From the same people who brought us on-demand black-car service Uber comes BlackJet, a jet-sharing service and mobile app that connects people with empty seats in their private jets with people willing to pay to fill those seats. Once you become a member of the site ($2500/year), you are guaranteed a seat on any flights in the markets BlackJet serves, which right now are New York, Los Angeles, and South Florida, with soon-to-be connections between San Francisco and L.A., New York, and Las Vegas.
This is good news for travelers who hover between booking business-class travel on commercial airlines and paying the premium for charter air travel.
“BlackJet is fairly friction-free … we bring back some of the elegance that has been lost in modern airports,” Garrett Camp, founding CEO of Stumbleupon and co-founder of Uber, told VentureBeat. “You pull up to the airplane with your car and take off three minutes later. It takes a lot of the stress out of travel.”
The Agency’s Brendan Fitzpatrick, who is already a regular user of Uber, sees the potential for the service, especially among the young affluent who often seek entertainment and adventure on a whim. “I see Blackjet appealing to a guy at dinner with some friends who is spontaneous, and says ‘Let’s go to New York,'” said Fitzpatrick. “I use Uber frequently and I think it’s brilliant. There is no hassle like giving your address or waiting on hold. It’s a simple click, and your driver is there within 5 to 15 minutes in a suit and tie.”
Cross-country flights between New York and L.A. will cost $3,500. According to Wired.com, if you were to book a flight from LAX to JFK with a charter service, you’d pay around $25,000 round trip. A first-class ticket on a commercial airline costs around $3,600.
Whether for business or pleasure, BlackJet is the latest mobile app that streamlines the travel process for its clients. Sitting courtside at a Lakers game while your friend calls to say they have backstage tickets at New York Fashion Week the following day? No problem. BlackJet initial market encompasses those who are willing to pay a pretty premium, yet the app joins a wave of others catering to those who value their time over their money.
Other luxury services circling the online community include Taskrabbit, which tackles anything on your to-do-list, from donation pick-up to housecleaning, by connecting you with trustworthy people willing to do the work. In San Francisco, Postmates guarantees that anything in the city can be delivered to you in an hour or less, whereas Exec allows you to hire a personal executive assistant for $25 an hour.
BlackJet is being launched on an invite-only basis. According to TechCrunch, investors include Camp, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, First Round Capital, Shervin Pishevar, Ashton Kutcher, Science Inc.’s Peter Pham and Mike Jones, Stephen Russell and Tim Ferriss.
Learn more about Blackjet at WSJ.