The front page starts with a big rant about how bad existing airlines are. That's not how you sell things. You should focus on what you do, which is SFO-LAX flights through private terminals on a monthly subscription.
The private terminal is a huge win -- it saves a good hour on travel. But that's buried in the FAQ. You should redesign so that all of the following are on above the fold on the home page:
- Monthly subscription $79/6 flights
- Private terminal
- Book online last minute
Don't pretend to be a full-service airline except in the fine print it says only SFO-LAX. SFO-LAX is exactly what thousands of people need. For people who need something else, you shouldn't lead them on (but you should let them give you their email address and desired routes so you can let them know when you add them.)
>Boeing Field, officially King County International Airport (IATA: BFI), is a public airport owned and operated by King County, five miles south of downtown Seattle, Washington.
Is it use it or lose it type flights?
I didn't even notice the private terminal stuff (didn't get that far). I thought it was some type of group buying thing on big carriers like Delta, etc.
Private terminal is a huge win. I know some friends who want to live in LA but work remotely in SF. 1-2 flights a month in a private terminal for this pricing seems like a steal especially when you can shave off terminal/travel time at big airports.
This could be awesome for companies and employees. I could see a company having a remote employee in LA but wanting have a face to face meeting in the next 24 hours. Tickets would be super expensive but if you had a plan like this you could just fly them in fast. And if you needed more flights you could always book commercial.
There was a big stink* a few years ago about the big airlines using new pilots on regional routes and paying them so little that many were on food stamps. I don't want to put my life in the hands of someone who is worried about where their kids' next meal will come from. What is the starting salary for your pilots?
Though I think you're more at risk on your drive to the airport from the truck or bus driver in the next lane that earns less money than a pilot.
I am also agreeing with the other comments on don't bash your competition that much. If you have a good offer - and you do - you don't have to do that. You just need to highlight your core benefits/conditions - your two hubs and the private terminal time saver.
"I don't want to put my life in the hands of someone who is worried about where their kids' next meal will come from."
I will agree that the website talks too much trash about other services. Maybe list all the customary fees people expect that you don't have. That would be valuable information and doesn't require trash talking anyone. Something like:
No fee to print tickets.
No cancellation fee.
No bag check fee.
No other hidden fees.
Just one low price stated up front so you know exactly what to expect.
I will suggest that you might try apologizing less and thanking people more. It is more of a position of strength. For example, instead of apologizing that the site does not work on iPad, you could say something like "That's good info. We will get right on it. Thanks for letting us know."
Your replies here are fairly solid. I am not suggesting they are bad. I am only hoping to help you further up your game.
Best of luck.
Companies have shown a lot of interest in this. Most beneficial aspect is booking late with paying a high fare.
I also didn't realize this included a private terminal. I thought this was just a way to book last minute fares without surprises, which didn't really make sense because I just checked and it's cheaper to book a round trip from SFO - LAX leaving any time this week with the airline ($117 on United vs. $156 w/ you).
Just time for a cheeky pint as the lounge next to the boarding way had a bar.- the afternoon cream teas where nice as well.
I happily would pay $40 more for easy changes + private terminal.
Immigration doesn't apply on domestic flights anyway.
But i'm guessing they are trying to be in the grey area between being a charter and being a full blown commercial airline service with a regular schedule, requiring them to use the normal passenger terminals (and lease/buy gate space/etc).
Don't mean to rain on the parade, but you were basically asking if anyone on HN was interested in helping you build this a month or two ago. [0, 1]
It doesn't seem plausible that you'd be able to arrange terminal space, airplanes, pilots, insurance, etc. so quickly. Would be happy to be wrong though, as I fly this route several times per year. Maybe I'm missing something about how this is all organized.
Also of note: the first private terminal in the US opened at LAX in May 2017 and charges $2200/month for membership. The LAX regional terminal is AA only...There are a number of small terminals for regional airlines south of the main terminal which are already fully occupied for exclusive use of the renting regional airline. [edit: Imperial Terminal is available for this type of GA usage. It has no seats and is basically a hangar with space for portable chairs, and does not provide a TSA checkpoint.].
Looks like this is just intended to drum up interest.
But in the end it can’t be up and running. Go try and book a flight. The app isn’t in the App Store AFAICT, and the only action items on the whole site are to get “early access”.
It would be nice if the site just came out and said, “we’ll be running flights starting February 2nd”, or whatever, instead of making me guess.
