Fly Private to Squaw Valley This Ski Season
Wheels Up, a membership-based private aviation company, wants your vacation to start as soon as you step onto your plane, rather than as soon as you arrive at your destination. Not something most people would usually consider, but Wheels Up promises to not only make your flight as safe and relaxing as possible, but also cost efficient and full of benefits and perks. They fly everywhere in the continental U.S., but most recently, the company has partnered with Squaw Valley, one of the most prominent ski resorts in the world.
Wheels Up first and foremost focuses on the safety and efficiency of their aircrafts, but also knows members want more out of their flights than just transportation. Packed with perks and benefits, members pay a one time initiation fee of $17,500, annual dues on the anniversary of their membership of $8,500, as well as a hourly rate as they fly on the brand new King Air and Excel aircrafts.
“We consider it a lifetime membership club, and we try to provide value to our members above and beyond the flight experiences that they have,” explained Mark Sage, Chief Brand Officer for Wheels Up. “In terms of cost perspective, it has all the quality and high-end customer service for an efficient price, with the same standards of safety. Part of your membership is your flight experience and all the operational perks of that, but what we’ve also done is created a program called Wheels Down, which does two things: one being hosting events throughout the year and across the country. Additionally, we have curated a host of unique member benefits to add value to our membership, and that includes access to a concierge service, partnerships, and more.”
One of those partnerships is the Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, California, voted best ski resort in North America by USA Today, home to the 1960 Winter Olympics, and this year’s 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Sage explained that the reason for the partnership is that Wheels Up can provide a solution to people who want to go to the resort. “It’s a long drive from the Bay Area and it’s a tough place to reach, even though it’s one of the most prominent and premiere ski resorts in the world. We can get their top customers there in a very efficient way. We have very like-minded customers and clients and Wheels Up can make it a lot easier and accessible to get the Squaw Valley. They can come on Friday and get home on Sunday night, it extends their vacation a little bit.”
For this ski reason, Wheels Up also added a “shuttle” program so members and guests can “shuttle” from the Bay Area to Truckee Airport from Friday afternoons to Sundays. Members are able to book by the seat, take a flight there and back, and have the ability to get there more efficiently. There is also the rideshare program, where members can offer rides to other members on their flight. “Let’s say you want to go at 2 p.m., but you’re only using four seats on your flight. A member can put it on our app for rideshare, so another member that wants to do the same type of flight can hitch a ride and offset the costs as well,” Sage said. Wheels Up is also offering the perk of “Dawn Patrol”, where members and guests can get on the mountain first thing in the morning before anyone else, activating those benefits as well.
Everything Wheels Up offers is on their app, where members can do everything from book their flights, track their accounts, rideshare, book shuttles, access all events and benefits, and more. With six more weeks of winter ahead, we think it’s the perfect opportunity to grab your skis.