Source: Surf Air.

Hassle-Free Airlines On the Decline as Alternatives to Flying as a Passenger on Commercial Airlines

Within the past decade or so, an era was ushered in where earning frequent flier loyalty program miles and retaining elite level status likely became even more difficult for you — enough so that when combined with higher airfares, crowds, rude people and the inconsistency of security checkpoints at airports, you probably had vowed to extricate yourself from your persistent dedication and loyalty to your favorite airline.

You might even be wary and weary of traveling via commercial airlines altogether.

Hassle-Free Airlines On the Decline as Alternatives to Flying as a Passenger on Commercial Airlines

Although there are some supposed technologies possibly in the works for the future — but not the immediate future — you might be wondering if you have options other than traveling by private vehicle, bus, train or ship.

Smaller airlines and air taxi services which offer viable alternatives to commercial air travel were increasing in number — but they have been decreasing in number in the past few years. The latest casualty is JetSuite, which has the following message posted on its official Internet web site as of Tuesday, April 28, 2020 as the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic was blamed for its demise:

Superior Air Charter dba JetSuite Air (JetSuite) has voluntarily filed for relief under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware

Chief Restructuring Officer Ted Gavin, CTP of Gavin/Solmonese LLC said “JetSuite has always done its best to honor its commitments to customers throughout its exemplary history, and JetSuite leadership has spent and will continue to spend enormous time and effort pursuing strategic and financial alternatives to restart operations.

Unfortunately, the global circumstances brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have caused JetSuite’s revenues to drop to near zero, and the carnage across the economy and in the aviation industry in particular is well reported and has no clear end in sight, so we have made the regrettable but necessary decision to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.”

JetSuite has safely operated over 111,000 flights since 2009. It will seek bankruptcy protection to reorganize, preserve and maximize the value of its assets, and potentially resume operations.

Additionally, ImagineAir suspended its operations in May of 2018; and SeaPort Airlines, Incorporated ceased all operations at the close of business on Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

“…the United States of America has not suddenly disbanded the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA,” I wrote in this article on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 pertaining to SeaPort Airlines, which at that time was operating for almost two years since its official launch in June of 2008 with a route between Portland and Seattle, “but there is at least one airline on which one can fly within the United States without having to pass through airport security. Imagine not having to wait in long lines, take your shoes off, or be detained for a secondary screening — and you may also enjoy the benefit of reduced flight delays while you are free to carry your drink on-board the aircraft.”

Advantages to Hassle-Free Airlines

Advantages to flying as a passenger with these airlines typically include:

  • Not having to pass through a security checkpoint — meaning that you can arrive later for your flight and board the airplane within mere minutes
  • Travel between smaller airports, which could mean greater flexibility of routes, free parking, and flights which have a better chance of departing and arriving on time
  • More flight options if the airline is flexible with its flight schedule
  • The airports may be located closer to your origination or final destination
  • Fewer people means a more “private” experience

Disadvantages to Hassle-Free Airlines

Disadvantages to flying as a passenger with these airlines typically include:

  • Smaller airports could mean fewer services available — such as rental car facilities and restaurants
  • The airports could be located farther from your origination or final destination
  • Long-haul flights are generally not possible
  • Increased chances of cancelled or delayed flights due to inclement weather, as smaller airplanes are used
  • Fewer flight options if the airline is not flexible with its flight schedule
  • Cost — especially when a special deal is not available — which includes fees such as for wait time

Hassle-Free Airlines Which are Still Operating

Let us cover two airlines a little more in depth in no particular order — and hover your cursor over subheads as well as the bold words for possible links:

Southern Airways Express

101 Riverside Drive
Suite 211
Pompano Beach, Florida 33062

Parking at the airports Southern Airways Express serves is free of charge for up to a maximum of 14 days. Some airports may charge a monthly fee for greater than 14 days. There is no limit on the number of bags which you may check; and there are no baggage fees — but each passenger is limited to a total aggregate weight of 50 pounds of baggage.

Membership None.

Destinations are small airports which serve these cities located in 12 states in five disconnected regions of the United States: nine destinations in Hawaii; five destinations in Pennsylvania, Baltimore, and Morgantown; Los Angeles and Imperial; three destinations in Massachusetts and Providence; and ten destinations in the Gulf region of the southeastern United States. Airplanes can be chartered anywhere within 500 miles of the airports served by Southern Airways Express.

Fleet Cessna 208 Caravan airplanes and 208B Grand Caravan airplanes. All aircraft are outfitted with nine luxury leather passenger seats, a Bose or Sony headset for each passenger, and space in the cabin for one personal item, such as a briefcase of purse. The airplanes are powered by 675-horsepower PT-6 turbine engines — supposedly one of the most reliable engines in service throughout the world. No Internet access is available aboard airplanes during flight.

Surf Airlines

1408 Third Street Promenade
Suite 300
Santa Monica, California 90401

Parking at the airports Surf Airlines serves is free of charge. There is no limit on the number of bags which you may check; and there are no baggage fees — but each passenger is limited to a total aggregate weight of 30 pounds of baggage. There are no fees for changing flights.

Membership starts at $1,950.00 per month with two flight passes which can be used again and again. There is a one-time initiation fee of $1,000.00. Fly as much as you like as a passenger aboard airplanes operated by Surf Airlines for a monthly fee.

Destinations are small airports which serve these cities located primarily in California, Nevada, and Texas: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Truckee, San Francisco Bay Area, Napa, Las Vegas, Dallas, Austin, and Houston.

Fleet Pilatus PC-12NG airplanes, which seat seven passengers comfortably in leather seats in an executive interior designed by Bespoken New York.


The services provided by these remaining airlines have their limitations and can be a drain on your wallet or pocketbook, as they are not meant for the masses of passengers currently using commercial aviation for flights — but they can be a potentially viable alternative for the frequent flier who is fed up with the hassles, inconveniences and costs of commercial aviation and frequent flier loyalty programs. This all depends on an analysis of cost, schedules, airports served and conveniences as to whether or not hassle-free airlines are a better choice for you than commercial airlines…

…as well as which operations are able to survive the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

If there are any airlines which this article has missed, please let me know and I will add them to this article at a future date — and hopefully, more hassle-free airlines will be launched in the future to provide more choice for the consumer.

Source: Surf Air.

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