One of the definitions of “epiphany” is “a sudden, intuitive perception of, or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.”
I had one of those experiences nine years ago, and it led directly to the creation of Linear Air, the nation’s first successful executive charter travel company operating the newest generation of executive jets known as “VLJs.”
It was 2003, and I was having a very bad day traveling between Lexington, MA, and Parsippany, NJ. There was no direct, easy or inexpensive air service on that routing. My only option was to drive an hour to Boston’s Logan International Airport, pay the ransom-like price for a last-minute coach ticket, submit myself to the indignities, hassles and wasted time of airport security, and fly to Newark. Once at Newark I had to waste more time renting a car before driving to Parsippany – a drive that can take up to an hour, depending on the time-of-day and traffic conditions. And then I had to do it all in reverse to get home that night. Arrrgh!
As the co-founder of an online marketing company I’d made lots of exhausting trips like that one. But as a licensed private pilot I knew that I could save a lot of time and money by flying my single engine plane from uncongested Hanscom Field in nearby Bedford, MA, to Parsippany. However, I had no desire to fly my Cessna Skyhawk into the very busy and crowded air traffic control environment around New York City. Nor did I want to have to concentrate on the serious business of piloting when I needed to be preparing myself for my meeting with customers.
But for the first time that day I recognized two things: that there probably are thousands upon thousands of business people just like me who would love to have the option of point-to-point air service at prices competitive with airlines’ business fares; and that a new generation of aircraft then in development called Very Light Jets promised to dramatically lower the cost of business aviation.
By 2005 my friend, famed aerobatic pilot and international airshow performer Michael Goulian, and I were ready to launch Linear Air. Technically, we are what is called an “air-taxi” service. And really, thinking of Linear Air as a “taxi with wings” is a pretty good way of understanding what we do. We can pick up as many as four passengers traveling together at any of the 5,000 or so business aviation airports in the United States and fly them quickly and inexpensively to virtually any US. destination.
Today we manage a growing fleet of 11 Eclipse Jets - the most successful VLJ on the market – to and from cities and towns in the Northeastern states and Canada from bases in the Boston, New York and Philadelphia areas, and to and from destinations in the Western and Southwestern states from our Southern California base. Each Eclipse Jet is flown by a pair of fully certified pilots and can carry a party of up to four at a cost comparable to, or even less than what airlines typically charge business travelers who can’t buy their tickets weeks in advance. And we operate from the pleasant, no-hassle environment of business aviation terminals, which is a key to our ability to shave 30% to 40% off business travelers’ door-to-door travel times. That translates into huge cost savings and productivity gains. And it means business travelers arrive at their meetings fresher and better prepared – and that in many cases they can get back home in time for dinner with the family.
We’ve also made it easy for business people to fly with us. Linear Air is the nation’s only charter service with full online booking capability via Hipmunk.
I hope you check my blog regularly. In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing with you more about Linear Air, how our service can save your business money, and how we can reduce the wear and tear on your body – and on your mind – by reducing or eliminating most of the typical hassles of business travel.
See you on board!