Taking an airplane is generally the most convenient and fastest way of getting from point A to point B – but our major airlines have made the experience unpleasant and often inefficient. Then there’s private air travel which is unaffordable to the masses. Surf Air is democratizing the experience with its all-you-can-fly model that allows travelers to jump into sophisticated jets, presently servicing the west coast. You can book a flight nearly on demand and share a flight with a number of other like minded travelers. The days of waiting in crowded terminals, long security lines, and delays become a distant memory with a reasonable monthly subscription through Surf.
LA TechWatch chatted with the president of the company Nick Kennedy about the company, its origin, and the different regions they plan to expand to.
Tell us about your product or service.
Surf Air is the world’s largest “All-You-Can-Fly” company. Our members enjoy an effortless flying experience that saves them valuable time with every trip. Flights are available to and from convenient airports along the U.S. West Coast and Texas with additional regions and destinations to follow.
When I was a child I was enamored with air travel, the planes flying through the air might as well have been magic as I watch them in awe. Several decades later, there was a point when air travel lost its luster. It was probably during a delayed layover at O’Hare or standing in a long security line that stretched out the door at LAX. Or maybe it was sitting in a middle seat on a red-eye from San Francisco to LaGuardia. Air travel was no longer giving, it was taking, and in the form of precious hours that I would never get back.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to fly on a private plane and almost immediately upon boarding I became that kid again, giddy at the prospect of flying like it was meant to be. Driving up to a quiet terminal away from the congestion of the main gates, parking just outside the entrance and walking right onto a private plane minutes before it whisked me off to my destination was an amazing experience. More importantly, it allowed me to have breakfast with my family, fly to another city for a meeting and be back in time for soccer practice. I no longer had to choose between my family or my career, I could have my cake and eat it too.
Somewhere between my two million miles of commercial air travel and that private plane experience, I determined that I would find a way to make travel better for myself and other time-starved executives losing time in airports.
The solution had to be accessible—a justifiable expense, not a luxury. It had to be simple, elegant, safe and convenient. And most of all it had to give us all two things that we’ve lost in commercial air travel—time and dignity.
With Surf Air, you experience both; extra time on the front and back end of every trip and a level of personalized service that only comes with membership. Surf Air is not an airline, it is a new category of air travel built with our community of successful frequent travelers, our members, in mind to do one thing really well, give them the most precious commodity in the world, time.
How is Surf Air different?
Surf Air is different from commercial travel and other private charter options, as we offer simplicity, efficiency and ease. Commercial air travelers are accustomed to the complicated, cumbersome, and expensive process of the current flying experience. From tedious comparison-shopping to flight traffic and congestion at commercial airports to endless delays and crowded lines, air travelers waste valuable time and money daily. With Surf Air, you can book flights minutes before departure and have the experience of flying in a private aircraft without private jet pricing and in the company of no more than 7 other members – like-minded travelers who you’ll come to know by name.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We are currently exploring additional cities around the world that we believe will benefit from the Surf Air effect when we enter new markets.
What’s your business model?
At Surf Air, you aren’t just a passenger; you’re a valued member. We strive to create an exclusive and very real community of travelers enjoying a new and better way to travel – a community where personal relationships are nurtured and fostered. Our members are part of a cultivated community that can benefit their lives beyond an everyday flying experience.
Do you plan on introducing longer haul flights?
Yes, we are constantly listening to the requests of our members and we will offer service where they want if we can do it in a profitable manner. In addition, Surf Air currently provides global charter services via their Surf Anywhere program.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Growth, lots of growth. We recently acquired RISE which was flying in Texas and they are now flying under the Surf Air brand. That was the first of several steps we plan on taking to offer a more robust network for our members. We are taking what our members love in California and moving to more markets and bringing our life changing experience to more members. The future for the weary business traveler and us is looking bright.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We are going to grow to anywhere air travelers are in need of a better way to travel and desperately want time back in their lives. We don’t sell seats on planes, we sell seats at the dinner table.
What is your favorite LA bar, when you need to kick back and relax?
It’s really hard to beat the vibe and views from the rooftop bar at Le Petite Ermitage. After a long day, it’s the perfect spot for reflection with friends.