A New Airline's Quirky Search for Customers
A New York flight to London is no big deal—just 6 or 7 hours—a bit more than flying to California.
So I gawked at ads running in The New York Times last February announcing an all-business-class airline, Eos, offering flights from New York's JFK to London's Stansted from $1,425 to $3,250 one way. That's $2,950 to $6,500 round-trip or $5,900 to $13,000 for two people. Taxes and fees that run $100+ per person are extra.
That's a lot of money for just 12 hours in the air.
The Eos Model
In Greek mythology, Eos is the winged goddess of dawn. In 2006, Eos is the brainchild of 38-year-old David Spurlock, a former senior executive with British Air who rounded up $87 million from the venture capitalists plus another $100 million in lease financing.
Spurlock's premise is to customize Boeing 757s—normally configured to carry 220 passengers—so that just 48 guests each have 21 square feet of space, including a 78" lie-flat bed and "boutique" catering.
The bottom line: The cost is less than walk-up business class on British Air and Virgin Atlantic, while the experience and the amenities are promised to be far superior.
Among the goodies offered:
- Curbside escort if you're running late
- Luxury passenger lounge at Kennedy (actually the Emirates facility) with full buffet, wines and bar.
- With Stansted Airport's smaller, more efficient layout, it is promised that you'll save as much as 45 minutes getting to London.
- "Best-in-class meal service and flight entertainment"
- "With 21 square feet of personal space, Eos offers plenty of room for face-to-face dining, group meetings, or just a good night's rest."
I don't have a problem with a high-powered businessperson on a crazy schedule blowing big bucks for a business trip—whether it's first class commercial or a corporate jet.
A Rich Business Flier I Know