Joy of Flying Almost Private
Texas commuters land another no-hassle frequent-flyer option with time saving convenience
After an initial announcement back in early 2015, Texas Air Shuttle is finally ready for lift-off. The all-you-can-fly membership service for super commuters officially launched last week, traveling between Conroe/North Houston Regional Airport, McKinney National Airport (just north of Dallas), Austin Executive Airport, and Stinson Municipal Airport outside of San Antonio.
Not unlike Rise, Texas Air Shuttle aims to make business traveling a breeze by cutting out the hassle of traditional commercial flying. Tiered membership starts at $1,895 a month, fliers get VIP service and the convenience of unlimited private flying on weekly scheduled routes.
"You can literally show up 15 minutes before your flight, walk 50 feet to the plane, give your bags to our concierge, and go," says CEO and co-founder Steve Geldmacher. "It cuts out about two to four hours of the 'other.'"
Geldmacher used to travel extensively for work and says he was astounded when he put pen to paper and figured out just how much of his employer's — and his — time was being wasted by security lines, runway delays, airport parking, and the like. He estimates it only takes two or three flights with Texas Air Shuttle to break even on the cost of commercial air.
Texas Air Shuttle's delay between initial announcement and wheels up stems from finally receiving full FAA approval, a crucial step because the company is completely in charge of its pilots, planes, training, maintenance, and even safety manuals.
"We're not dependent on any third parties, giving us the utmost in quality control," Geldmacher says. "It may have taken longer to get our certification, but it was worth it."