The internet age, marked by a host of advancing technologies and breakthrough inventions, has fundamentally moved society forward. Yet, for all the progress we have made, there still remains a select few, cornerstone industries, that are lagging far behind the modern standard.
The airline sector, being one of those spaces, is ill-resourced and ill-prepared to deal with the scale of the growing, global economy. It is largely built on antiquated, pen and paper infrastructure plagued by human error and expensive intermediary fees. Furthermore, the intense competitive structure of players in the ecosystem decrease margins, misalign incentives, and provide for an extremely negative user experience. In unpacking this $1.5 trillion industry, however, it is easy to see the tremendous amount of low hanging opportunity.
If you are a frequent flyer or even just an occasional travel goer, you are likely more than familiar with the nightmare that is booking, planning and organizing your trip. Plainly put, the “flight booking” process is broken, inefficient, and cumbersome. Booking airline tickets and optimizing your trip is unnecessarily stressful, time-consuming, and stressful to deal with. And although there are a few travel hacks you can employ to “work around the system,” there is no stable system for booking, stress-free, with certainty. This not only negatively affects consumers, who are simply looking for a pleasurable travel experience, it also hurts airlines, as they have no truly reliable measure for predicting consumer demand. Empty seats have a number of downstream effects, most notably lower margins and higher prices for customers.
It is this exact nightmare of a situation that SkyHi, a high growth startup, is solving with their new subscription flight membership that empowers consumers with a membership to the modern day, internationally accessible travel club. Developed by a team serial entrepreneurs and industry experts, their platform is truly revolutionizing the conventional travel model.
For a low monthly fee, members can fly up to five times per month, traveling to destinations up to 1500 miles from their current location. Using the SkyHi mobile application, travelers gain access to all of the upcoming week’s flights and can seamlessly claim a seat on any available one-way flight in the feed. You simply pay a low fixed cost for each seat you take. There are a number of airlines available via the app, including low cost carriers like EasyJet and RyanAir as well as more traditional airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, and JetBlue.
By empowering the consumer with the ability to fly spontaneously, they are opening up a whole new class of travelers - people who value flexibility, curiosity, and adventure. This model makes a ton of sense for the creatives among us, like freelancers and young professionals, who have the disposable income and job flexibility to be able to take some risks and live life with a bit of uncertainty.
An important component of the SkyHi archetype for this industry is that it not only makes the consumer better off, but also the airlines and other parties. With a number of active subscribers, SkyHi will be able to dictate the flow of demand, filling supply when necessary and reducing the number of empty seats for the industry as a whole. Over time, this supply/demand matching process will help airlines reduce inefficiencies and poor forecasting. And in eliminating unnecessary overages, airlines will be able to provide better for the customer, a net win for all parties.
SkyHi’s rapid growth is just the start of an international shift towards the digital age. They represent just one of the many upstarts working to make a dent in the modern economy. In revolutionizing the traveling space, they will contribute to a growing movement in connecting the world, enabling everyday citizens to experience more for a fraction of the price.