I saw the linked article, this evening. Their service offers concern me. Here’s why. Please click on the link, below, to visit the Blackbird website. Let me state, from the outset, that there are ways to offer these "pay per seat" programs, but in 33 years, I can only think of one company that has managed to do so, legally, versus at least a dozen that failed, for a variety of reasons.
Blackbird Ride-Sharing Service
I have seen more than a dozen companies attempt to provide business aviation flights by the seat or by the mile. Services that promise to find you a seat on a shared private airplane are routinely flouting FAA or DOT rules. Something that they do not share with potential customers upfront.
The bottom line is that all aviation services fall under both FAA and DOT rules. The FAA can meet aircraft as they arrive and leave any airport in the United States. They are also entitled to check the type of flight and the credentials of the pilots and passengers. These checks are called “ramp checks“. Unfortunately, as a number of my clients have found if there are violations of any F AAA or DOT rules the liability is with the passengers and not the owner or operator of the plane.
My advice, as I see the market for business aviation recovering, is that you take a close look at the rules under which each service company is operating. I offer free access if you would like to call me, or send me an email, and have me check these companies for you. Even if I do not know them, already, I can very easily do background checks to see if the services are legal or simply too good to be true.
When we see nascent market recoveries, innovative services very quickly start to emerge. The trouble is that many of the founders do not have a solid enough grounding in FAA regulations to realize they are violating rules that place your money and yourselves in potential legal hot water..
Caveat emptor: buyer beware! Call us if you would like to fact-check new companies, or new service ideas.
our blog author
Michael Riegel is a business jet designer, former head of global marketing, strategic planning & product planning for industry leader, Bombardier. Riegel is also unique in that he has run highly successful businesses in the charter, fractional, whole business aircraft and bizjet management markets, making his advice, and analysis grounded in reality and not the guesswork offered by the vast majority of consultants who haven't ever been employed by leading business aviation companies..