Flewber sounds like Uber, and it’s app-based booking of private flights in the Northeast. They serve Boston, New York, East Hampton and Nantucket. And at $700 roundtrip — or $400 one-way — they even include a rebate to Uber to the airport.
Flewber sells public charters (operated by a company with the same owners), they aren’t the operator of the flights. They sell 5 flights a day weekdays only from each city. By the way bookings are even refundable less a 20% fee.
A week ago their CEO said they’re expanding to Philadelphia and DC. He also said though that pricing is $349 one way or $599 roundtrip, but their website shows the higher pricing I mentioned. There’s no membership or recurring fees, and there’s no minimum number of passengers before they’ll commit to operate a flight.
These aren’t the most luxurious jets, but these are short flights. They offer snacks and non-alcoholic beverages on board only and it’s bring your own entertainment. But they aren’t always going to be using the obvious airport, for instance they don’t use Teterboro their CEO notes “New York Farmingdale, White Plains” as options.
Their two year plan is to expand to “Florida, Texas, California, Washington state, and Chicago.”
They are operating a fixed schedule, not on your schedule. But they’re delivering a very attractive price point. The question is can they sell out their service and make any money at the price? Jetsmarter started out an amazing deal, lit a lot of money on fire, then became less good of a deal and wound up in numerous lawsuits. I don’t regret taking advantage of a promo to fly them free.
The question is whether there’s a model that lets a company outcompete the major carriers, within existing regulatory frameworks, using secondary private airports?
Of course true Uber for planes — connecting private pilots with their own aircraft with passengers wanting to go somewhere — was killed by the FAA. Other services like Blackbird are aiming to make buying seats on private flights more affordable, so perhaps there’s a real future that will come out of this.