This really isn't that fantastic of a deal.
I would say the "average" road warrior is doing a roughly 3 weeks on/1 week off schedule. Spending every 4th week with minimal travel. Some weeks you'll do a multi-city trip (eg: Boston to Charlotte on Monday, Charlotte to Miami Wednesday, Miami back to Boston Friday), but more commonly it's a 4 day 1-city trip (Boston to Miami on Monday, Miami to Boston Friday morning).
Regional flights (their $1500 option) can easily be found for $200-$400 roundtrip with even minimal effort. Larger corporations typically make you book through a travel department which pretty much forces you into the cheaper options anyway. Thus the $1500 option is really only a moderate deal if you average 4 weeks/month of travel AND have at least 1 multi-leg flight per month.
The 7-day advance booking requirement really cramps the value proposition. I'd say 75% of my flights are booked less than 7 days in advance. Many times the meeting is scheduled 2 or 3 weeks in advance, but last-minute cancellations are common because a big job comes up for an integrator and they need to re-schedule our meeting so they can go out and do a demo at a customer site, or respond to an RFP, etc.
Overall, these don't look like terrible deals, but I would wager the typical traveller would lose money on this long-term relative to booking individual flights as and when needed. It's also unclear if you can always choose your preferred airline, which if you can't it makes it harder to build status with a given carrier. If you're a truly frequent traveller, then you know that it's not worth it long-term bouncing between 2 or 3 carriers where you never get status just to save $500/year on travel expense.
This will save some people a lot of dough!
Here are their names:
- Hillary Clinton
- Bernie Sanders
- Ted Cruz
- Donald Trump
Outside of that??
A little more expensive $1950 vs $1500 for regional (West Coast (Cal) Only), SurfAir offers unlimited flying on their own fleet.
What do you get for $450 more?
- No advance booking, make reservations 15 min ahead.
- Easy access using private airports
- First class appointments
- No cancellation fee within 24 hrs
For the 'drop of a hat' left coaster, this might be worth it. No advance business class SNA to SFO runs around $800 normally. Having the end date open saves in change fees.
Speaking of unlimited air travel, did you know that American Airlines used to offer a LIFETIME unlimited plan for $250,000, plus a lifetime companion traveler plan for just $150,000?
Only 66 people ever took them up on it, but by the end they were losing millions (even though they raised the price to $2,000,000) on just a handful of fliers:
Rothstein would sometimes pick out strangers at the airport and give them surprise first-class upgrades with his companion pass. Once he flew a woman he'd just met in New Delhi to Chicago, a lift American later valued at nearly $7,500. There was nothing in the AAirpass terms prohibiting that. LA Times - The frequent fliers who flew too much.
They ended up cancelling the most frequent, and now are getting sued.
Michael Dell was an early adopter.
Just to beat this horse to death, I do agree with Brian that it's not such a good deal, considering how people typically travel.
One idea though, would be to change the way you travel to take advantage.
For instance, imagine a national or regional manager of retail stores, who annually is required to visit each one. Normally, he spreads his trips throughout the year.
But since this program is monthly, he could arrange a whirlwind 28 stop tour, which might price out at ~$10000.