One company hopes to make crowded airports, long security lines and lost luggage a thing of the past, at least for its members.
RISE caters to travelers who pay a monthly fee to get unlimited access to 60 flights a week between Houston-Hobby, Dallas-Love and Austin airports.
“We are creating a new category of air travel, filling the void between private and commercial air travel,” said RISE spokesperson Angela Vargo. “[RISE] is built specifically for that frequent business traveler who wants to get more time into their life.”
The service uses small planes that seat about eight or nine people. Since members undergo background checks, passengers skip TSA security lines and walk directly onto the plane.
The company’s flights leave out private aviation terminals, so its members avoid long walks to gates or lines.
“There’s no parking fees, no bag fees and really nothing you associate with commercial travel today,” said Vargo. RISE says it has nearly 1,000 members, but would not give an exact number.
“The pilots are great, they know your name when you walk on,” said member Steve Berglund, who uses RISE to fly between Dallas and Houston three times a week.
“When you factor in all the time lost and the expense of commercial travel, it’s not even comparable how much more beneficial this is.” he said.
RISE says its memberships start at $1,850 per person per month for an unlimited amount of flights between Houston, Dallas and Austin.
We checked commercial airfares for flights between from Houston-Hobby to Dallas-Love for next week. Southwest offered a round-trip fare of $467. If a passenger purchases 4 flights at that price in a month, they would up end up paying more than the monthly fee for RISE.
“I’m from a blue collar family. I have never considered myself a private plane flyer,” said Berglund. “When we saw the price point, it definitely works for my company.”
RISE hopes to expand to San Antonio soon and has long term plans to fly to Oklahoma City, New Orleans and destinations in Arkansas, Georgia and Florida.
In the Houston area, RISE flies from both Houston-Hobby and Hooks Airport in Northwest Houston.
The company has been flying for a little over a year.