Let’s face it, flying first class isn’t all that its name suggests. Sure, the seats are more comfortable, the service from flight attendants is more attentive and the priority boarding helps. But first class isn’t really first-class treatment once you factor in all of the other hassles that come with flying on commercial airlines. It only feels like first class when you compare it to how everyone else on the plane is treated. Flying privately is a vast improvement, of course, but whether you do that through an individual charter or via a flight card program, the elevated experience that you enjoy comes at a very significant cost.
For years, these two options sat on opposite ends of the spectrum with nothing in between. You either paid handsomely to charter a private flight or you suffered through the inconveniences that pockmark the commercial airline experience. In recent years, however, another option has emerged. Enter Aero, a premium, semi-private jet service where you can book individual seats on scheduled flights throughout the week.
Founded in 2019 and inspired by the golden age of aviation, Aero utilizes a fleet of sleek, black jets with bespoke interiors accented by hand-stitched seat covers made from Italian leather, elegant suede sidewalls, a custom-designed lighting system and Bongiovi sound systems. Whether it’s a 16-seat Embraer 135 regional jet or a 13-seat Legacy 600, all Aero aircraft are designed to offer passengers a seat that is both luxurious and comfortably spaced from the other seats around it.
It gets better—much better. Aero operates out of private terminals, which means travelers can enjoy a streamlined and stress-free experience at the airport both before and after a flight. What exactly does that mean, you ask? With Aero, you avoid all of the headaches associated with flying commercially – no lines, crowds, or waiting. Arrive just 30 minutes before takeoff and effortlessly pass off your luggage to hosts waiting curbside. That convenience alone is worth the airfare. And given the company’s dedicated concierge team— which can source artisan snacks and beverages and offers curated meals through partnerships with Wally’s Wine & Spirits, Catch Hospitality Group, Erewhon Market and other luxury purveyors—you’ll be tempted to arrive earlier just to enjoy that fare. Not to worry, however, those same delicacies (including beverages sourced specifically for you based on passenger request forms) are served in flight, too.
Aero’s concierge team also assists travelers in booking ground transportation and local experiences. In other words, Aero removes those troublesome friction points that recently have made air travel far less enjoyable than it should be.
Currently, Aero operates out of private terminals at Van Nuys and LAX airports in Los Angeles, as well as private terminals at San Francisco International Airport. From those hubs, it offers direct flights to Aspen, Sun Valley, and Los Cabos. The company also flies from London’s Farnborough Airport with routes to Switzerland (Geneva Airport and Sion Airport), Nice, France (Côte d’Azur Airport) and seasonal summer flights to Ibiza and Mykonos.
Aero recently benefited from a wave of capital investments, and it intends to expand its reach to new markets in the near future. As more and more people return to their travel-heavy lifestyles, Aero is destined for even bigger and better things. “Air travel is something that people love to think about,” says Uma Subramanian, Aero’s CEO, “and this product is radically better than the alternatives. You get 80 percent of the value of private travel for 20 percent of the cost.”