More than 700 Spirit and American flights have been canceled and even more are delayed due to bad weather and a reported lack of flight crews

spirit airlines
A Spirit Airlines aircraft landing.

  • Spirit Airlines and American Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights for Monday.
  • Bad weather and a reported lack of flight crews are to blame for yet another summer travel hiccup.
  • Airlines have an impaired ability to recover due to staffing cuts from the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The summer of vaccinated travel strikes again.

Spirit Airlines and American Airlines have canceled 729 flights and counting as of Monday afternoon as bad weather and “operational challenges” plague cities across the American South.

According to the flight-tracking website FlightAware, a total of 275 Spirit flights have been canceled at the time of writing. It’s around 35% of the airline’s scheduled flights for Monday.

“We are experiencing operational challenges in some areas of our network,” Spirit wrote in a tweet. “Before going to the airport, check your email and current flight status”

An additional 159 – or 20% of Spirit’s Monday flying – have been marked as delayed, according to FlightAware.

Spirit’s main bases in Texas and Florida are the leading cause of the airline’s issues. Bad weather, including thunderstorms, has been pounding Florida and parts of Texas.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is leading the world in flight cancellations and delays, according to FlightAware, with 138 cancellations and 240 delayed flights affecting a total of 35% of the airport’s Monday flights.

Fort Lauderdale International Airport is further down on the list but still reporting 39 cancellations and 85 delays for departures. Orlando International Airport, another Spirit base, is reporting 37 cancellations and 129 delays for departures.

Spirit is asking inconvenienced passengers to use the live chat function on its website to get help with bookings.

“We’re working around the clock to get back on track in the wake of some travel disruptions over the weekend due to a series of weather and operational challenges,” a Spirit spokesperson told Insider. “We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned.”

Spirit had been making strides in becoming a more punctual airline before the pandemic but its performance has suffered in recent months. For April, Spirit ranked 10th in a Department of Transportation ranking of US airlines. In May, it rose to 7th place.

American Airlines, which shares numerous bases with Spirit, has also canceled 454 flights that constitute just 15% of its Monday schedule. An additional 674 flights, or 22% of its schedule, were delayed.

American’s Southernmost hub at Miami International Airport is currently at 10 canceled flights and 118 delayed flights. South Florida is a gateway to South America and the Caribbean for both Spirit and American.

A list reviewed by CNBC showed that American canceled at least 30 flights due to a lack of flight crews.

Spirit was projected by analysts as among the first that should recover from the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to its focus on leisure travel. Its aircraft were among the first to be pulled from temporary storage facilities in the American Southwest.

Read More: Spirit Airlines’ low-cost model puts it in the perfect spot to be the big winner of the pandemic, a Deutsche Bank analyst says

But staffing shortages have been plaguing airlines since air travel began rebounding late last year. Airlines hastily parted with planes and pilots to slow the bleeding incurred by the pandemic and some are feeling the effects of “over-scheduling” this summer.

American Airlines kicked off what would be a busy summer travel season with hundreds of flight cancellations in June. Southwest Airlines had a similar incident and later admitted it too had underlying operational issues.

“While the rapid ramp up in June travel demand provided stability to our financial position, it has impacted our operations following a prolonged period of depressed demand due to the pandemic,” Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ chief executive officer, said in a second-quarter earnings statement. “Therefore, we are intensely focused on improving our operations as we restore our network to meet demand.”

United Airlines says that it has avoided such issues by working out an agreement with its pilot union to keep pilots trained and ready to fly.

American did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Some planes have hidden power outlets in the bathroom – here’s why

Frontier Airlines
A Frontier Airlines Airbus A320neo.

  • Some airlines have power outlets in the lavatories of their aircraft that can be used to charge devices.
  • I was able to charge my phone after it died mid-flight on a Frontier Airlines flight.
  • Airlines discourage flyers from using them to keep lavatories open for those that need to use them.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ultra-low-cost airlines are notorious for having no-frills, and Frontier Airlines is no different.

In-flight entertainment, in-seat power, and other perks do not come standard when fares are as low as $11, in some cases. And that’s a trade-off I’m more than fine with making because I can normally plan around it by bringing spare battery packs and pre-loading entertainment onto my phone.

That was until I forgot to bring my spare battery pack on a recent trip to Florida.

I was getting ready to fly from Miami to Newark when I noticed that my phone had around 15% battery. Even if I put it in airplane mode, I knew it wouldn’t last me long as I’d at least be listening to music on the otherwise entertainment-deprived flight.

My two-year-old iPhone 11, to its credit, lasted a good two hours before its inevitable death just before landing. But that meant I wouldn’t have a phone to use when we landed, which I needed to make arrangements to get home.

So, as soon as we landed, I went to the lavatory. I didn’t have to “go to the bathroom;” rather, I noticed during the flight that the lavatory had a standard power outlet and I wanted to see if it could give some juice for my phone.

Airplane lavatory power outlet
A power outlet in an airplane lavatory.

