Surf Air is a US commuter airline that offers scheduled flights within the US and Europe. The airline is based at Santa Monica Municipal (SMO) and offers commuter flights both within California and Texas. Unlike traditional scheduled airlines, Surf Air sells its flights on a membership/subscription basis. For example, one of the airline's most popular plans charges passengers a monthly subscription and in return, they can book an unlimited number of flights on the airline.
Surf Air was founded in 2013 and initially flew only commuter flights within California. In 2017, it launched flights within Texas and later launched flights within Europe. However, the airline's European venture didn't last long and it decided to stop flying in Europe and focus solely on California and Texas shortly after launch. This was short-lived and in March 2018, Surf Air announced its routes in Europe would launch again with10 new routes added.
The airline doesn't operate its own flights or fly any of its planes. All of its flights are operated by third-party airlines such as Encompass Aviation, JSX and Advanced Air. Surf Air provides these airlines with their own-branded aircraft, with the cabin crew trained to follow Surf Air's operational standards.
Surf Air offers three different membership types to passengers
Surf Air Express is an annual membership that requires you to pay a lump sum each year. In return, passengers can enjoy low prices on fares, access to all of Surf Air's routes and additional member perks.
All-You-Can-Fly is the airline's most popular membership program. Passengers pay a monthly subscription and are can fly as much as they want. It's great for passengers that are regularly flying.
Group is a monthly subscription that allows unlimited travel for a group of people, with up to 10 flights per month. It's designed for companies and families to use to get the most out of the membership.
Surf Air flies to several destinations either within or around California (including Las Vegas), within Texas or Europe. The airline offers commuter flights between destinations that are close together, therefore it doesn't offer flights between California, Texas and destinations in Europe.
Due to the size of the aircraft, passengers can only bring carry-on baggage with them on the flight. This baggage must not weigh more than 13 kg (30lbs) or be longer than 44 linear inches (112 cm).
Due to the short flight times, there's no food and drink service on flights.
There's no in-flight entertainment or WIFI on Surf Air flights. However, all airports that the airline flies from have complimentary WIFI and passengers are allowed to use their own personal electronic devices for entertainment once in-flight.
There's no online check-in for Surf Air flights. But, the check-in process is really straightforward and much quicker than regular commercial flights.
The airline asks that passengers arrive at the Surf Air kiosk with their flight ticket just 30 minutes before the flight to allow time for check-in and boarding. There's no wait time or queues and a member of the Surf Air team will allow passengers to board right away.
Check-in closes 15 minutes before flight departure time, so passengers must make sure they arrive at the airport in advance of this.
Surf Air uses Pilatus PC-12 aircraft, which is designed to carry up to eight passengers per flight. The airline has 12 of these aircraft types within its fleet.
Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) is an airport in Santa Monica, California and the official bases for Surf Air. Although the airport is listed as the airline's official base, in reality, the airline doesn't really use a hub airport and flies point-to-point flights between most destinations within California and Texas. Santa Monica airport has one runway, one helipad and one terminal building. It's scheduled to close in 2028 and will be replaced by a public park.
At the moment, Surf Air is the only airline officially based at Santa Monica Municipal Airport.