Membership-Based Surf Air Raises $7M Series B

June 4, 2013

For business travelers, airline fees can pile up in no time. Regional airline Surf Air hopes to ease that pain. For $1,650 per month, members (not passengers) can fly anywhere in the network, as many times as they want.

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Yesterday, the company announced a $7 million Series B round led by Velos Partners and Base Ventures. Not only that, Surf Air also received its FAA Operating Certificate, meaning that the company is, literally, cleared for takeoff.

Flights between Burbank and the Bay Area will begin on June 12. Unlike other airlines, Surf Air will operate out of smaller airports and forgo TSA checks in favor of letting members park their cars and walk straight onto the plane. The monthly membership rate includes everything from bags, snacks and drinks to reservation changes. Not only that, Surf Air offers its members free, unlimited parking and WiFi.

On the computer or via smartphone, members can make reservations in as little as 30 seconds. In fact, just about everything Surf Air offers is small and quick, at least for now. According to NPR, the planes seat only eight, with two pilots controlling the single-engined vehicle, for the hourlong flight between LA and San Francisco. And while members can fly as many times as they’d like, they can only hold four boarding passes at a time.

Currently, Surf Air seems to have reached capacity, with its website offering new visitors the option to join a waitlist. According to some, demand for the service was high even before this week’s announcements.

“As investors we try to back smart founders pursuing bold ideas,” said Erik Moore, founder and managing director of Base Ventures, in a statement. “It’s clear that people are craving a service like Surf Air based on the number of people who have signed up for membership at the concept stage and well before the service was available.”

With FAA clearance and additional funding, Surf Air appears to be on track to take flight next week. And with plenty of early interest in Southern California, the company may be looking beyond this state’s borders before long.

Image via Facebook.

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