App lets you book seat on personal plane for as low as $50

BlackBird, a new ride-booking app that connects customers to hundreds of commercially trained pilots just announced that it raised 10 million dollars from Silicon Valley venture firm NEA, according to Forbes

Founder and CEO Rudd Davis hopes to bypass traffic and traveling limits by making private flying significantly less expensive, with rates on the app starting as low as $50. “We believe that driving shouldn’t be the only option for personal transportation,” the company said on its website.

How does it work? Think Uber, but with personal planes. First, you choose where you want to go. Then pick the specific plane you’d like to fly in, based on the price point you’re looking for. Finally, you choose from a list of hundreds of pre-approved pilots, who you meet ahead of your flight at a local airport.

According to Blackbird’s website, every pilot is commercially certified, and “surpasses BlackBird’s own Gold Standard.” Pilots with BlackBird are required, the company says, to be FAA commercial certified with 500-plus flight hours, among a handful of other qualifications. 

Passengers can choose from various flight type options, similar to that of choosing between Uber’s XL and pool services. BlackBird offers a “reserve” and “charter” service for longer flights, which also allows passengers to rent a plane for themselves.  

BlackBird currently works out of several smaller airports in California and New York but plans to open operations in Florida later in 2019. The app is available on both iPhone and Android devices.