How you always wished you could avoid the long check in lines, baggage fees, invasive security check procedures, lengthy boarding processes, layovers, lost luggage, limited leg room in the commercial airlines.
The rich can always get away with the chaos and frustration in private jets. Why can’t you?
Social Flights, a collective buying startup and charter broker, helps its members join up to book private jets at affordable prices.
Members self-organize around shared interests in groups called Travel Tribes. They can then use the service to coordinate travel around destinations or events, and request and book private charter flights together.
“Private jets are expensive … but if I’m sharing an eight-passenger plane between 16 people — 8 people flying it one direction and 8 people flying it back — then the price comes down substantially,” says Daniel Robles, Social Flight’s chief innovation officer. “It floats well into the business class [price range].”
And, perhaps even less — short hops can run as low as $150 for fully-booked jets, depending on the destination.
The value proposition for the user is access to a VIP lifestyle that would otherwise be pricey. “You park in front of the private facility, walk onto your aircraft, fly directly to your destination with people you know, sign for your rental car and get on your way. No stress. No hassle,” the Social Flight website promises.
Robles believes Social Flights offers a practical alternative to commercial air travel for business executives, weekend travelers and anyone willing to spend more to save time and gain value.
The relatively young startup, having first launched in February, has helped its members successfully charter 15 flights. Social Flights is still in soft-launch mode, says Robles, aiming to grow at a slow and steady pace. The startup has roughly 4,000 members — 1,000 of whom participate in Travel Tribes.
Social Flight has access to 50,000 seats across its fleet and hopes to take a piece of both the private aviation market — a $50 billion per year business — and the commercial travel sector.
The site’s design and functionality are far less impressive than its mission, but perhaps travelers can be coaxed into overlooking these shortcomings in exchange for a $150 seat on a private jet to a destination of their choosing.