A beach getaway should be relaxing, but let’s face it: Getting there can be really, really stressful. You rush your family to the airport two hours before your flight, pay practically your airfare’s worth in parking, then make your way to your gate, tapping your foot impatiently as the security line crawls forward. When you finally make it through, you look anxiously at your watch, only to realize you still have 40 minutes to kill before takeoff.
One company understands the hassle of just getting to your destination, so it started offering affordable round-trip flights—no security line necessary.
Air Unlimited flies every day between Orlando, Florida, and two Bahamas locations: Treasure Cay and Marsh Harbour. Each trip carries just nine passengers, meaning there’s no need for long TSA waits. Show up just 40 minutes before departure with your passport, let the crew check your family’s bags, and hop onboard. As with any flight, Air Unlimited doesn’t allow hazards like aerosols and torch lighters, but the small plane means you don’t need to squeeze all your carry-on toiletries into a quart-sized bag.
As a bonus, you won’t need to deal with airport parking lots. A plane ticket gets you free valet service, and your car will be ready “literally just steps away from your aircraft,” says Air Unlimited co-founder Captain Mark Neubauer. Check out these other 12 golden rules for stress-free air travel.
It sounds like the kind of experience reserved for the rich and famous, but you get that luxury service without the luxury price tag. As long as you buy more than two weeks ahead, a round-trip ticket will set you back $684 any time of year, which is on par with some commercial seats you’ll find on the islands’ peak seasons—but with the bonus of a private plane and a direct flight. The prices can stay fairly low because the flight is a certified commuter air carrier with the Department of Transportation, so the company can sell seats on its way back to the base, says Neubauer. “This allows us to spread the cost of the flight for both legs (departure and return), making our prices more affordable than a traditional charter flight,” he says. Learn about the 10 best (and worst) airlines in the world.
Kids will flip for the Junior Pilot program that offers six- to 17-year-olds an inside look at what it takes to fly a plane. “This program allows children to meet the captain behind-the-scenes for a pre-flight briefing, greet the passengers and help explain the safety procedures, listen over the headset live to ATC to learn about the fundamentals of flight, and enjoy sitting on the flight deck,” says Neubauer. After the flight, eager kids will come home with a photo, certificate, and their own set of wings. Follow these air travel tips before your next flight for the greatest trip possible.
So far, Air Unlimited has gotten unanimously five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Facebook. “By far [passengers’ favorite part is] the personal service, which is free of the typical commercial airline hassles, such as long security lines, lost baggage, missed connections, large airports with long terminal walks, expensive parking, and ever-changing gate assignments,” says Neubauer. “Many of our passengers say they would never fly a larger commercial carrier to the islands again.” Before your next flight, memorize these 16 air travel mistakes you need to stop making.