This Private Airline Club Promises Ridiculously Cheap First Class Flights (Video)
A new service is preparing to launch flights next year, with one-way tickets available starting at $280.
When AURA launches next year, it hopes to combine “the luxury and convenience of a private jet with the affordability and reliability of an airline.”
AURA will operate out of small private airports in major U.S. cities, offering flights on CRJ700 Bombardier regional jets. Because private jet passengers don’t need to deal with the hassles of the typical airport experience, the company says passengers would only need to arrive at the hangar 20 minutes before takeoff.
There will be 29 seats on each plane across two classes of service, “FIRST” and “WAVE.” FIRST is not actually first class — these passengers are the main cabin. Each seat will have 44 inches of seat pitch, offering the most legroom in any domestic first class, according to AURA. (For the sake of comparison, major airlines' first class on domestic flights offers anywhere from 37- to 42-inch seat pitch, while a typical economy seat has 30 inches.) Premium offerings are the eight WAVE seats. The custom Swiss-designed zero-gravity AÏANAWAVE seats can lie completely flat and were designed with input from sleep psychologists and aero-medical scientists.
Although at first glance, the interior may look like a typical private jet, AURA says the cabin will be immersive. OLED displays turn the cabin walls and ceiling into starry night skies or vibrant sunsets. Passengers will be able to don a VR headset linked to a 360-degree camera on top of the aircraft. When passengers enter VR, they will be able to experience their flight as if they were sitting atop the plane. There’s also complimentary Wi-Fi on all flights and an iPad Pro available at each seat.
AURA is trying to distinguish itself with its in-flight meal offerings. FIRST passengers can dine on tapas from around the world. WAVE passengers get a step up. About 24 hours before departure, passengers can choose a cut of beef, lamb, chicken, duck or fish from the “MEATLOCKER.” An onboard chef will cook the meat sous vide to your liking. Both classes can order from a fresh sushi and sashimi menu.
AURA will operate flights between New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta and Denver. During events like Sundance, SXSW, Coachella and Art Basel, the airline will charter additional flights. Seasonal flights to the mountains of Aspen or beaches of the Hamptons will also be available.
The airline is offering a membership program. For $100 per month, passengers can become “Keyholders” which allows access to lower price points on all flights (it works out to about half-off all routes).