Could We Get Uber For Plane Tickets?

Uber For Plane Tickets

Uber has revolutionized the economy, not just the taxi industry, but the whole economy. Since they burst onto the scene in 2009 their influence has seen the sharing economy explode. Every industry has had their “Uber of” moment, parking, cooking, cleaning, packing, shipping and more, crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter have grown exponentially, and Uber became the first of many disrupters.

Since then, the only industry to not be challenged by the sharing economy has been air-travel. Yes there are comparison sites and apps like Justfly and Skyscanner, but there have been no major challenges to the dominant airlines. There have been calls for someone to take up the mantle and become the Uber of the skies, and disrupt the monopoly that the big commercial airlines currently hold on the market.

The fact that no-one has really succeeded has been in part due to the FAA. They struck down the service Flytenow, that allowed private pilots to give away spare seats in their planes in exchange for a cut of fuel expenses. The pilots were not allowed to take payment for the seats, apart from for fuel and baggage costs, so they were often noticeably cheaper than commercial flights. To give you an idea of how cheap it was, the company stated at the time that a round-trip flight in a four-seat Cessna from the Boston suburbs to Martha’s Vineyard would cost roughly $120 a person.

In an interview with Forbes at the time, Flytenow founder Jared Mayer has this to say:

“Flight sharing is nothing new, as people have always tried to find ways to fill empty seats on private planes. The problem was finding someone who wanted to go where you wanted, at the time you needed.”

Bulletin Boards

The internet provided the platform to allow pilots to successfully and easily find passengers. The FAA however, declared that the practice was unsafe, because that would extend the services beyond serving family and friends, despite the fact that the FAA has encouraged this practice for years with bulletin boards. The only difference here is the addition of the internet – something that critics were quick to point out, claiming that the FAA were just having a knee-jerk reaction to their fear of disruption. Interestingly, there is a small service operating in Europe trying to do the same, aptly named Skyuber.

Recently we have also seen several firms pop up attempting to be the Uber of private jets. Jay Z backed start-up JetSmarter has become the world fastest growing private jet company in the world – they allow you to hire private jets, rent out single seat, or even look for seats on chartered flights, and could become a brand new way of travelling for company executives.

Then you have services like Rise and Surf Air, who offer unlimited flights between a collection of airports in a private jet for a set monthly fee – Surf Air offer unlimited flights in California for $1,950 a month. The service has already become very popular with business people in California, commuting from further out of LA every day, and is expanding rapidly.

Matt Keezer, CEO of Momentum Ventures who own Justfly (the online travel agency), commented that “This is definitely a growing market and we will be keeping a close eye on its progress.” Maybe in the future Online Travel Agencies like Justfly will branch out into private jets and planes!

Unfortunately, with the way that the aviation industry functions, we are unlikely to ever get a true Uber of the skies, but the market could certainly be opened up to offer more choice and competition.

By Josh Hamilton

Space

The Space Race Is Heating Up

The Space Race Is Heating Up For years the Space Race was the domain of countries and the national space programs. Namely Russia and America with China and India joining the game more recently. The ...
Gary Bernstein

Exposed Data From 21 Million VPN Mobile Users

Exposed Data From 21 Million VPN Mobile Users The data and credentials from 21 million mobile VPN users were found for sale last week in an internet forum. A cyber thief posted the credentials for ...
Fernando Castanheira

How the Shift to Hybrid Work Will Impact Digital Transformations

The Shift to Hybrid Work Before COVID-19, most enterprises had a digital transformation in flight, but the pandemic threw those programs into hyperdrive. Scrambling to accommodate workforces that were suddenly working online and mostly from ...
Steve Prentice

Cloud-Based Financial Software Reinforces the 80/20 Rule of Business Management

Cloud-Based Financial Software Sponsored by Sage 50cloud Small businesses are known for being innovative and customer-focused in a way that their larger competitors cannot. This transforms into a significant advantage. In fact, the ability for ...
David Balaban

Ransomware – Cybercriminal Groups Know The Weak Points

Cybercriminal Groups Grow Data breaches and leaks represent a quickly growing security problem these days. When plenty of people work from home, the risk of data leaks is much higher. Cybercriminal groups know the weak ...
Episode 11: Leveraging the Power of WordPress with the Toolkit – and a Global Community

Episode 11: Leveraging the Power of WordPress with the Toolkit – and a Global Community

A conversation with TJ Danklefs of cPanel and Angelo Giuffrida of VentraIP Australia WordPress is a significant player in the global webspace, and tools like the WordPress toolkit allow businesses of all sizes prepare, stage, ...