Since it was in the lavatory, I assumed it might be for an electric shaver or something like that. Nonetheless, I was sitting in the back of the plane and easily made my way to the lavatory while others were deplaning.

I know how long the deplaning process takes so I figured I could get a few percentage points of power. To my surprise, it worked and I left with enough power to get me home.

Read More: Spirit Airlines’ low-cost model puts it in the perfect spot to be the big winner of the pandemic, a Deutsche Bank analyst says

I first thought that this was specific to Frontier’s Airbus A320neo aircraft, the model on which I was flying since they’re the newest planes in the airline’s fleet. But a Frontier spokesperson told Insider that “many Frontier aircraft have an electrical outlet in the lavatories.”

There’s no specific reason why, and Frontier might have preferred not to have it, but it comes standard from Airbus. “This is not a feature we have expressly sought but rather a standard part of the lavatory design provided by the manufacturer,” a Frontier spokesperson told Insider.

Airplane lavatory power outlet
A power outlet in an airplane lavatory.

That said, Frontier stressed that passengers should not be spending more time than required in the airplane lavatory as others might be waiting to use it.

“We would not encourage customers to use the outlet to charge a mobile device, which could potentially result in a lavatory being occupied for an unnecessary amount of time and cause inconvenience to others,” the spokesperson said.

But for those that desperately need a charge, the outlet can work in a pinch. Just be mindful of others trying to use the lavatories as there is only a handful on any given plane.

Not all aircraft have this amenity, and more airlines are updating their fleets to include in-seat power.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The charter airline flying one of the world’s cheapest private jets is expanding to the West Coast. One-way flights start at $3,000.

VeriJet Cirrus Vision Jet
A VeriJet Cirrus Vision Jet.

  • VeriJet is expanding to the West Coast and Southwest with the Cirrus Vision Jet.
  • Flights cost $3,000 per hour with no repositioning fees if the flight is within 700 miles of Santa Maria, California.
  • A new jet card program also offers discounted rates with a 100-hour commitment.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One of America’s newest charter airlines is expanding to the West Coast, and bringing the Cirrus Vision Jet with it.

Starting July 26, VeriJet is offering flights across the West Coast and American Southwest in the airline’s furthest venture outside of its home region of the Southeast.

A single flight hour in the Vision Jet is $3,000 plus tax, and VeriJet doesn’t charge reposition rates if the flight is within a 700-mile radius of Santa Maria, California. That means one-way flights on city pairs such as Los Angeles-Las Vegas, Phoenix-San Francisco, and San Diego, California-San Jose, California, will only cost as much as the flight time, with a minimum of one hour.

Founder and CEO Richard Kane told Insider that the geography of the West Coast is perfect for the Vision Jet since the aircraft thrives when flying at the lower altitudes common on the region’s most popular air routes. VeriJet can also use smaller airports such as Santa Monica Airport that are off-limits to larger jets.

The Vision Jet is ideal for single-pilot operations and can fly four adult passengers with a top range of around 1,300 nautical miles, as Insider found on a recent demonstration flight with VeriJet. Low-speed WiFi is available in-flight and Sirius XM Satellite Radio is also available for entertainment.

VeriJet Cirrus Vision Jet
A VeriJet Cirrus Vision Jet.

VeriJet’s aircraft also come with safety features like Garmin Safe Return where the plane will land itself at the push of a button in case of emergency. A parachute also comes standard on the Vision Jet in the event of an engine failure.

Read More: Private jet industry CEOs say business will boom as the wealthy abandon airlines and reveal what they’re doing now to take advantage

VeriJet is also launching a jet card program where the hourly rate is discounted to $2,500 per hour when 100 hours of flight time are prepaid for $250,000. Members also have access to a new “jet safari” program of curated itineraries in different regions.

Itineraries include trips to Canada to see Hudson Bay or the polar bears of Manitoba, Caribbean getaways to locales like Virgin Gorda in this British Virgin Islands, and a national park trip that includes sites like Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Yellowstone National Parks. Another opportunity includes a transatlantic crossing as VeriJet repositions its planes to Europe in advance of its debut on the continent.

Kane calls jet cardholders “founders” since they’ll be accompanied by board members on these trips, with whom they could share direct feedback about the company.

“It’s mostly about going out of the way places that you can’t get to on anything but a small turboprop or [a Vision Jet],” Kane said, “and then there’s spending time with the founders of the company so that you can mold it to what you want it to be.”

VeriJet Cirrus Vision Jet Demo Flight
VeriJet’s Cirrus Vision Jet.

VeriJet also just completed a redesign of its website, where customers can directly book flights without having to go through a broker. A mobile application is also on the way with VeriJet just waiting on Apply Pay functionality before it takes to the App Store.

Read the original article on Business Insider

1 in 5 flight attendants say they’ve had a passenger get physically aggressive with them: ‘This is not a ‘new normal’ we are willing to accept’

A woman throws a punch at a second woman, who blocks it, during a training.
An Air Tran Airlines flight attendant learns how to deal with a knife-wielding attacker in a self-defense course at the company headquarters in Atlanta, Ga.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 flight attendants said they experienced a physical altercation with unruly passengers.
  • The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA surveyed 5,000 workers regarding aggressive passengers.
  • The AFA has requested the federal government step in to prevent violent altercations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Nearly one in five flight attendants has been in a physical altercation with unruly passengers this year.

