Everything Is Sexy About Air Travel Today


 “There’s nothing sexy about air travel today…” Owen Thomas, Valleywag

I think Owen’s looking in all the wrong places.  The presence of cheerleaders and “god-mayor” Gavin Newsom is just putting lipstick on a pig.  Our major airports and a large segment of commercial carriers are near or at the breaking point.  Seemingly a day doesn’t go by this summer without another story of record flight delays, record airport congestion – on and on.

As with most good things in life though, you have to know where to look to find them.  To find the sexy stuff in air travel you have to look at smaller regional airports and  smaller aircraft.  The trend started with fractional jet ownership and gathered steam with jet card programs.  As Adam Smith noted, “Today’s luxuries are tomorrow’s necessaries.”

That’s why at Jetworx we’re working on Networked Charter – networking people to share a charter flight.  If we can crack the code of networking folks with similar flight itineraries and finding capacity for the unused leg if any, the pricing becomes very competitive.  Will it ever rival JetBlue pricing?  Probably not, but it doesn’t have to.  The flight experience is so far superior that it should command some premium over the typical routine of being thrown together with a few hundred other folks in a jet designed to maximize ASM, not your comfort and enjoyment (though I do appreciate that JetBlue legroom).

And with the boom in private jet travel, you have the natural by-product of available empty legs.  The majority of flights flown using a jet card are one ways.  That’s because you’re better off financially booking a round trip charter on your own.  So you have all these one way drop offs, but the jets usually have to fly the return leg back to base.  Enter the empty leg.  If you can find one that matches your plans – or ideally yours and those of a few others – they can be a great deal.  Sexy!

You want more sexiness?  Very Light Jets (VLJs) hold promise of truly changing the face of air travel.  We don’t have a critical mass of these little guys in flight yet to determine if their promise will be fully realized, but there’s big players and big money fighting hard here.  Cessna’s Mustang, Eclipse’s 500 and Adam’s A700 are just a few.  Honda is working their magic and could have a winner on their hands very soon.

More sexy?  How about inside the cockpit?  Technology has redefined the way jets – hell even little single prop puddle jumpers – are flown.  Names like Avidyne and Garmin are making flight displays that are nothing short of revolutionary.  And how about a parachute for your plane?  Cirrus and BRS can hook you up, literally.

Are you seeing this sexy stuff at SFO on Continental?  Probably not, but it’s out there, you just have to know where to look.  Now you know how to start making air travel sexy again.  Don’t let the boss have all the fun.

Oh the picture?  I’m not sure if it was Owen’s recipe, but there’s your man-sandwich.  Enjoy!


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