If you picked up a copy of the Q3 issue of 914INC, you already knew that subscription-based private airline service Beacon Inc. was coming to Westchester. Now the company has launched its trailblazing service, offering round-trip flights from Westchester County Airport to Boston, as well as the Hamptons and Nantucket during summer months. Beacon’s subscription format offers an entirely new way for harried local commuters to simplify their travels.
For a fee of $2,000 per month until October—when the rate will rise to $2,250 per month—subscribers can take unlimited flights from Westchester County Airport to Boston’s Logan International Airport with 10 or more options daily. Flyers can also use the company’s app to queue up to four future flights at any given time, and add family members to the service for an additional fee.
Wade Eyerly, Beacon’s co-founder and CEO, was inspired by such services as Netflix and Hulu when envisioning his business. “Software as a service subscription is very popular in tech,” says Eyerly. “We looked at where we might be able to apply that in industries that haven’t seen much change, such as aviation, which is an industry that is very hesitant to innovate. It really seemed to be a great opportunity.” Additional entrepreneurs Ryan Morley, Reed Farnsworth, and Cory Cozzens joined Eyerly as co-founders to make this concept a reality.
Beacon’s pioneering subscription format hinges upon those who use airlines in their weekly, or even daily, commutes. “Within frequent flyers, there is a group of what we call frequent commuters who fly specifically between the same two cities. For those people in particular, a subscription represents a life altering change,” notes Eyerly.
“We will get you from Westchester County to the Boston Common about as fast as you can get to JFK in your car,” he adds. “This will be most impactful on those high-achieving executives that are forced to make sacrifices [because of] lack of time. One of the things we recently heard was that a client was able to make it home for his child’s little league game for the first time in two years.”
Beyond saving time, Beacon also aims to offer a more personalized and relaxing experience than the average stressful slog through the airport. “What we do better than most is build real relationships with the people who fly with us,” says Eyerly. “We have the same 500 flyers all the time. Instead of trying to make thousands of people happy, we are focused on those people.”
“Our business model, by design, forces us to continue to provide really, really incredible service,” he adds.
This service extends to the way in which flights are booked using Beacon. “With us you are going to book or cancel in 30 seconds and there is no need to comparison shop,” says Eyerly. “You simply tell us when you want to go, where you want to go, and which flight you want to take. It could not be more different from the major airlines.”
Having completed Beacon’s first successful flights over the last few days, Eyerly is already blown away by the response. “People are coming off the plane and saying all the right things,” he says. “It is the culmination of nine months of work from a very dedicated team… It is very fulfilling and validating.”
The future certainly looks bright for Beacon, which plans to expand its service should interest remain strong. Eyerly points to cities including Washington, DC; Albany; Chicago; Princeton, New Jersey; New Haven, Connecticut; and Pittsburgh as potential additions.
Above all, Eyerly feels that Beacon’s business model presents a true advancement in an otherwise stagnant industry. “We really stand at the precipice of what we feel is a very significant change in aviation,” he says. “There will be many others like us, and I think that 10 or 20 years from now you are going to see a huge number of people traveling on a subscription.”