In a survey of 5,000 flight attendants by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union, 17% reported experiencing a physical incident in the first half of 2021.

More than 85% of respondents said they had dealt with unruly passengers this year, and 61% of flight attendants said they heard racist, sexist, or homophobic slurs during altercations.

“This survey confirms what we all know, the vitriol, verbal and physical abuse from a small group of passengers is completely out of control, and is putting other passengers and flight crew at risk,” said Sara Nelson, president of AFA-CWA. The union is asking for more support from federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Read more: Delivery’s richest CEO Tony Xu has been quietly funding 2 ghost kitchens built by Uber Eats and DoorDash alums – and his bets reveal the next big trend in the industry, experts say

“It is time to make the FAA ‘zero tolerance’ policy permanent, the Department of Justice to utilize existing statute to conduct criminal prosecution, and implement a series of actions proposed by our union to keep problems on the ground and respond effectively in the event of incidents,” Nelson said.

Aggressive, disruptive passengers have become commonplace in the air, flight attendants told Insider. As of early July, the Federal Aviation Administration proposed fines of nearly $700,000 for disruptive passengers this year.

The AFA survey found 71% of flight attendants who filed incident reports received no follow-up and a majority “did not observe efforts to address the rise in unruly passengers by their employers.”

About 75% of reports of aggressive passengers involved disputes over masks, the FAA said. President Joe Biden mandated Americans wear masks while flying soon after taking office.

But Nelson said “this is not just about masks as some have attempted to claim. There is a lot more going on here and the solutions require a series of actions in coordination across aviation.”

Several flight attendants said their mental health has deteriorated due to the increase in passenger aggression. A Harvard psychologist told Insider’s Avery Hartmans the aggression stems from the fear and anxiety COVID-19 placed on Americans the past year and a half.

“This is not a ‘new normal’ we are willing to accept,” said Nelson, the union president. “We will be sharing survey findings with FAA, DOT, TSA, and FBI to help more fully identify the problems and our union’s proposed actions to affect positive change.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

I flew on JetBlue founder’s David Neeleman’s new airline and saw how it’s nothing like his old one – but it isn’t supposed to be

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

  • Breeze Airways is the latest brainchild of JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman.
  • The two airlines couldn’t be any more different, however, despite having the same founder.
  • Breeze’s strategy is completely diffeent from JetBlue but still works even though it offers a different product.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
JetBlue Airways revolutionized air travel in the US when it launched in 2000, at the turn of the century.

JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways planes.

Read More: JetBlue revolutionized low-cost travel when it first flew 20 years ago — here’s how it beat the odds to become a major US airline

 

Seat-back television screens, complimentary snacks, and low fares were the airline’s norm, and customers loved it.

JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways is known for in-flight entertainment.

Behind the now 21-year-old company was David Neeleman, a serial aviation entrepreneur with successful airline startups in three countries.

David Neeleman JetBlue
JetBlue Airways founder David Neeleman.

Four airlines later, Neeleman’s latest endeavor is Breeze Airways, an ultra-low-cost carrier looking to fill the gaps left by the nation’s largest airlines. Breeze launched its first flights in May and has been steadily expanding up and down the East Coast and inland as far as San Antonio, Texas.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Read More: How JetBlue’s founder plans to offer low prices without a low-end experience on his newest airline, Breeze

Despite Neeleman at the wheel, Breeze is nothing like JetBlue. You won’t find seat-back screens or the famous Terra Blues chips on Breeze’s shiny blue planes, but that’s not the point of the airline.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

I took a flight on Breeze Airways and found out why it’s not supposed to be JetBlue 2.0.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze Airways launched in late May with an opening salvo of 39 initial routes from bases in Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Norfolk, Virginia.

The Breeze Airways route map.
The Breeze Airways route map.

Unlike JetBlue, Breeze’s strategy targets underserved cities and primarily creates new air routes where none currently exist.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The very first Breeze flight flew from Tampa to Charleston, for example, on a route that sees limited service by only one other airline. Flying between these two cities solely on JetBlue would require a stop in New York or Boston.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze’s bread and butter, at the moment, are routes that are less than two hours in duration. Convenience is the name of the game and connecting flights are non-existent.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

In terms of pricing, Breeze’s introductory fares start at $39 for a basic fare that only includes a ticket to ride and a personal item to carry onboard the plane. It’s comparable to JetBlue’s basic economy fare.

Breeze Airways fare structure
An overview of Breeze Airways’ fare structure.

While not all tickets will be sold for $39, the idea is to keep fares low to stimulate demand.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But Breeze’s low prices come with trade-offs, primarily in the onboard and customer service experience.

Breeze Airways
Breeze Airways pilots.

