Uber of the Sky: ImagineAir


By Raven Lexy

Millennium Magazine’s Raven Lexy takes flight with the leading on-demand air taxi service that aims to transform regional air travel by getting people out of their cars and into planes at affordable prices.

Stuck behind the wheel of a car in traffic for 5 hours is no picnic, especially if you have to be some place on time. In 30 minutes you can get where you need to be, on time, with ImagineAir.

In what could be Uber of the sky, the air taxi service wants to get travelers out of their cars and give them their day back! Just as more and more people are using black cars, flying doesn’t have to be just for the rich and famous. Now more and more people can have access to an aircraft for half the cost the wealthy pay in 3 simple minutes booking online.

According to the airline, the average person takes five times more road trips than long distance flights and that’s the market they want to capture. Most road trips are taken by 1 – 3 passengers, driving 100 – 350 miles. The average cost of a regional flight with ImagineAir is $1,200, for what could normally cost $5,000 to rent a three-seater plane, traditional charter flight. Sometimes ImageAir deals are offered for as low as $799!

ImagineAir recently took me and guests for a flight to East Hampton. It was a calm, clear beautiful sunny day with amazing visibility and views over the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean. My travel started when the airline sent a Lincoln MKX to pick us up outside Penn Station in Manhattan. It was a comfortable quiet45-minute ride from Westchester County Airport where we took off from. Our pilot Dan made us feel comfortable, sharing his years of experience with a flawless flying record, jokes and insight on safety and weather conditions for flying. Before you knew it, the 30 minute flight to East Hampton Airport was over. If you’ve traveled to the Hamptons by car over summer you know the trip averages 3 hours – in normal traffic. What a difference!

Facebook and Napster were started out of college dorms, but an airline? That’s right, the idea for ImagineAir first took off when President & CEO Benjamin Hamilton got the idea while studying at Georgia Tech. Hamilton and college friends, who were flight instructors like himself, wondered how cool it would be for people making short trips, to enjoy the pleasures of flying. Of its flights, 70 percent are business with 30 percent leisure. In 2014 they averaged about 10 flights a day. Some of the same pilots who help start ImagineAir in 2007 are still with the company today ferrying passengers to 900 destinations on the East Coast. ImagineAir has 1,500 unique customers and serves 5,000 passengers a year.

ImagineAir doesn’t want to compete with other airlines and is only interested in serving the 1 million less popular air routes and under utilized airports; the car is the only competition. Small airports, supported by county governments are having trouble explaining their existence and air taxis services could give them new meaning. Plus, most people don’t even know that they live near amateur airports and see them as playgrounds for hobby pilots.

ImagineAir may be cutting the price for air travel, but not safety. With its fleet of 4-seater Cirrus SR22-GTS aircraft, each one can deploy a parachute from the rear to slowly safely lower the plane to ground in an emergency. It has never been used among its fleet. The avionics is more advanced than what is on some commercial airlines. And to make flights more comfortable, you can enjoy Sirius XM radio.

Last year the operator launched an innovative aircraft ownership program that offers seamless booking services. Its Platinum Membership Program allows frequent travelers to take advantage of unlimited flight travel options. The program is the first of its kind program, allowing you to buy your own plane, with all maintenance taken cared of so all you do is simply fly without all the hassles of ownership. This is the only program where a member can fly to any regional airport for no additional cost and are entitled to free flight changes, advances, cancellations and coordination of ground transportation. Members receive over $200,00 in flight credit on ImagineAir’s service in addition to potential tax benefits and savings.

To learn more about ImagineAir, book reservations or hey even “buy” a plane visit www.imagineair.com.