Surf’s up: All-you-can-fly membership models are slowly catching on

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LONDON’s Luton airport is not renowned for its quick boarding. But now it is possible to show up there and in 15 minutes be on a plane bound for Zurich. That is thanks to the recent expansion of Surf Air, a small carrier. Though its name may be unfamiliar, its business model is, in fits and starts, catching on.Surf Air claims to be the world’s first all-you-can-fly airline. For a monthly fee, members can travel on as many flights as they want among the airline’s growing list of destinations. The airline was founded in 2013 in California, where it serves 12 cities. This summer it launched a service in Europe, where it flies from London, Cannes, Ibiza and Zurich. Milan, Munich, and Luxembourg are scheduled to join the roster later this year.This flexibility comes with a hefty price tag, however. A membership for the airline’s American network starts at $1,950 a month for a limited plan, rising to $2,950 for the highest tier, which allows unlimited flying in the network and includes periodic free hotel stays. In Europe, the price is £3,150 ($4,155) a month, or about half that to fly only on routes under 600km. Though this can make flying cheaper for frequent business travellers, the most attractive part may be the amount of time it saves. Because it is a private airline using private …

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