That said, why LAX and SFO? Why not pick cheaper airports like OAK and BUR? I'd imagine the runway fees would be less too. Plus just driving out of LAX at a reasonable time of day adds an hour to any itinerary.
EDIT: After reading other comments and skimming through the FAQ I think this website needs to be re-done. The landing page should say in bold letters "Last minute. Private terminal. Zero lines!". Other airlines might match you on price if booked in advance but they can't win on intangibles like skipping the sardine line and government mandated TSA massage.
However there are lots of other costs and complexities associated with becoming a pilot. It's a great hobby, but you don't get the same transportation guarantees you do with commercial - plenty of times the bigger/better equipped planes can take off safely but you'd be crazy to do it in a rented cessna.
Flying as a hobby is a lot like boating - the happiest day of your life is when you sell your boat/plane. The second happiest day is when you buy it. It can be woefully expensive because much like a house it's easy to do just one more thing / buy just one more gadget and think well if I just spent a little bit more I could have Y instead of X.
I wouldn't discourage you against taking a discovery flight but I'm saying this in the interest of full disclosure. Back when I learned to fly there was a running joke about the $100 hamburger because unless you had specific goals for your license that's all it was good for - a quick jaunt to the next town over to keep current and have some grub. Considering rental prices these days I guess that's more like a $300 hamburger.
If you learn to fly, you'll pay a rate based on the type of airplane and whether aviation gas is built into the price. After a very quick Google looks like in California prices start at $130+/hr. You need 35-40 hours* just to get the first of your licenses which will let you fly a small plane in good weather. Realistically once you have a ticket any place renting a plane will want you teach you how to fly the model they're renting you, so tack on a few hours more to get signed off in the plane you want.
Once you rack up enough club membership dues or hours in a rented plane you'll start thinking it would just be easier to own. That's when things get really interesting because you have to decide if this is a hobby or a serious hobby.
*When I got my PP-ASEL, you had two choices - a rigorous, structured 35 hour course or a looser 40 hour minimum course. That's 40 hours of flight time and instruction, not total hours in a classroom. Considering you're a hacker news poster I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you have the disposable income, education and predisposition to dedicate a couple of weeks to doing nothing but learning to fly. If you can manage that I recommend the 35 hour course: it's intensive but the cheapest option because you won't be paying by the hour to train and retrain skills that get rusty by only flying once or twice a week. Flying is very much a mechanical skill and it has to become second nature before you can learn to multitask and take care of all the other things you need to do, otherwise you're perpetually "behind the airplane."
Anyway again if you decide to seriously pursue it I'd say try a discovery flight first and then dedicate a chunk of time to knock it out. It is the fastest way to get it done, which means it's the cheapest way to get it done.
Not as of a big issue in CA, but in the winter, you also probably want to cruise above the freezing level, so add to this a FIKI (Flight Into Known Ice) certified aircraft. Again, more $$$.
In the end though, flying your own aircraft is an immensely gratifying experience on many levels, and despite all of the caveats above, I wholly recommend getting your PPL.
Yes, with just your PPL in hand, you might have to wait out some weather or choose conditions based on your experience and equipment, but as long as you know those limitations, it's actually not a big deal, especially in California.
I just wanted to expand on the part about getting your ticket in 35 hours by doing it via Part 141: if you can hack it then you'll be better prepared for instrument training which (IMHO) is also structured and rigorous. And as you stated requires even more hours, so anything to help reduce costs is (again, IMHO) welcome.
Don't leave out the part where you get the excitement of learning how to fly a fucking plane all by yourself though.
That part is super fun, and despite my agreement that it's not the most practical hobby I don't regret it even slightly.
Absolutely dude! That is the best part. Although the destinations it opens up and how much closer they are is also priceless. If I had the means I'd be hopping into a Grumman Tiger or Mooney 201 and haring off to other parts of Texas or Louisiana every weekend.
One of my fondest memories is taking a Mooney 20C for a family reunion. Twelve hours of driving turned into a 5.5 hour rental which included flying there, back and some touch and goes so I could get endorsed for the plane.
Up until that point I'd never flown that high but when the Mooney growled up to 9,000 feet and the Texas summer heat fell away I was hooked. In no time at all my instructor and I descended to pass over the city park to wing waggle a few times before landing to find one of my uncles grinning and waving as we landed. It was magic.
We're redoing the website based on everyone's feedback.
