CHICAGO, IL -- Holiday travel is expected to soar this season according to AAA who estimates 93 percent of all travelers (approximately 85.7 million people) will drive to their destination, while 2.75 million travelers are expended to fly. Both travel statistics are up several points from last year with holiday travelers expected to spend $694 per person. But there is an untapped deal that few travelers are aware of according to the newly launched FlyOtto that says you can put that same amount of money towards a more luxurious and less stressful travel experience that, in the end, will buy you more holiday time with friends and family.
"In the United States we have an astonishing, and nearly untapped infrastructure of 5,000 public use airports that are widely accessible in parts of the country that large commercial airports do not service," said Rod Rakic, a FAA commercial pilot and co-founder of FlyOtto. "We've created a new experience for the everyday traveler. If you anticipate traveling 4-8 hours by car, FlyOtto is a viable, safe, accessible option that can get you there quicker in your own private plane."
Rakic and his team of pilots launched FlyOtto in September, the first of its kind online experience for booking on-demand private flights that is easily searchable and provides instant quotes on trips and bookings with departures possible in less than 24 hours. It's a concept that automobile black car on-demand apps have been toying with (allowing for customers to rent helicopters and seaplanes during special events) but have not fully executed. Some of these companies expect to have on-demand personal flights up and running in the next 10 years but the aviation experts with FlyOtto have made that vision a reality that travelers can use now. The biggest difference with FlyOtto is that their approach is designed to comply with the FAA regulations that govern private aviation, which makes traveling safer, they are solving supply and demand more efficiently than any other company.
"Our company is made up of pilots so we know the rules and regulations when it comes to aviation; customers will always have that assurance when using FlyOtto," said Rakic who also volunteers as a Civil Air Patrol officer. "Every pilot is operating under the FAA's Federal Air Regulation Part 135, which is subject to strict oversight by FAA and TSA and means pilots must have a commercial license and the plane is certified and part of a small airline business; these are simply airlines that hold non-scheduled flights so you have the luxury to book them at your convenience."
There is no membership required to use FlyOtto. The traveler simply goes to www.flyotto.com and selects a pick-up location and destination. In seconds a map of options is generated showing the closest public use airports and list of private planes or helicopters available to be booked at varying costs. The traveler then selects an option and FlyOtto works to make the match with the private charter company.
Large commercial flights only have access to 300 airports across the country. The advantage of using FlyOtto is having access to 5,000 public use airports located in underserved communities that are more difficult to travel in and out of, especially on short notice. FlyOtto is ideal for passengers traveling with pets or children who want to skip the extra hassles of boarding; it's also ideal for people with time constraints or those carrying luggage that requires more scrutiny at commercial airports (i.e.: hunters, photographers, or anyone with precious cargo). Private, on-demand flights can be booked for as little as $1,200 one-way. If you have three passengers, the travel cost becomes more economical than flying commercial or wasting time and money in traffic driving. Aircraft available for use includes planes, seaplanes and helicopters that are held to significantly higher maintenance standards than privately flown aircraft.
"Our company is named after one of the first pioneers in aviation, Otto Lilienthal, whose innovations with gliders paved the way for the Wright Brothers, Boeing and SpaceX," said Rakic whose 20-year career has been focused on virtual innovation for the user experience. "Lilienthal created this idea that it was possible for anyone to fly. With FlyOtto we also want everyone to know it is possible to fly and more importantly on their own terms and schedule."
On-demand air charter is a growing $15 billion business but Rakic says most of this is fueled by jet travel. FlyOtto is looking to generate more airplane travel for the everyday traveler looking to have that same black car service they are now accustomed to accessing on the ground, but just in the air. To book flights anytime visit, www.flyotto.com.