Flight Sharing

Flight Sharing Taking off in Europe, Grounded in the U.S.

Last year I reported on the FAA grounding flight sharing services in the United States. I recently came across a new flight sharing service (or as they call it, traveling by coavionnage) in Europe: Off We Fly. They mostly have flights listed within France, but the website is in both French and English so they clearly anticipate expansion to a broader European market.

Off We Fly available flights in September

Off We Fly available flights in September

It looks like in the U.S. the FAA has succeeded in mostly shutting down flight sharing. The AirPooler and Zigair websites have been taken down or hidden, and the Flytenow business is still offering seats in private planes but now targeting tourists with a marketing angle that presumably meets the FAA requirements:

Flytenow connects you with recreational pilots so you can see the world from the sky, experience the thrill of light planes, and visit your favorite destinations without having to sit in hours of traffic.

This is a clever repositioning by Flytenow because they are still leveraging empty seats on private planes: “You can go wherever pilots are already going for round trip or one way adventures.” But until the FAA decision is reversed I don’t expect to see new entrants into the flight sharing market in the United States.

For European travelers, this alternative means of transport between cities could catch on. I’ve never traveled in a private airplane but I’ll keep my eye on Off We Fly for my next trip to Europe.