If we can subscribe to something like Apocabox – if the world comes to a predictable monthly regular billing schedule – why can’t we subscribe to other travel services? This market gap is gaping, but it won’t be for long as subscriptions go on vacation.
JetBlue introduced this way back in 2009 as their All-You-Can-Jet program, which, while well received, eventually ended and now only exists as a lottery where the lucky ones can win tickets.
A few years later, United Airlines took up the challenge with its United Subscription offerings, albeit for things like airport lounge access and extra legroom. Everything is good, but we want more.
All this was before the subscription boom in 2020, which greatly accelerated a love affair that had been slowly forming for more than a decade, but never reached its destination. A push was needed. We are now seeing growing activity in travel subscriptions as airlines, rental car fleets and lodging lock in recurring income to boost cash flow and instill loyalty like few models do.
Alaska Airlines was the first to enter the fray in 2022, announcing its new Flight Pass subscription in the first quarter. Plans start at $49 per month, allowing members “up to 24 round-trip flights per year on California’s most popular routes, as well as non-stop flights from California airports to Reno, Phoenix, and Las Vegas at a flat monthly rate.” ,” he said.
Alaska Airlines is promoting Flight Pass as “a new way to fly that allows travelers to lock in core cabin deals for an entire year and rewards subscribers with below-average fares on eligible flights.”
On Thursday (June 9), NerdWallet reported that “rather than trying to be everything to every traveler, Alaska’s subscription has focused on a narrow niche: young Californians with great wanderlust and flexible schedules. According to Alaska, just under half of our subscribers are Millennials or Generation Z.”
It’s a win for the West Coast millennials, but what about the rest?
Luxury wants in
On Thursday, luxury travel subscription service Inspirato announced the debut of its new Inspirato Select subscription service. For a small investment of $24,000 per year (and don’t forget the $2,000 entry fee), participants can choose from over half a million great ride options. And what could it be at such crazy prices?
The press release teases “a long weekend in a five-star New York City penthouse, four nights in a multi-million dollar four-bedroom residence at a luxury resort in Los Cabos, a six-bedroom villa with ocean views and a private pool.” for four nights in the British Virgin Islands, nine wonderful nights in luxury at one of Chicago’s finest five-star hotels” and “a five-night four-bedroom residence in the heart of Colorado’s Vail Village.”
Sounds great. You may be wondering, “Can I book them without spending $24,000 a year to access through a certain…