A Houston-based startup promises to do for air travel what services, like Uber and Lyft, did and are doing for ground transportation:
TapJets calls itself the “World’s First Truly On-Demand Private Jet App,” enabling users of its smartphone app to book their own private jet within 30 seconds.
The service also promises to make flying in private jets more accessible to those without deep pockets.
Launched just over a year ago, the TapJets app connects passengers to pilots, much in the same way Uber and Lyft connect passengers to available drivers. The app currently boasts about 10,000 subscribers, enabling nearly 500 additional private jet bookings than the average.
TapJets CEO Eugene Kesselman told a Houston newspaper, unlike other ride-sharing services, his service does not set the prices for each trip; instead, users can either shop for the lowest price, or bid on trips with the service’s online auction function.
“We do try to find people the lowest prices for travel,” Kesselman said in an interview. “Instead of doing it the old-fashioned way, you have the access of all the charter planes inventory available on the app.”
Kesselman also mentioned how the service lets passengers use private jets, which would normally fly with empty seats:
“In a nutshell, there are 1.1 million private jet flights per year,” Kesselman said. “That’s about 3,000 flights a day. Some of those are empty planes with no passengers, and just pilots, polluting the air for no reason.”
TapJets makes its money from a cut of the price of the flight. Members are not required to submit credit cards or purchase memberships, making it convenient for those who value their privacy and security.
The service also reportedly offers door-to-door ground transportation to and from the airport.
Kesselman also said the service is good for “impulse flyers” and those who want to avoid long lines at TSA security stations.
Prices can range from $1,500 up to $10,000 per flight, depending on the number of passengers, the type of plane and the amenities offered.
Happy flying, Houston.