 Jumpdrive doesn't appear to be incorporated or organized in California or Delaware, which is a necessary predicate of them having signed contracts with regional airlines or with LAX/SFO for private terminal space.
The landing page featuring minimalist text with lots of whitespace might be the popular thing to do for upstart software companies but a company in the business of physically moving people with their own planes shouldn't appear so sterile, IMO. JetSuiteX (https://www.jetsuitex.com) and SurfAir (https://www.surfair.com/) are in more or less the same market and make me feel much more comfortable about considering their services.
5.Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo
7.Los Angeles-San Francisco
LAX-SFO is the 7th most busiest.
Source : https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-08/world-s-b...
And a good reason for California to invest in high-speed rail, in my own opinion.
Changing the pricing model is useful, but only really for people who cannot predict their schedule enough to get the lower rates from the commercial carriers. It seems to me that people who fall into that class, and yet are willing to subscribe to a few flights a month might not be super common. Particularly once the service starts to fill up, and you can't guarantee a seat at the last minute.
The private terminal thing might be helpful, but frequent travelers are going to have already bribed the government to skip the full security line. Last time I was in SFO the precheck line only took me about 2 minutes. If I had checked in early, and only had carry on luggage, I could probably have gotten to the airport when boarding started and still made my flight (haven't went through LAX security in a few years can't comment there).
So, while the GA/private terminal would be enticing if it were operated like a charter plane (aka no TSA to worry about at all), and the flights were small enough they would be willing to hold it if I was running 5 mins late, but it doesn't appear to be the case. The regional jets are much to large for that kind of behavior, and given that its not a business jet, the seating is going to be as miserable as it is on the larger carriers.
To me it sounds like they are trying to reinvent the SW airlines of the 1970's which operated more like a traditional bus service (lots of frequent flights, last minute ticketing, etc) but without the huge profit margins on tickets that SW was competing against.
So I would expect that to really lure people they need something closer to the full charter experience (business class seating at a minimum). For that, I suspect people might be willing to spring for a few extra dollars (bus class tickets are probably easier to compete with given they still tend to have larger margins). Large corps that like to fly their plebs in economy seats probably aren't going to spring for the extra ticket price (besides getting into the booking system might be challenging).
Anyway, good luck...
But it needs to be said that SFO<->LAX is, at just 300 miles, and with the high demand shown by such startups, a perfect example of everything that is wrong with transportation in the US.
Compare Berlin<->Munich which happens to be almost exactly the same distance: even with some political compromises requiring the trains to stop in towns along the route that planners would rather have avoided, total travel time is only 3 1/2 hours. Train stations are also in the middle of each city, saving you about an hour of time on each end. And you can just hop onto any train without booking in advance, without going through security, without discarding your bottle of water, without the yoga-like contortions of economy class, and without the existential threat of not having internet for two hours.
That even an environmentally friendly US state such as California can't get its act together, and instead "solves" its traffic needs in the most resource-intensive ways available, is a scathing indictment of the US' lost faith in the power of government to solve collective action problems.
I could take a train from Marseille to Brussels -- but why would I? I can spend almost 7 hours on a train or 1.25 hours on an airplane AND I don't have to drive all the way into Marseille, find a place to leave my car and risk getting attacked or robbed in the station 
> Train stations are also in the middle of each city, saving you about an hour of time on each end
That's assuming that you actually want to be in the middle of each city.
SFO to Cupertino by car is about 50 minutes.
Downtown San Francisco to Cupertino is roughly double that.
Not everyone traveling to San Francisco (or LA) actually wants to be in the city center. LAX to Santa Monica, Venice or most other west LA destinations is faster than downtown Los Angeles to those areas. LAX to Long Beach is faster than from downtown LA.
There are other industries attempting to solve transportation and environmental problems in more general ways.
Then you need to not take any federal funds, because if you do you'll be forced to buy everything from domestic manufacturers, which treat you exactly as you'd expect a captive audience to be treated. (This is why the US's shipbuilding industry is confined to government contracts and vessels that are below the minimum size to be covered by the Jones Act.) If you take federal money, also expect expensive and lengthy procurement grievances regardless of the merits. California probably has a similar state law, plus all sorts of others (e.g. CEQA), and the BANANAs are very experienced at wielding them.
Add all the union contracts that mandate excessive staffing, constant handing off of work between jurisdictions, etc. and you're paying ten times as much per kilometer vs. a comparable project in a high-wage EU country.
