The private aviation pioneer Wheels Up has been rolling out new services for all its members. These include special shuttle services, empty leg "hotflights" and member flight sharing.
Wheels Up has been rolling out these new services over the summer, including some new additions in the last few weeks, including:
These are empty legs available on the Wheels Up fleet. Approximately 30% of the flights that the aircraft in the fleet make are empty flights, as the aircraft are repositioned. They are posted daily on the Wheels Up member app and allow members to use a whole aircraft for just $320. This is an incredible deal and we've not seen empty legs prices as low as this before. But like all empty legs they only work if there's a flight going where you want to go, when you want to go there.
2. Wheels Up Flight Sharing
Members can post their flights through the Wheels Up app, making them available to other members. If other members agree to join the flight then the flight costs are split pro-rata. "Wheels Up Members now have an increased pool of like-minded members to view and join the flights they post for ride-sharing, further reducing their cost of flying privately," said Kenny Dichter CEO and founder of Wheels Up.
3. Shuttle Flights
These new services started over the summer to provide seasonal access on popular routes. The first shuttle service is flying on Thursdays and Fridays, and Sundays and Mondays to and from Nantucket. It serves the New York and Boston areas, with flights from 2 New York area airports (Whiteplains and Teterboro) and 2 Boston area airports (Bedford and Logan). The price is $858 per seat. The company is deciding on which city pairs are next and plans to test some different markets.
4. Same Day Game Day" Shuttle
For college football fans and alumni, Wheels Up is making it a lot easier to get to the big game—and back home in the same day. Members can purchase seats on flights to and from select top college football games. The shuttle flights will be scheduled to arrive two hours before kickoff and return one hour after the game ends. Upcoming games include:
• Wisconsin vs. Michigan (New York to Ann Arbor) 10/1
• Tennessee vs. Georgia (Nashville to Athens) 10/1
• Clemson vs. Florida St. (Atlanta to Tallahassee) 10/29
• Yale vs. Harvard (New York to Boston) 11/19
• Michigan vs. Ohio State (New York to Columbus) 11/26
"Many of our members are passionate about college football, and maximizing the cost-efficiency of the King Air 350i is a way that we can bring them to the game with like-minded members and fans. We're leveraging the sharing economy to bring people together," Dichter added.
5. Charter Aircraft
Wheels Up has partnered with Apollo Jets to offer charter services to all its members. The flight desk arranges charter flights for members who are traveling longer ranges or with more than eight passengers and/or desire a larger plane.
In addition, Wheels Up has continued to expand its Wheels Down lifestyle offerings including:
The company has organized several special "meet and greets" for members with high profile entertainers and athletes, including Steph Curry and Derek Jeter. These can be especially popular with member's children. Other events include select members only happenings at the Superbowl, the Masters and Art Basel.
The Wheels Up app offers 30-40 events from concerts to sporting events, including NBA games, Justin Bieber concerts and lots more.
3. Lifestyle Brands
Wheels Up has partnerships with about 2 dozen luxury lifestyle brands that offer special benefits and promotions to the members.
"This is a new roster of events available to our members, in addition to our Wheels Down roster of events, which we have become known for. We are building a lifestyle brand and we want to be in our members' lives both in the air and on the ground," said Kenny Dichter.
The company has certainly been growing rapidly since launching just three years ago, and now has over 2,400 members served by a fleet of over 60 aircraft.