Skyhour: Buying Airline Travel By the Hour
Give the Gift of Air Travel with Skyhour
By Quinn He
Flying, as we all know, can be difficult, stressful, and costly. To think you’re free of that stress when you take that seat on the airplane is naïve and sadly, false.
Buy Travel By the Hour
Skyhour is a company that created a platform for customers to buy and receive skyhours from friends or family.
The skyhours can be used to purchase airline tickets to any destination in the world.
A skyhour is equal to one hour of air travel on over 300 airlines. The cost is $60 an hour and is usually given as a gift to someone, but customers can share a receiving link so friends and family can purchase skyhours for birthdays, holidays, or other occasions.
What is Skyhour?
Skyhour focuses on enabling customers to buy time-based credit they can use to book a flight. If you are purchasing a flight for a gift, all you need to do is purchase a few skyhours and have the receiver fill out the rest of the information. Gifting skyhours is essentially gifting someone the freedom to travel and enabling them to choose where they’d like to go.
A buyer of skyhours is able to gift them to someone either digitally or in-person. After the receiver gets their skyhours, they’re added to the person’s travel balance to fund their traveling.
Who uses Skyhour?
Skyhour seems like it would be the most attractive for young people wishing to vacation and travel on a budget. It’s like giving or receiving an expensive gift card from a family member for the holidays, and $60 for an hour of flight time does feel like an enticing offer.
No longer will people have to tackle the question, “What do I get them for Christmas?” because, as many reviews have made clear, it’s an easy to use service and the skyhours purchased do not expire.
Marissa Rivera, the Marketing Operations Director at Skyhour, said, “This graduation season we’ve seen heartfelt messages from family members to graduates so they could go explore the world when it’s open again.
“Companies looking for innovative employee benefits give skyhours on a regular basis and to recognize professional milestones like work anniversaries and retirement.”
According to a story on The Points Guy, the app was dubbed the “Venmo of air travel,” as the name suggests, the app allows you to gift flight-booking credits to family and friends in the form of “skyhours.”
Fernando Camara, Skyhour’s co-founder and CEO, explained it to the website this way: “Skyhour is the gift that moves you. It is for people who believe the best gifts in life are intangible. By gifting hours through Skyhour, you are giving someone the opportunity to realize a travel dream, no matter how big or small, regardless of the destination.”
One customer, George T., writes, “Skyhour is one of my favorite new sites for booking flights. I had never heard of Skyhour before but used them to book a flight from Minneapolis to Seattle, where we got a better airline for the same price.
“At first, I was nervous having not heard anything about this website, but it was a fantastic decision.
I haven’t used Skyhour to crowdfund yet but I am planning to. Their website is very slick and modern, and the app works well. I would highly recommend them.”
While Skyhour can easily catch the attention of a college student strapped for cash who is looking to get funding for a vacation on Spring Break, the company attracts users who look for a streamlined air travel booking experience.
Is It Worth It?
One important factor to take note of is the cost covered by gifting hours will not always cover the cost of the flight.
Flights are expensive and prices for tickets change throughout the year and there are not many flights across the world out there for $120.
A feature in the app has a search function that allows you to only see flights within your skyhour range so you won’t be paying any out of pocket costs to cover the excess hours.
Whether you’ll actually be able to find the flight you need remains to be seen.
An article from Forbes notes the cost will not always equate the actual price of the flight. Think of it like “even if you gift someone three hours of flight time, which generally covers New York City to say, Tampa, that doesn’t mean that $180 of value will cover the flight.
Those flights are usually around $300.” What it will do though is cover at least some of the cost of the ticket so the receiver will not be spending the whole $300 on a much-desired flight.
You save money with Skyhour by having other people pay for your flight, so in that regard, you do save money.
So, Why Use Skyhour?
One of Skyhour’s main focus point of their service is to provide a convenient air travel booking experience for the user. This is evident through their app and web browser interface.
They aren’t out here to be the saving Grace of cheap flights for a last-minute trip. The company is acting as a middle-man for airline ticket purchasers.
Say you want to give someone an airplane ticket for a gift. You buy them a United gift card with $180 on. This person is able to travel wherever they want, but only on United and technically only to the destinations provided under United. This is where Skyhour comes in.
Instead of buying someone $180 on United, you buy that same amount in skyhours. This allows the person to choose whichever airline they’d like and go all the freedoms that go with it. The only part that inhibits said freedom is $180 in Skyhour only equals around 3 hours of air travel, so you’re limited in that regard.
Skyhour prides itself on being a fast and easy way to purchase tickets for flights and even gift them to others.
Marissa Rivera points out the main goal of Skyhour for customers: “We want our customers to make their travel goals come true – no matter how close or how far from home it is. From going back home for Thanksgiving break to a couple’s first big trip on the other side of the world.
“We take our customers to places they couldn’t have gone before due to the barrier of flight costs by providing a new way to think about flight booking and traveling.”
Gifting someone a few skyhours for their birthday is gifting them freedom, freedom to travel to that destination they’ve been itching to get to.
Since skyhours don’t expire, you can let them accumulate until enough have been stockpiled for that vacation you’ve been planning.
The Points Guy went through the process of purchasing a flight using skyhours to get a first-hand look at what the app has to offer.
After they concluded the purchase, they compared their entire transaction purchase to that of other travel services. He did indeed save money on the flight, but it should be acknowledged that this won’t always be the case.
Other reviewers found on the Apple App Store website find the service helpful and preferable. Some cite the service as not being all it’s cracked up to be like not being able to find non-stop flights, not finding flights that they have status with, and not being able to use a debit card to pay.
Overall, reviews of the service and app describe it as “seamless” and “hassle-free.” Many reviewers find the service to be worth it and helpful in getting their travel plans off the ground. What potential customers should note is there are no other flight options besides the Economy.
For some users, this is where they draw the line, but for others, it’s merely a side effect of travel.
Ease of Use Over the Cost
As mentioned before, Skyhour is no guarantee that, after you’ve located the right flight, you won’t have to pay for skyhours to cover the cost. If you have accumulated enough skyhours in gifts, then you either won’t have to pay at all or your only expenses on the tickets will be a few extra skyhours if you end up going over.
The idea of gifting flight time to someone to use on a vacation is refreshing and unique to airline travel. Skyhour is the GoFundMe of air travel that people may actually be willing to give to. If your “Fund a College Student’s Vacation” page hasn’t been reaching its goal, maybe switch over to a Skyhour account and direct friends and family to funding your travel goals.
Skyhour is a company with a unique take on how/what air travel can look like in the future. They’re making air travel easy and accessible for anyone who has an iPhone or computer, which attracts many of their customers. The company clearly needs to integrate more freedom of choice for more seating options such as First Class and Business to reach more potential customers.
Overall, Skyhour is filling a role in a market of booking sites by making it seamless for someone to do on their iPhone. What makes the company so attractive is its method of looking at air travel. Paying by hours in the air and not miles traveled can sometimes save customers money.