Part of why I'm curious is that I've noticed that the national carriers in the US have an extremely safe record of late - I believe there has been one death from 2002-present from the national carriers (Southwest 1248 slid off a snowy runway in Chicago, hit two cars, and killed one child), but there have been a many fatal accidents with regional or private carriers, so I'd like to know who the actual operating carrier is and what their safety record is.
People can choose to take some personal responsibility and sacrifice air travel (and more importantly beef!) for the sake of the environment but we have so much ground to gain at a systematic level that I don't think we need to be too overzealous about behavior change at this stage in the problem.
Voting for politicians that will speed up the transition away from coal to renewables will have a far greater impact on the environment than personal lifestyle choices ever will.
Whats the minimum number of months to subscribe for?
No minimum number of months to subscribe for.
Dunno if I'm missing something here?
Found a typo on your FAQ:
"Our fares our much lower than a private plane service." - that second "our" should be an "are"
> We fly the beautiful Bombardier CRJ Series and Embraer ERJ Series. These are regional planes with 50 to 100 passenger seats. These planes are the same planes that are used by United Express, Delta Connection, and American Airlines.
 - https://www.jumpdriveair.com/faq-1
The more they hide the less confidence people will have in them.
The contact name in the WHOIS appears to be an attorney.
I don't see any entry for JumpDriveAir or variations thereof in the ICAO operating agency list ( Doc 8585 ) so I assume they're not the carrier themselves.
We won't even be able to start arguing whether this idea has wings until the first wheels leave the tarmac.
I find it a bit misleading that you don't state this more clearly upfront.
> We'll have our first flights within the next few months.
... if everything goes as expected, if not then you'll be liable with a whole bunch of angry first customers.
If I get an e-mail in a couple of months that this works, awesome, I'll give them a spin. If not, oh well. But why would their customers be angry? It's pretty clear it's not an existing service yet.
Edit: Ohh I didn't realize that Delta just stopped their shuttle  ... are you just using those gates?
Add to that less leeway for some of the delays inherent to gates, and I could see that being the case.
We're not operating the planes. We have part 121 regional airline partners that are operating the planes. We're providing them with the schedule and they operate the flights. We act as an agent for the passengers.
I suppose it's still a good option to have since customers are effectively being paid to do the work of planning their use in advance which no doubt reduces costs for the airline.
I think you wanted to make sure the best price option is in the middle but it threw me off a bit. Consider putting them left to right, from worst deal to best? Also, consider using numbers instead of words: 2 flights, 4 flights, 6 flights?
Unless.... are these roundtrips? I want to assume so but that would be a bad assumption to get wrong!
Fix the site.
All the TSA experience is awful (business travelers in the US have the pre-screen and stuff of course, but they're probably not your target).
I agree, TSA is awful, so hopefully our solution will be more resolve this issue.
The main value is in a private terminal & fast checkins.
That is, btw, a likely factor that might keep people from using your service: if you do on average 3 round trips a month, that's enough to get you to e.g. Gold status on Alaska. Unless LAX<->SFO is the only route I need to take, that's a pretty large incentive to stay with a regular airline. (Because status means no cancellation fees and easy upgrades)
I know we are splitting hairs because this isn't always the case, and what you offer is intended to always be the case along with being possibly shorter flights with quicker checkins.
I just think the messaging is a little off because the way it is described doesn't really solve people's problems, especially when they will be so often debunked.
Yes one thing I like about trains - their ONLY redeeming quality - is that if the trip says 2 hours, then it is really JUST 2 hours out of your day
Whereas with flights, if the trip says 2 hours then it is more like 4 and a half hours out of your day. Always have to consider showing up to the airport at least an hour early, always have to consider going to the edge of town, always have to consider sitting on the tarmac, etc.
I could see the utility of getting to skip all of this at a fixed price which is NEAR the normal prices. The next thing up is Jetsmarter for $10,000+
In Spain (not really a high-tech country overall) there are trains connecting the country corner to corner with trains that go at like 300 KM/Hour average. Considering that train stations are central, plus there is no need to be there like 2 hours before, plus you can easily work there, etc. it is way faster and more convenient than flight, and of course way more ecological.
I'm sure a little of all that VC money can be used to build such infrastructure... I got lots of downvotes for my original comment, but really, the amount of CO2 emitted by air travel is appalling. I understand it is hard to avoid in many situations, but at least let me feel sad about it.