Keynote Speaker Presentation: Up and Away…the Flight to a Unicorn – Post 1

November 29, 2017

By James Jacaruso

Justin Firestone, co-founding partner of Wheels Up, was the keynote speaker at EisnerAmper’s Inaugural South Florida Private Wealth Forum.  Wheels Up is a membership-based private aviation company where members can significantly reduce the upfront cost to fly privately while receiving a great deal of flexibility, service and safety.

Wheels Up is fast becoming known as the “Uber” of private aviation. Their “Shared Flights” program, a revolutionary concept in private aviation: Members propose flights to share among the membership, self-aggregate, share the costs and then book flights according to the agreed specifics of the members sharing a flight.  That is, Wheels Up facilitates through its member app the ability of members to aggregate and arrange for shared transportation.  Wheels Up does not book the flights nor do they offer these seats for sale; they are merely a facilitator. Their aircraft management and logistics are outsourced to Gama Aviation to manage demand control – and all aircraft are equipped with a lavatory, Wi-Fi, Gogo Text & Talk app and a fully stocked refreshment center.  They are fast.

Customer service continues to be their target. Mr. Firestone shared a few of their touchstones:

  • Be the first one up in the morning! Their days start at 5:00 am before their clients get focused on their business day
  • Quick follow up. They respond immediately to members.

Do it right! Their goal is to always do what they say they will do.
As Wheel Up stays focused on its membership perks and cost-effective customer service, they see themselves as well-positioned to become the leader in private aviation services.

About James A. Jacaruso Jr.

James A. Jacaruso Jr. is a Personal Wealth Advisors Group Director with more than 25 years of tax compliance and planning experience focusing on personal and fiduciary income taxation, gift taxation and wealth transfer planning.