US carrier Frontier Airlines is launching an all-you-can-fly pass, joining the many companies rolling out a Netflix-style subscription model.
The Denver-based airline emailed customers who subscribed to its mailing list on Wednesday, saying the “GoWild! Pass” that gives buyers access to “unlimited flights” to “all our destinations” for a year.
The message reads: “In the last year alone, five million seats flew empty, now they could be yours.
“With your new GoWild! Pass, you can be confirmed for your flight the day before you depart for one of your boundless adventures starting Spring 2023.”
“First come, first served, so sign up for early access today and be the first to get the details and access to the purchase,” the airline adds.
No information has been released about the terms and conditions or the cost of the pass.
Customers can sign up for more information on this at this time, with the pass expected to be available by Spring 2023.
Coffee shops like Pret A Manger, automakers like Audi, BMW, and Volvo, and tech companies Amazon and Samsung have all launched subscription models, where subscribers pay a set fee and then use a service as often as they like.
NHS England is even testing a Netflix-style subscription to antibioticsduring t The BBC floated the idea of replacing their license fee with a similar type of user payment.
So perhaps it was only a matter of time before commercial airlines even dipped a toe in the water of monthly or yearly payments.
Frontier Airlines flies throughout the United States and Central America and the Caribbean, to and from airports such as Denver, Las Vegas, New Orleans, San Francisco, Orlando, Cancun and Jamaica.
Fares often start as little as $30 or $40 each way, meaning an annual pass can mean big savings on multiple flights across continents, depending on how much the subscription is upfront.
Thestreet.com noted that the wording “available more than 300 days a year” in the email suggested that there would be peak periods of blackout dates for passport holders when they cannot book flights, but the wording in the email did did not seem to indicate that there would be a cap on the number of flights.
In February, Alaska Airlines introduced a similar system where passengers paid a subscription fee to take six, 12 or 24 non-stop flights per year on select West Coast routes and use the trips wherever and whenever needed.
The Alaska price starts at €49/€49.50 and goes up to €199/€200 for the maximum number of flights per year.
Star Flyer, a Japanese airline, also introduced a monthly subscription for business travelers who fly regularly between Tokyo and Fukuoka.
It costs between 200,000 yen (€1,358) and 400,000 yen (€2,718) per month and allows unlimited flights between these two cities.
However, Frontier must obtain strict legal notices regarding the flights designated as “unlimited” for GoWild! passport holder.
One of the most notorious cases of an “unlimited” flight pass gone wrong was American Airlines’ “AAirpass,” which was introduced in 1980.
New York investment banker Steven Rothstein bought the unlimited pass in the 1980s for $250,000/€252,000 and spent the next 25 years flying non-stop first class.
The airline stopped selling the pass in 1994 and stripped it of Mr Rothstein in 2009 for “fraudulent use” and saying his trips cost them $500,000 a year.
In response, the investment banker sued the airline for breaching a deal positioned as “unlimited.” The case was not resolved until a summary judgment ruled in favor of American Airlines in June 2011.
https://www.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-news/us-airline-plans-all-you-can-fly-subscription-for-unlimited-flights-42110995.html US airline plans all-you-can-fly subscription for unlimited flights