Breeze, most notably, doesn’t have a phone number. Customers are encouraged to send a message or email the airline but calling isn’t really an option.

Breeze Airways app

The strategy helps keep costs low by reducing Breeze’s overall infrastructure and staffing, which is typical for an ultra-low-cost airline.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Technology also plays a large role with nearly everything able to be done from the airline’s mobile application. Neeleman initially described Breeze as a “high-tech company that just happens to fly airplanes” and this is one way of scaling back on staff levels.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The tech-focused strategy does help keep costs down, which are passed on to the consumer in low airfares, but experts say it might not jive well with less tech-focused customers.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

JetBlue, alternatively, does have a phone number in addition to a messaging feature on its mobile application.

JetBlue Airways baggage
JetBlue passengers checking in luggage.

In another ultra-low-cost trade-off, in-flight entertainment on Breeze is currently only available through mobile device streaming, and the service isn’t yet offered on the Embraer E195 fleet.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

In-flight WiFi, another JetBlue staple, also isn’t available on Breeze’s Embraer fleet. That will come when the Airbus A220s arrive but it likely won’t be free, as JetBlue’s is.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But again, that’s part and parcel of flying an ultra-low-cost airline. You get what you pay for.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Breeze is offering snacks for the time being but the airline will move to a buy-on-board program where all snacks and drinks will require a purchase. The current offering includes Utz chips and a Kind bar.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

One thing that was surprisingly similar between the two airlines was Breeze’s choice of aircraft for its first flights. The Embraer E190/E195 family of aircraft was tapped to initially power Breeze’s fleet, with second-hand models coming from Air Canada and Neeleman’s Azul Brazilian Airlines.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Frequent JetBlue flyers will surely recognize the aircraft as the E190 variant powers JetBlue’s short-haul network. The E195 is near identical, albeit slightly longer.

JetBlue Embraer E190
A JetBlue Embraer E190 aircraft.

Breeze will soon fly the Airbus A220-300, an aircraft type that just joined the JetBlue fleet in December.

JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300 Flight
Flying on a JetBlue Airways Airbus A220-300.

Read More: I flew on JetBlue’s brand-new Airbus A220 and saw why it’s the perfect plane to lead the airline into its next era

On the inside of the E195, it was hard to tell the difference from JetBlue’s interiors on the aircraft.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Standard legroom seats had nearly the same look as those found on JetBlue. There was one glaring omission, however, in the form of seat-back entertainment screens.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Legroom varies from aircraft to aircraft on Breeze and standard economy seats on the E195 aircraft do match JetBlue’s 32 inches of pitch in economy. That may soon change, however, as Breeze standardizes its seat product.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

E190 aircraft offer 29 inches of pitch in a standard offering for an ultra-low-cost airline.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

The seats also had the same feel as a JetBlue Embraer E190 seat. I’ve spent a lot of time flying on that aircraft and if it weren’t for the lack of televisions, I probably couldn’t tell the difference.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

But perhaps the most important difference between the two airlines is that Breeze and JetBlue don’t compete on the same routes. Breeze primarily flies to underserved cities and routes such as Oklahoma City-San Antonio; Norfolk-Columbus, Ohio; and Hartford, Connecticut-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

JetBlue, for its part, primarily operates a hub-and-spoke network with bases in East Coast cities like New York, Boston, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Most Breeze customers don’t even have JetBlue as a choice for those routes without connecting somewhere.

JetBlue Airways Long Beach
JetBlue aircraft in Long Beach.

So while the offering might be bare-bones, customers in underserved markets are getting cheap access to non-stop flights, something that JetBlue isn’t currently offering at a widespread level.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

And for many, trading high-tech planes for convenience is a compromise worth making, especially when the price is right.

Breeze Airways Inaugural Flight David Neeleman
The inaugural flight of David Neeleman’s Breeze Airways.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An airline pilot says she was forced to sleep in an airplane overnight after her flight diverted to a remote Colorado town due to severe weather

United Airlines Embraer E175
A United Express Embraer E170 regional jet aircraft.

  • A SkyWest Airlines flight crew that diverted to Hayden, Colorado on July 17 was forced to sleep on their plane overnight.
  • Jessica Taylor, the flight’s captain, reported that it was a first in her 15-year career.
  • SkyWest said no hotels were available in Hayden and apologized for the inconvenience to passengers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A flight crew’s routine trip from Denver to Raleigh, North Carolina and back ended in an overnight stay onboard their plane after diverting to Hayden, Colorado due to “severe weather.”

SkyWest Airlines was operating flight 5332 from Raleigh to Denver on behalf of United Express, the regional brand for United Airlines, on July 17 when the diversion occurred. Flight tracking data from Flightradar 24shows the aircraft making a series of turns and flying in a holding pattern before eventually heading to Hayden by way of Nebraska and Wyoming.

Jessica Taylor, the flight’s captain, described the ordeal on a LinkedIn following the flight.

