If you’ve ever gotten stuck in traffic on a short road trip out of town, you may have wished you could hop into a flying car that would let you bypass the highway congestion entirely. A new flight service in California now makes that (almost) possible. Blackbird connects private pilots and their planes or plane owners with people who want to travel short distances for little money. And some one-way fares are going for $50 or less.
Keep reading to find out how to take advantage of this service and what you can expect from it.
How Blackbird Works and What It Costs
Blackbird brings together pilots, planes and passengers in a way that makes air travel more beneficial for everybody. Think of it as Uber or Lyft, but for planes. You can get a seat on a flight that’s already going where you want to be, or you can request a flight to meet your needs.
Here’s what makes Blackbird a win-win-win:
- Passengers can get where they are going faster than driving and for a more affordable price than flying commercial.
- Pilots can make extra money when they have time by picking up flights on their schedule.
- Plane owners can earn money by letting Blackbird pilots fly their aircraft when they’re not using it.
You can fly from Sacramento, California, to the San Francisco Peninsula for $69 and get there in 30 minutes. With standard rush-hour traffic, you’d be looking at two to 2 1/2 hours to make the trip by car — if you’re lucky.
How to Begin Your Blackbird Adventure
To use the service, simply download the Blackbird app and register. Choose your destination — the app will show you how long it will take you to get there. Next, choose the size of the plane you’d like to take. The price varies by the type of aircraft, and prices are displayed for each plane. Then you can choose your pilot, all of whom have met Blackbird’s requirements for training and safety.
After you’ve made your reservation, you just need to show up at the local airport and board your plane. Because Blackbird uses small, private aircraft, they can use regional airports which are often easier to get to — and to get out of.
Right now, the service is available only in California, but the company is looking to expand to the East Coast as well. The company recently raised $10 million from venture capital firm NEA to expand its offerings.
Click through to read more about the best and worst airlines for cheap flights.
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