It hasn’t been a good year for Surf Air, but as the saying goes, sometimes you win just by showing up, and it seems the California-based pioneer of all-you-can-fly Netflix memberships is going to offer a new twist it is marketing launching Surf Air Express as it soldiers on.
According to a press release received by Private Jet Card Comparisons its new offering opens its flights “to anyone who wants to purchase seats on a per-seat basis at prices similar to business class and last-minute economy.” It continues, “with available seats on routes operated by its contracted third-party carriers, Surf Air is able to open its network to a broader group of travelers who desire a membership that is designed for the less frequent per flight consumer.”
Benefits include flat rate pricing not subject to price fluctuations, no change or cancellation fees, access to an easy-to-use app, access to member perks and exclusive member events, and preferential rates at premium hotels like the Bacara in Santa Barbara and The Ritz Carlton Tahoe.
Users can fly to all Surf Air destinations including, Napa, Lake Tahoe, Monterey, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Dallas, Austin, Houston and Midland and will have access to special event flights like music festivals, sports games, and conferences.
“Five years ago we cracked the code and changed aviation by offering a small group of monthly subscribers all you can fly memberships with a premium flight experiences to eliminate the hassles associated with commercial air travel,” said Sudhin Shahani, Chairman and CEO of Surf Air in a prepared statement. “Through Surf Air Express, we’re continuing to upgrade the travel experience by opening up the Surf Air network to a completely new market of travelers who’ve long needed a more convenient and fun way to fly. It’s our vision that one day we’ll expand Surf Air to be accessible, with our flight operators, across the online travel booking websites and in every region around the globe where short-haul travel is broken, while still maintaining the quality and value of our membership-first business model.”
Surf Air Express flights will begin at the conclusion of an Indiegogo campaign that has a fixed goal of $50,000 and will be open for another month. As of Oct. 24th, it had raised $32,070 putting it 64% of the way towards its goal. The campaign appears to have been launched yesterday.
Surf Air express will require an annual membership fee of $2,500. One-way flights start at $445, and the company says it is a “fare which is not subject to price changes or hidden fees.”
According to the release, Surf Air Express Members will have access to a smaller, though still substantial, portion of its flights on a monthly basis. The company says this ensures that its All-You-Can-Fly Members who fly more frequently and at peak business times, will not experience disruption to their daily commutes.
The Indiegogo page shows a variety of options (above) starting at buying the one-year membership for $250 instead of $2,500, and shows four claimed. A three-year membership priced at $500 instead of $7,500 has found 22 takes while for $895 you can buy a membership for one-year and two flights valued at $3,390 for $895. A one-year membership plus four flights are priced at $1,700 and are valued at $4,280. There are several other options, including a one-year membership and 10 flights for $3,450 instead of $6,955. Estimated delivery according to Indiegogo is December.
By using private aviation terminals and secondary airports, members can show up 15 minutes before their flight and can generally cut total airport to airport travel time in half.
On its website, Surf Air has listed Mammoth Lakes, Horseshoe Bay, New Orleans and Scottsdale as a future destination. Earlier this year we broke the story that Surf Air owed over $2 million in unpaid Federal Excise Tax. It was also embroiled in a lawsuit with a former operator after terminating the contract.
On its website Indiegogo outlines the risks of funding ventures, noting, “It’s important to know that you are not buying an existing product…Like anyone getting in on an early-stage project, you accept the risk that the project may experiences changes, delays, unforeseen challenges, and it’s possible that a project you fund might not come to fruition. We leave it up to you to make your own judgment about a campaign’s merits before making a contribution.”
The new venture seems to have caught the attention of apparent Surf Air customer Arianna Huffington who Tweeted “Surf Air Express is on a mission to take the stress out of flying for everyone! Learn more about this innovation and support the
@Indiegogo campaign” along with “iflysurfair” as a hashtag.