Napa Valley is Next Up for Surf Air

New commuter airline offers members unlimited flights to SoCal from Bay Area.

credit Surf Air
credit Surf Air
Napa Valley business air commuters may soon no longer have to endure SFO or Oakland Airport security lines or traffic tie-ups.

An "all-you-can-fly" private air subscription service may soon be available in the Napa-Sonoma Valley area.

Surf Air, a membership-only airline that currently flies small private planes of six to eight passengers between Burbank, San Carlos and Santa Barbara airports, could add a stop in Napa-Sonoma within the next five months.

"We expect to add Napa-Sonoma by the end of this year," Wade Eyerly, founder and CEO of Santa-Monica-based Surf Air, said in a recent phone interview.
"We're doing very well," Eyerly added. "Our first three cities sold out in 11 days."

The Surf Air website shows that there is a "waiting list" for members.

Surf Air, which NBC NEWs Travel calls the "new Netflix of airlines,"  charges a flat monthly rate of $1,650 -- plus a one-time initiation fee of $500 -- for unlimited flights. Members may also bring along friends, family and colleagues for free.

"I am hoping to use their service when we move to Napa, as I plan to commute to L.A. on a weekly/bi-weekly basis," said Brandt Mori, a Surf Air member in Southern California who plans to relocate to his family's newly purchased home in Napa on Oct. 1.

"It's basically like flying private for a fixed monthly fee of $1,650," he said.

"A typical airline commute from the Napa area to Los Angeles takes almost five hours door-to-door," Mori added. "Surf Air cuts this commute time in half."

Surf Air, which launched Nov. 5, 2011, opened its stop at the Santa Barbara airport in Goleta earlier this month on July 10. According to the LA Business Journal, the service is seen as a plus for the tech communities in Santa Barbara to be able to have two daily flights to L.A.

Ditto the comments in a recent Tech Crunch article, which called Surf Air the "Air Travel Startup That's Bridging the Tech Hubs of L.A. and S.F."

According to the Surf Air website, in addition to Napa/Sonoma, there are also plans to expand to Monterey, Palm Springs, San Diego, Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

"We target destinations that are an hour flight from home," the website says. "(A 2- to 6-hour drive)."

According to the LA Business Journal, the company currently employs 24 full-time pilots.

The Wall Street Journal called Surf Air the airline for "The American Riviera."


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