Ever had a semi-private flight experience for $19 one-way? Like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Or is it?
Boutique Air is an Essential Air Service carrier. That means the airlines receives a subsidy from the government to provide air service to smaller cities that would otherwise not be able to support an airline. You can book your flights on www.boutiqueair.com
Boutique Air operates out of these airports:
- Alliance, NE (AIA)
- Chadron, NE (CDR)
- Denver, CO (DEN)
- Greenville, MS (GLH)
- Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
- Merced, CA (MCE)
- Nashville, TN (BNA)
- Oakland, CA (OAK)
- Albuquerque, NM (ABQ)
- Carlsbad, NM (CNM)
- Clovis, NM (CVN)
- Dallas, TX (DFW)
- Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
- Los Alamos, NM (LAM)
- Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
- Show Low, AZ (SOW)
- Silver City, NM (SVC)
I did mention a semi-private experience didn’t I… So, Boutique operates the Pilatus PC-12 aircraft. This is a turbo-prop plane that is normally utilized by wealthy executives and charter companies. In a typical charter cabin configuration it will carry 8-10 passengers. The chances of having half the plane to yourself is VERY high. Being that this is Essential Air Service, the plane is going to fly even if you are the only one booked!
The cabin of the PC-12 is insulated for a quiet ride and with just a few souls on-board you should be able to get some real work done!
“Wow that plane is small, I am not getting in that!” Good, more room for us.. just kidding!
Yes, it is a small aircraft, it does have a single propeller, and it does cost about 4.5 million dollars to build. To help your irrational fear, this is a turbo-prop plane, meaning it has a jet turbine engine that spins the propeller, not a gasoline burning combustion engine. You know that high-pitched sound you hear on your big Boeing jet, same thing here, just a little more compact. Jet engines in general are extremely reliable.
So where can I fly to for $19? You can fly from Oakland, CA to Merced, CA for $19 one-way. Keep in mind, the primary purpose of Boutique Air is to provide air service to/from smaller airports. From Merced you can connect to Los Angeles or Las Vegas, even continue onto Phoenix. From Oakland, you can fly to Las Vegas and Los Angeles for $83 and $63 respectively. I like to use google.com/flights to find the best deals and routing then I head to the actual website to book.
As if you needed more motivation to fly semi private at next-to commercial prices, allow me to continue…
The baggage policy. You are allowed up to 35 lbs of baggage at no fee. No frills pricing, just don’t exceed 35 lbs.
Can I change my flight date? Yep, you can change your flight date with no change fee, you will just pay the difference in the fare. If the price of your new flight is the same as your existing one, it is free to change your flight.
Pets? You can bring a small pet in a carrier to ride on your lap for no fee! You will just have to leave the shepard or pit bull at home since there is no baggage hold to put a larger crate.
How early do I need to get to the airport before my flight?
This is the great part, you only need to check in at the counter 30-45 minutes before the flight. The time difference depends on the airport you are flying out of, but either way, you will breeze through as most are being operated from a smaller executive terminal. For example, if you fly out of Phoenix, you will fly out of the Cutter Aviation Executive Terminal. This terminal is about the size of a DMV, in-and-out!
If you are still scared to fly on this small aircraft, watch the video below, this is a very safe, reliable, and well-renowned aircraft! This ain’t yo daddy’s three-seat Cessna, this a $5,000,000 work of art!