“This has been a challenging week of flying,” Taylor wrote in a LinkedIn post. “After flying 8+ hours from Den-Rdu-Den (well Hayden after diverting) my crew and had to sleep on the airplane overnight …. Yes that’s right we slept on the floor of the airplane in Hayden.”

SkyWest Airlines flight 5332's route on July 17
SkyWest Airlines flight 5332’s route on July 17.

SkyWest didn’t confirm Taylor’s account but told Insider that hotel accommodations were not available in Hayden.

“Though we worked to make arrangements to get our customers to their destinations that evening, unfortunately the nearby area did not have hotel accommodations available under the circumstances,” SkyWest said in a statement to Insider. “We, along with our partners at United, apologized and United has reached out to customers to provide compensation for the inconvenience.”

Taylor’s aircraft, an Embraer E170 regional jet registered as N613UX, eventually departed for Denver the next afternoon and landed nearly 24 hours after it left Raleigh, according to Flightradar 24 data. Its next scheduled flight from Denver to Idaho Falls, Idaho was also canceled.

The round-trip journey between Denver and Raleigh is scheduled at just over eight hours from takeoff to landing back in Denver, including the layover in Raleigh. In Taylor’s case, the same crew operated both legs of the trip.

For Taylor, the incident was the first time that she had been forced to spend the night on board an airplane due to a lack of accommodations.

“This is a first for me in 15+ years of professionally flying,” Taylor wrote on LinkedIn. “I personally never thought I’d find myself sleeping on the floor of a plane as 38 year old airline captain.”

The Embraer E170 does have a first class cabin with recliner seats but the aircraft isn’t meant for overnight sleeping. United says that first class seats on the aircraft are 24 inches wide with 38 inches of pitch and six inches of recline.

Read More: Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population – and airline CEOs say it’s proof that flying is safe

Despite the ordeal, Taylor remained in high spirits about her profession and the unique perspective it offers.

“But it still leaves me speechless how freaking beautiful this world is from 36,000 ft,” Taylor wrote. “Always find thankfulness.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Tension and violence onboard airplanes is soaring, but the CDC still wants flyers to wear masks because the unvaccinated are ‘extremely vulnerable’

Delta Air Lines New JFK Airport Experience
Travelers have been required to wear masks on airplanes for more than one year.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is against lifting the mask mandate on airplanes.
  • The Transportation Security Administration’s current mask mandate expires on September 13 but may be extended.
  • Thousands of travelers have been banned from airlines for not wearing masks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Wearing masks onboard airplanes is here to stay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come out against lifting the federal mask mandate that requires travelers to don face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when using transportation modes including air, rail, and bus.

“The truth is that the unvaccinated portion that’s out there is extremely vulnerable,” Marty Cetron, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of global migration and quarantine, told Reuters on Thursday.

President Joe Biden first directed agencies to create mask mandates for transportation in January and CDC soon followed up with an order that codified mask mandates on commercial and public transportation into federal law.

The Transportation Security Administration, tasked with protecting the nation’s transportation networks, complemented CDC’s order with its own mandate that covers airports and commercial aircraft, as well as surface transportation networks. Before then, mask mandates were solely a matter of airline policy, and the first airline to require masks for passengers, JetBlue Airways, didn’t do so until late April.

TSA’s mandate took effect on February 2 and has already been extended past its original expiration date of May 11. September 13 is the new scheduled end date but the order can be extended again if the federal government deems it necessary, and Cetron’s comments hint that it might be.

“I get we’re all just over this emotionally but I do think we will succeed together if we realize the virus is the enemy and it’s not your fellow citizen or the person sitting next to you on a plane or a piece of cloth that you have to wear over your face,” Cetron told Reuters, adding that federal agencies are expected to follow CDC’s lead on this issue.

Read More: Airline workers have lower rates of COVID-19 than the general population – and airline CEOs say it’s proof that flying is safe

“It is currently unknown as to whether the mask mandate will be extended or kept in place,” Lisa Farbstein, TSA’s spokesperson, told Insider. “What we do know is that the mandate is currently in place until September 13. That gets us through the traditional summer travel season, just past the Labor Day holiday.”

New variants of the coronavirus may encourage the CDC to keep the order in place past September 13. Dominant in the US is now the delta variant that is highly transmissible and proven to infect vaccinated individuals, though data suggests symptoms are mild among those vaccinated.

CDC is forecasting cases to rise in the next four weeks with Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, expecting a delta variant peak in late September, after the September 13 end date of TSA’s current mask policy.

Defiance to the mask mandate has heightened tensions onboard commercial flights as flight crews have been enforcing the policy. Passengers have hurled verbal abuse at flight attendants and interactions have even turned violent, as Insider’s Allana Akhtar reported.

“I’m sure there are some executives and many employees who personally wish the mask mandate would end today, were it not for the threat of the delta variant of the virus, simply to reduce the tensions that exist on aircraft,” Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and cofounder of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider.

Thousands of flyers have also been banned by individual airlines for not abiding by mask mandates.

More travelers are flying this summer more than at any point during the pandemic. US airports are regularly seeing more than two million daily passengers, according to TSA statistics.

