OneGo Service Seems Right for Business Travelers

airport photo
Photo by Tibet-5357 – Lhasa Airport – Dennis Jarvis 

I recently came across an article for a new service out there that offers unlimited flights to its customers across the United States. OneGo is the first booking app for subscription-based flying on most major airlines. Sounds interesting, right? At first thought, most of you are thinking that this has got to be extremely expensive or there must be some kind of catch. After hearing about this, I was encouraged by my own curiosity to research more about this. Let’s go over some pricing.

If you live on the West Coast (let’s say LAX), it’ll cost you $1,500 each month to have unlimited flights to as far west as Phoenix and as far north as Seattle/Tacoma. The service allows you to book 7 days in advance, and you can only have 4 reservations on the books at once. That might seem a lot, but let’s go over the numbers. I went to Fly.com and wanted to see what the non-stop prices were from LAX to Seattle/Tacoma to see how many times I would have to fly to meet the $1,500 monthly price tag. If we look non-stop on Virgin America, the price was $399 w/ tax if I book 7 days in advance. Given this case, I would have to make this trip 3.7 (let’s round up to 4) times to be worth the $1,500 monthly price tag. It seems pretty good, no? Well it’d be great for people who make last minute bookings (within the next 7 days) from LAX to SEA. The table below shows the average price from LAX to any of these locations they offer.

Location Avg. Price (Non-Stop) – 1 Week Out Avg. Price (Non-Stop) – 2 Weeks Out
To Las Vegas (LAS) $220 $119
To Oakland (OAK) $247 $85
To Phoenix (PHX) $365 $299
To Portland, OR (PDX) $443 $255
To Reno (RNO) $498 $311
To Sacramento (SMF) $309 $219
To San Diego (SAN) $423 $382
To San Fran (SFO) $375 $265
To San Jose (SJC) $331 $265
To Seattle (SEA) $455 $217
To Spokane (GEG) $466 $438
To Tucson (TUS) $329 $223

If you use the table above and divide $1,500 by the price of the flight above, you’ll determine how many times you’d have to fly to save money if you use this service. If we round up (assuming we always book 1-week in advance), on average, you’ll have to travel at least 5 times to save money using this service. I don’t think a lot of people book 1 week in advance consistently, so I’ve also included booking two weeks out. That allows us to determine what the average price would be if you are “somewhat” flexible. If we average this, you’d have to fly to travel at least 8 times per month. That’s twice every week, or flying to a place (Monday-Tuesday then Thursday-Friday every week). I doubt that many people would fly that much, so it seems like this service isn’t the best.

It doesn’t seem like this service would benefit the average American. They seem to be targeting people who travel at least 4 times a month (at least!). How many people actually do that? Maybe it’s just me, but they’ve seem to have pigeon-holed their target on the 1-2% of the population that has to travel that much (i.e. artists/musicians/businessmen/executives). Now this made me think of how this company could succeed. Let’s give them a few options.

With their current target, it appears that they are targeting a maximum number of people that seems like would minimally increase over time. I would suggest that you can make this subscription transferable. Imagine if your company had a couple of these subscriptions and allowed their employees to enter a contest to win a free month of flying for free. Wouldn’t this be an awesome perk? An employee every month gets free flying for a month. That would be very awesome.

Nevertheless, this service made me think that the subscription business is very strong. Companies like Spotify and Netflix were the true innovators, and you have to hand it to OneGo to try to push this to air travel. The only problem is that I think the price is too high for the average American. I would suggest they limit some of the “unlimited” aspect of this service and price more appropriately to the average traveler (i.e. can’t travel more than 4 times a month, etc.).

Having said all that, I guess we’ll see how this all plays out. Hopefully they figure something out to target to the largest audience to make a profit long term. Key word. Long term.

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Featured Photo by OliverN5