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Air-pool tries to lift off in Bay Area

A new startup took off in the Bay Area that allows pilots to sell empty seats on private flights to help defray their costs.
April 2, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
We all know about carpools, but how about air-pools? A new startup enabling pilots to sell empty seats on private flights got off the ground on Wednesday in the Bay Area.

Some people think this might save them money and time, but just like ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, they think, this could be a deal. However, airpooler pilots do not get a profit, they pick up passengers simply to defray their costs.

Carpooling gets a modern day makeover with a set of wheels and wings. This week, startup AirPooler partnered with pilots from The Skydance Flying Club and now offers Bay Area flights.

"We don't advertise any specific flights, AirPooler is a platform that pilots come to and passengers come to, to find each other given that they have common destinations," said Steve Lewis, the CEO of AirPooler.

Lewis says pilots use the website to post when and where they are going and the number of seats available. A passenger can catch a ride by agreeing to share the pro-rated cost of gas, taxes and fees.

When asked if it is something David Hanley would be interested in, he replied, "Yes, that would be fantastic."

Some private pilots we spoke to are concerned about FAA regulations that prevent them from getting paid to fly passengers, but private pilot Evan Toolajian hopes the service will take off.

"I think it's a great idea. I've heard of people trying to put this into effect before, with varied success and all I can say is I wish them the best," said Toolajian.

You can find the complete list of flights available at AirPooler.com.


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