Do you have a story to share about aviation or mask-related incidents on airplanes chain? Email this reporter at tpallini@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I used an obscure credit card perk to pay for $127 worth of travel expenses when American Airlines canceled 2 of my flights – see how

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card comes with built-in trip insurance for when things go wrong.
  • Trip delays, trip cancellations, and baggage delays are covered under certain circumstances.
  • I was delayed by 12 hours after two American Airlines flight cancellations and could spend up to $500 on expenses.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Flight delays and cancellations can be costly. Hours and even days can be wasted that could lead to unplanned expenses through no fault of a traveler’s.

An airport departures board showing canceled flights.

I was left high and dry by American Airlines in June when flying home from Bogota, Colombia in June. Two back-to-back flight cancellations extended my trip and left me with no clear way to get home.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

Read More: I was stranded in Bogotá airport for 10 hours and it taught me the true value of credit card perks and not taking no for an answer

At first, I was faced with an eight-hour delay that quickly turned into an overnight stay. American was going to pay for a hotel but I’d be largely on my own for meals, plus any other expenses I might incur thanks to the extended trip.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

In total, I incurred $127.39 extra expenses incurred from the delay but because of the credit card I used to book the trip, I was reimbursed for all of it. Here’s how my credit card ended up saving my bank account.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium travel credit card that costs $550 per year but comes with perks like a free $300 in travel credits, complimentary Lyft Pink membership for a year, and built-in travel insurance.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Read More: Chase Sapphire Reserve card review: One of the best premium travel cards, with unbeatable bonus rewards

While many credit cards offer some form of travel insurance, not all are equal and some only kick in if the cardholder dies in a plane crash. But the Sapphire Reserve offers three types: trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, and travel delay reimbursement.

credit cards

As its name suggests, trip cancellation/interruption insurance covers expenses when a trip is “cut short or canceled” due to instances like sickness, severe weather, injury, loss of life, terrorist action, hijacking, and unpostponable jury duty or court subpoena. Chase will cover up to $10,000 per trip, if eligible.

Flight canceled

Baggage delay insurance covers “essential purchases” in the event luggage is lost by an airline, bus company, cruise ship operator, or train company for more than six hours.

travel airport luggage baggage

And finally, trip delay insurance covers travelers if a trip is delayed for more than six hours or requires an overnight stay. This is the insurance for which I qualified when American canceled my flight and rescheduled me for a later flight to New York.

A screenshot of an email from American Airlines.
Using credit card trip insurance.

This insurance is pretty comprehensive and will cover meals, lodging, transportation, and additional unreimbursed expenses up to $500. Coverage only applies if the flight was booked using the Sapphire Reserve and I make sure I book every trip using the card for that reason.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

The perk will also apply to mileage award tickets, even if only the taxes are paid using the card. If travelers are booking flights with a travel credit, they can also get the coverage by paying as little as $.01 using the card.

A screenshot from American Airlines' website
Booking an award ticket using a Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card.

I called up Chase while stranded in Colombia to confirm I could use the credit and they gave me the green light. I didn’t need to call Chase but this was my first time using the perk so I wanted to be sure I was using it correctly.

Calling Chase customer service
Calling Chase customer service.

I was ecstatic to have $500 at my disposal because that goes really far in Colombia. But I wasn’t trying to extend my vacation, I wanted out.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

My first plan was to take the 12:15 a.m. flight to New York and so I began my long wait in the airport. I took a walk and started plotting how I could spend $500.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

American, for its part, gave all the passengers on my first canceled flight a meal voucher for around $12. I decided to use that for my first meal and save Chase’s travel insurer some money.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

But beyond that, I was hesitant to spend any money because I didn’t want to get into a situation where something wasn’t covered. Again, this was my first time using the perk.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

So, I left Colombia using exactly $0 of the $500 and didn’t spend anything until landing back in the US. After my second flight to New York was canceled, I was routed to Phoenix via Dallas leaving the same night because I was starting a trip to Phoenix and American couldn’t get me home in time for my flight to get there.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

After I landed in Dallas, American had given me a hotel voucher, at my request, so I could have a shower during my four-hour layover. I took a hotel shuttle to the hotel, around five miles from the airport itself, and only planned to shower in the room, then head back to the airport.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

The shuttle, however, was hourly, and I only had 20 minutes from the time I got to the hotel to the time it was leaving again. That didn’t include checking in and getting to the room.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

So, I figured, what better time to use the $500. I took my time in the shower and then ordered a Lyft for $19.27, including tip, to get me back to the airport.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

Transportation, after all, is covered under the rules of the perk. Of course, I wouldn’t know for sure until I submitted the claim.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

I got to the airport and American, once more, had given me another $12 meal voucher. But it was too early to eat so I only used around $6 of it to buy two water bottles for the flight to Phoenix.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

I landed in Phoenix after a nightmare of a travel experience and asked American if they’d arrange a taxi for me to get to my family’s home. I thought it was a reasonable request being as I arrived a day early and my family members couldn’t pick me up.

