was running 5 mins late, but it doesn't appear to be the case. The regional jets are much to large for that kind of behavior, and given that its not a business jet, the seating is going to be as miserable as it is on the larger carriers.
To me it sounds like they are trying to reinvent the SW airlines of the 1970's which operated more like a traditional bus service (lots of frequent flights, last minute ticketing, etc) but without the huge profit margins on tickets that SW was competing against.
So I would expect that to really lure people they need something closer to the full charter experience (business class seating at a minimum). For that, I suspect people might be willing to spring for a few extra dollars (bus class tickets are probably easier to compete with given they still tend to have larger margins). Large corps that like to fly their plebs in economy seats probably aren't going to spring for the extra ticket price (besides getting into the booking system might be challenging).
Anyway, good luck...
Any plans on allowing "plus one" guests? For example, a subscriber may use the service for $WORK most of the time, but occasionally the SO may tag along by paying a one-time ticket, perhaps at a slight premium.
It doesn't show a sample flight schedule. I want to sign up, but want to know what times/days flights usually are.
Will your schedule support working day trips? Meaning, a flight leaving early enough to be wheels down by 9 AM at the destination, then a flight out around 4-5 PM on the same day? Do you have plans for working with a rental car service at the private terminal?
Who flies the planes themselves - do you contract with the same airlines who run regional flights for the national carriers? (What's the planes' livery?)
Part of why I'm curious is that I've noticed that the national carriers in the US have an extremely safe record of late - I believe there has been one death from 2002-present from the national carriers (Southwest 1248 slid off a snowy runway in Chicago, hit two cars, and killed one child), but there have been a many fatal accidents with regional or private carriers, so I'd like to know who the actual operating carrier is and what their safety record is.
The stuff on the homepage is not consumer content. That is stuff for pitch decks and Powerpoints to investors. Tell the consumer what you are offering and after digging, you guys actually seem to have a great offering.
At first glance this sounded like the rebirth of the proposed restructuring of the commercial airline industry as covered in the book "Free Flight: Inventing the Future of Travel", by James Fallows (2001). Back then the business model was to marry a fleet of very cheap passenger jets with the huge number of little used airports dispersed around big cities. The book mentions two companies as leading the industry, Cirrus Design and Eclipse Aviation. The startup collapsed during the financial crisis. I remember reading an analysis of the difficulty of scheduling individual pickups to thousands of small airports, essentially a full blown traveling salesman problem that had to be updated in real time with each new reservation. The promise was to cut an hour or so off the total travel time by using small airports near the customer's home and destination.
I applaud the audacity of starting an airline from scratch, considering it's way up there in terms of capital requirements and regulatory burden, and the industry has been losing money in the US, collectively, since the Carter administration.
But it needs to be said that SFO<->LAX is, at just 300 miles, and with the high demand shown by such startups, a perfect example of everything that is wrong with transportation in the US.
Compare Berlin<->Munich which happens to be almost exactly the same distance: even with some political compromises requiring the trains to stop in towns along the route that planners would rather have avoided, total travel time is only 3 1/2 hours. Train stations are also in the middle of each city, saving you about an hour of time on each end. And you can just hop onto any train without booking in advance, without going through security, without discarding your bottle of water, without the yoga-like contortions of economy class, and without the existential threat of not having internet for two hours.
That even an environmentally friendly US state such as California can't get its act together, and instead "solves" its traffic needs in the most resource-intensive ways available, is a scathing indictment of the US' lost faith in the power of government to solve collective action problems.
It blows my mind that there's market for this kind of frequent air travel when we have such a climate crisis on our hands.
I imagine balance will be tricky. Too few flights and customers get frustrated because they can't get seats or decent times. Too many flights and you lose money. This is probably why other airlines have peak/offpeak pricing in the first place to solve the load problem.
Whats the minimum number of months to subscribe for?
It's nice to see an aviation startup that's not just Uber For Airplanes.
I don't really see how the economics would work out - planes have a certain cost to fly and the cost per passenger cost is that divided by the number of passengers on the flight. Discount airlines like Ryanair work by selling some seats very cheap to fill the plane and some expensive like last minute and peak time flights to make a profit. If you charge a flat lowish amount the popular times will be full and the less popular empty leading to poor utilisation and a higher average cost and you'll lose money.
Dunno if I'm missing something here?
Meanwhile, there are 3 flights from Paris to Rome on easyjet for tomorrow all priced at 100 euros. Yeah, maybe you get some extra fees, but the subscription model is pretty constraining as well.
Looks cool - I'd probably use this if I still lived in LA.
Found a typo on your FAQ:
"Our fares our much lower than a private plane service." - that second "our" should be an "are"
It doesn't say what type of aircraft guests would fly on.
Why would you not offer an 8 flights per month plan? I imagine the most popular use case is people who need to fly in Monday morning and out Friday evening.
Question in my mind as a user of LAX: WHERE is the private terminal and does it get me out of the nightmare of LAX evening traffic? That would be a strong point in your favor. And also, does rideshare pick up there smoothly? Will you be working with Uber/Lyft to make sure that they are fully aware of the location? What about rental car services, are any accessible from the private terminal?
The screenshot shows 55 minute travel times, is that real? Current airlines generally schedule 1h25 to 1h45.
I'd love a service like this if it came up to pdx. Quite a few lax-pdx flights every day so there should be demand too. Probably only a fraction of sfo-lax but if you add in seattle there's quite a bunch I'd imagine.
So its Part 121, but with private TSA screening and boarding on the General Aviation side of the airports? Are you operating the planes, or is SkyWest of someone like them operating the planes?
Do unused flight credits roll over?
UI Design: Why is there a blog link at the top that isn't clickable?
You want to change the airline industry? Let's talk. That's my plan.
This could be a nice way for a parked plane to help pay for itself in part.
lol SFO - LAX flights are OFTEN cheaper than that or as cheap.
Unless.... are these roundtrips? I want to assume so but that would be a bad assumption to get wrong!
Fix the site.
Seriously, HN? One comment mentioning that flying might not be the form of transport we'd want to encourage in 2018, and it's downvoted to oblivion. I'm disappointed.
This is sad. Flight is the most contaminating form of transportation.