Surf Air – The future of aviation, or just niche?

There’s a good article on up and coming airline Surf Air, and how they want to shake up the airline industry by offering a subscription-type monthly fee for flying, instead of a per-ticket price.  They’d be closer to a SeaPort Airlines and not a regular Southwest or Alaska, and would – at least initially – be flying to just four cities/areas: San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey California, Santa Barbara, and the Los Angeles basin.  All with a basic membership to be paid monthly, the lowest cost (of the 3 options) coming in at $780/month.

One of the attractive offers they have is that Surf Air isn’t relegated to commercial airports, like other commercial airlines.  For example, they could take off from Palo Alto Airport, which is basically in the middle of the San Francisco Bay Area being midway between San Jose and San Francisco – not to mention it’s closest to some of the biggest companies in the world (can you say Google and Facebook?).  Plus, no TSA.  BONUS!

On the other hand, no TSA – so what happens if they actually do land at SFO or SJC?  Offloading pax would have to be screened somehow before getting on to another commercial flight.  I know connecting service isn’t what these folks are offering – rather the “I live in SF and go to LA ever weekend” or “I live in Santa Barbara and work in Downtown LA” type of person.  Also, there probably aren’t rental cars at these small, non-commercial airports – so there’s that.

It’s all an interesting idea, and if I still lived in the Bay Area and had to fly to LA every week, I’d consider it.  What do you think?

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