Trapped in Airport Terminal
Flying home from Bogota, Colombia on American Airlines.

But the airline didn’t think so and I was on my own to arrange an Uber, at peak time, for a total of $107.65 with a tip. Time to file my claim.

A screenshot from the trip insurance website.
Using credit card trip insurance.

First, I needed proof of the delay being greater than six hours. That was easy as American sent an email telling me that I was rebooked on a later flight after the first flight cancellation.

A screenshot of an email from American Airlines.
Using credit card trip insurance.

Next, I needed my expenses. All of my Uber and Lyft receipts were digital, so getting them was just a matter of taking screenshots from their mobile applications.

Uber Grocery stressfree In App
Uber Grocery app

Then, I needed a verification letter from American confirming that my flight was delayed due to a covered reason. In my case, a mechanical delay.

A screenshot of an email from American Airlines.
Using credit card trip insurance.

Even that was surprisingly easy. American has a request form just for “delay verification requests.”

A screenshot of an email from American Airlines.
Using credit card trip insurance.

That letter came three days later and I was then able to submit the claim.

A screenshot from the trip insurance website.
Using credit card trip insurance.

To my surprise, it was approved with no questions asked three days later.

A screenshot from the trip insurance website.
Using credit card trip insurance.

The check did take a while to arrive but I took it straight to the bank.

Receiving a mailed check from a travel insurance company.
Using credit card trip insurance.

And with that, my escape from Colombia was complete. I even got credit card points from the two purchases.

Depositing a check at a Chase ATM
Depositing a check at a Chase ATM.

Read the original article on Business Insider

See inside the tiny hidden bedrooms above economy where flight attendants sleep on an Airbus A350-900XWB jet

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

  • Long-haul aircraft come with compartments in which bunks are available for flight attendants to rest and sleep.
  • The hostel-like setup can be a second home for cabin crew on ultra-long-haul flights.
  • Flight attendants will take turns servicing the cabin while the others rest.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Next-generation aircraft are flying further than ever before and airlines are constantly adjusting their products and offerings to ensure passengers are comfortable.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Read More: The 10 longest routes flown by airlines in 2019

The Airbus A350 family of aircraft, for example, flew four of the 10 longest routes in the world before the pandemic. It currently flies the longest flight in the world between New York and Singapore, operated by Singapore Airlines.

SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Read More: Inside the new world’s longest flight: What it’s like to fly on Singapore Airlines’ new route between Singapore and New York

But while flyers are lounging out in plush lie-flat seats to endure the long journeys, flight attendants don’t have that same luxury.

Business class onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Rather, they don’t even stay in the passenger cabin for their breaks and retreat to a hidden hideaway above their passengers.

Business class onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Take a look at where flight attendants go when they need to rest onboard this SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900XWB.

The entryway to SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

The extreme back of the plane is where passengers will find the rear galley. It’s just one of the main workstations for a flight attendant where drinks, food, and other items are kept.

Economy class onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Just opposite the galley, however, is a small set of stairs that appears to lead to nowhere.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

A door marked “crew only” with a red no entry symbol hides the compartment above.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Open the door, and the crew rest area reveals itself.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

It’s a narrow space and climbing up and down the stairs takes some getting used to. But long-haul flight attendants have plenty of opportunities to practice as they routinely spend countless hours in the air.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

The compartment is completely separate from the passenger cabin so it’s not like the crew can look down on passengers from above.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Once inside, six bunks comprise the crew rest area. There’s not much headspace and some crouching is required to navigate the compartment.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Each bunk has the essentials including a pillow, blanket, and mattress pad so flight attendants can get a good sleep.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

But beyond that, they’re quite bare save for a few storage pockets. While passengers below have access to thousands of hours of in-flight entertainment, flight attendants don’t.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

That’s because these areas are meant solely for rest and the bare-bones setup reflects that. Flight attendants can choose to do other things like read books or go on their phones but that’s not the intended purpose.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

A personal reading lamp provides the only light in the bunks as otherwise, it gets quite dark in the space.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Flight attendants can close the curtains for privacy and block any ambient light coming from the galley and main entryway.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Seatbelts are installed so resting flight attendants can sleep while safely strapped in during turbulence or any other time the seatbelt sign is on.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Smaller storage areas line the aisle and an emergency exit is available that will see flight attendants pop out from overhead bins in case of trouble.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Hangars are also available for the crew to hang up their uniforms.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

The narrow passageways are reminiscent more of a spaceship than an airplane. That said, it would’ve been easier to maneuver had there been no gravity.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Crew rest is mandatory on longer journeys and flight attendants will take turns servicing their cabins while others rest.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Pilots have a separate rest area that’s closer to the cockpit, with this rest area solely for cabin crew.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

The crew rest area is connected to the cabin below via an intercom, allowing flight attendants to keep in communication.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

On some of the longer flights of which aircraft like the Airbus A350 are capable, this can become a second home for hours on end. The flight from New York to Singapore is scheduled at 18 hours and 50 minutes in duration, for example.

