'Netflix for Air Travel': A Consultant's New Best Friend?

Published: Feb 01, 2016

 Consulting       Education       Grad School       MBA       Technology       Workplace Issues       
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By now, we're well-used to the concept of paying a monthly fee for unlimited, on-demand access to something, whether it's episodes of streaming video, DVDs in the mail (remember those?), or, uh, New York Times articles.

There's still a question, however, of how the concept scales when it comes to things that we typically don't consume on a daily basis—especially when those things cost a lot of money. Which makes the model offered by OneGo—a new startup that is aiming to give frequent fliers access to more-or-less on-demand travel—an intriguing one.

According to a blurb on the recently-released app in Bloomberg, options will cost between $1,500 and $2,950 per month, depending on how much territory you're looking to cover. In return, travelers will be able to travel as much as they like, and without feeling the pinch of steep prices for last-minute bookings. As company founder Paulius Grigas put it in the article, "By eliminating those factors like price and payment, you really allow people to focus on where they need to be […] You let them focus on their needs."

While I'd quibble with the notion that paying upwards of $1,500 a month eliminates the price factor altogether, I can see the appeal of the service for someone who travels frequently for work. If it takes off (pun intended), it even has the potential to remake work-life balance in travel-intensive industries such as consulting. Instead of having their resources trapped in a Holiday Inn while they spend days crunching data in an office park that could just as easily be done elsewhere, the service offers the real possibility of assuaging the costs of travel to the point where it could make sense for firms to fly consultants in just to attend meetings and presentations—a wish that surfaces from time-to-time in our consulting survey.

Of course, there are costs to consider too: many clients want 24/7 access to the people they're paying a king's ransom to translate their most pressing business issues into a series of PowerPoint slides. And, oil prices notwithstanding, we're not exactly at a point in history where encouraging the burning of more fossil fuels seems like a particularly good idea.

So what's your take? Would you use this service? Is it the future of business travel, or another doomed attempt to remake the way we live? Have your say in the comments, or find me on Twitter.

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