Founders of FlyOtto are offering United Airlines a free on-demand flight for their crew the next time they find themselves in an over capacity situation, to avoid future incidents as was witnessed this week when passenger Dr. David Dao was pulled off an airliner against his will.
“Regardless of who is at fault in this situation, there are so many other options United could have considered to avoid this shocking confrontation with their customer,” said Rod Rakic, an FAA commercial rated pilot, and co-founder of FlyOtto. “For the amount United was willing to compensate their four passengers ($800 each, for a total of $3,200) to make room for their team members, they could have booked travel for this entire crew through FlyOtto.com. We could have booked a comfortable Piper Meridian for just $2,930, with a pick up from Chicago Executive Airport going straight into Louisville International Airport; and we would have gotten them there in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Next time United is in a jam like this, we are happy to provide this service to them at no charge, to demonstrate better alternates for repositioning crews, or helping their customers get to where they are going.”
Rakic and his team of pilots launched FlyOtto in the fall of 2016, offering an innovative online experience for booking on-demand private flights that are easily searchable and provides instant pricing on trips and bookings with departures possible in less than 24 hours. Anyone can use the service and book flights on the internet in a matter of minutes. FlyOtto fully complies with FAA regulations that govern private aviation, making traveling safer while solving supply and demand more efficiently than other concepts, including some car-on-demand apps that have been testing the concept of allowing travelers to rent helicopters and seaplanes during special events, but with limited reach.
“Scheduled airlines only offer access to 300 airports across the country. What most people don’t realize is that we have an astonishing, nearly untapped infrastructure of 5,000 public use airports that are widely accessible in parts of the country that large commercial airports do not service,” said Rakic. “For regional distance flights, the airline industry, as well as travelers, could make better use of these non-scheduled flights that utilize small on-demand airline businesses to make traveling more convenient and less stressful.”
To use FlyOtto, simply go to www.FlyOtto.com and select a pick-up location and destination. In seconds, a map of options is generated showing the closest public use airports and a list of private planes or helicopters available to be booked at varying costs. Select an option and then FlyOtto works to make the match with the private charter company in its exclusive online marketplace. These private, on-demand flights can typically be booked for as little as $1,200 one-way.
FlyOtto plans to integrate splitting and pooling options for travelers in the coming months to make airplane travel even more accessible and affordable. The aircraft available to travelers through FlyOtto includes planes, seaplanes and helicopters that are held to significantly higher maintenance standards than privately flown aircraft. FlyOtto is already adding jets to meet the growing need for on-demand mobility for travelers wanting to go further distances.