Crew rest onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Read More: Singapore Airlines says 6 unique seats always sell out on the world’s longest flight — here’s why

All the while, the average passenger will likely never realize that flight attendants are resting just feet above their heads. It’s one of the closely kept secrets of an airplane.

Economy class onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

But if a flight attendant disappears for a few hours, that’s likely where they’re going.

Economy class onboard SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB - SAS Scandinavian Airlines Airbus A350-900 XWB Tour
Touring SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ Airbus A350-900 XWB.

Not all crew rest areas are as secluded, however. On smaller aircraft, a crew rest area can be a single-row in economy, often the very last row.

LAX Day Trip Alaska Airlines
Retreating to the last row.

JetBlue, for example, is flying to London in August and blocking one of the last rows in economy for its flight attendants to rest on the journeys.

Economy class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

A Mint business class seat is also reserved for flight attendants to use transatlantic flights.

Mint business class onboard JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR - JetBlue Airways Airbus A321neoLR Tour
Inside JetBlue Airways’ new Airbus A321neoLR.

So while the average traveler may never know if flight attendants dream of flying sheep, they’ll now have a better idea of where they sleep.

Delta Air Lines First Class Phoenix to Minneapolis Boeing 767-400ER
Flying Delta Air Lines in first class from Phoenix to Minneapolis.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A private aviation firm is giving travelers a taste of the high life by offering private jet flights for as low as $450: Meet Set Jet

Set Jet
Set Jet.

  • Set Jet is a private airline offering private jet flights for similar prices as domestic first class.
  • A monthly membership costs $99.95 and flights on wide-cabin Bombardier jets start at $449.95 one-way.
  • A total of 11 year-round routes are offered with a New York-Los Angeles route coming in the next year.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One company is bridging the price gap between flying first class and flying private and opening up the glitzy side of aviation to those that were traditionally priced out of it.

Set Jet is a membership-based private airline offering seats on a true private jet for as low as $449.95 one-way. Members pay a monthly fee of $99.95 and are given access to flights on 11 year-round routes throughout the American West.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company isn’t the first to sell seats on shared private aircraft but its founders say they’ve found a way to make the business model sustainable, and open up private flying to a larger audience. Having the monthly fee also discourages those that truly aren’t able to fly private from signing up, for which companies like JetSmarter were infamous.

How it works

Only Set Jet members can fly on Set Jet aircraft and a limited number of memberships are available in each market so flyers can get a seat when they want. Anyone can sign up for a membership and the only initiation fee is a one-time “security fee” of $99.95.

Members can then initiate or buy seats on flights throughout Set Jet’s network, which covers four states and Mexico. Flyers can book a seat up to 30 minutes before a flight’s scheduled departure time.

Not are routes are operated daily, though, and some as offered as little as twice-weekly. Once a flight is initiated, Set Jet will perform it even if there’s just one person onboard paying that’s paying $449.95.

Set Jet’s flagship jet is the Bombardier Challenger 850 that rivals in size to wide-cabin Gulfstream or Dassault aircraft. The cabin is tall enough for most to stand up in and as many as 19 people can be seated comfortably.

Set Jet
Set Jet.

It’s open seating onboard the plane but there are no bad seats, as Insider found on a demonstration flight from Scottsdale to San Diego, California. A cabin attendant welcomes passengers onboard the aircraft and offers complimentary snacks and drinks, with in-flight WiFi also available.

Private terminals are used at all destinations to complete the private jet experience. Security checkpoints are non-existent and flyers can arrive just minutes before the flight’s scheduled departure.

How Set Jet makes money

Set Jet has the heart of a low-cost airline that’s offering an incredibly luxurious product, and its choice of aircraft is the perfect example. Buying parts for Challenger 850s is cheaper because of the aircraft’s second life as an airliner known as the CRJ200.

“If you go to buy a set of brakes for a Challenger 604 and you tell them you’re buying them for a Challenger 604, it’s going to be a $55,000 set of brakes,” Trey Smith, Set Jet’s chief operating officer, told Insider. “You go to buy a set of brakes for a CRJ200 – same brakes, same part, different part number – it’s $5,000.”

Set Jet Bombardier Challenger 850 Private Jet Flight
Flying on private jet firm Set Jet.

Thousands of memberships offset the cost per passenger and memberships have skyrocketed during the pandemic. “We did see a lot of new memberships that were from people who normally would never have flown with us but they were looking for alternatives to commercial travel because of COVID,” Smith said.

Read More: Private jet industry CEOs say business will boom as the wealthy abandon airlines and reveal what they’re doing now to take advantage

Smith says that it’s easy for wealthier clients to purchase one and forget about it, attributing to a low attrition rate during the pandemic.

Set Jet is eyeing new markets like the Texas triangle and the Northeast. One route launching in the next year will be between New York and Los Angeles.

A higher membership tier will be required, costing $1,000 per month, and the price of a one-way fare will be $3,500. The Embraer Lineage 1000, the private jet version of the Embraer E190, will fly that route.

Read the original article on Business Insider