Flight Subscriptions: The Economics of SkyHi

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Over the 130,000 miles I flew in 2018 I averaged paying 6.20 cents per flight mile. The Global Flight Pricing report, compiled by the travel planning website Rome2Rio, found that the average cost per flight mile was 11.68 cents in 2017. Wondering if the SkyHi Subscription (SkyHi) would actually be a good deal for an avid flyer, I decided to do a price comparison to actually find how much you would spend per flight and flight mile.

SkyHi Subscription

The SkyHi Subscription starts at $199 per month for 5 flights, plus an additional cost per flight between $35 and $120 depending on the distance traveled. It allows you to book up to 30 days out and can only be used by 1 traveler, confirmed by a passport. As of December 2019, they now offer flights from 99 cities with over 97,766 listed flights.

Also it looks like SkyHi has a partnership with @Delta to offer their connecting flights for less.

I will breakdown these costs in two ways so you can see the opportunity cost for SkyHi in both Flight Price Comparison and Price per Flight Mile

Breakdown based on Flight Price Comparison:

It’s a Monday night in Denver and you are thinking about what you want to do this weekend. You decide you want to go visit a great friend in Portland, OR. After looking at flights leaving after work on Friday and returning before work on Monday, you see that your best option is a Frontier flight that is $159 each way. It would cost a wallet crunching $318 roundtrip to travel to Portland this weekend.

With SkyHi it would cost the monthly fee of $199 + ($35 each way x 2)= for a grand total of $270 roundtrip.

If this sounds like you, you would be saving $48 right off the bat and have 3 more flights to use within the next 30 days!

What is the most SkyHi will pay for a flight?*

To my knowledge SkyHi, buys most of its flights at travel agent prices which in not discounted much. They do have some partnerships with airlines but they are not all published.

$35 flights = around $100 a ticket, up to $160 one way.

$75 flights = around $165 a ticket, up to $290 one way

$120 flights = around $200 a ticket, up to $300 one way

*This is not exact and YMMV.

Breakdown based on Price per Flight Mile (¢/mi):

If you are looking to get the most bang for your buck and travel 5 times every month here is the real cost breakdown on flights traveled with SkyHi:

For Flights Between 0–1000 Miles

If you flew on 5 flights every month the total cost would be $374. The cost per flight breaks down to $74.80 per flight.

(15 cents per flight mile @ 500mi)(7.50 cents per flight mile @ 1000mi)

For Flights Between 1000–2000 Miles

If you flew on 5 flights every month the total cost would be $574. The cost per flight breaks down to $114.80 per flight.

(11.50 cents per flight mile @ 1001mi)(5.75 cents per flight mile @ 2000mi)

For Flights Between 2000–3000 Miles

If you flew on 5 flights every month the total cost would be $799. The cost per flight breaks down to $159.80 per flight.

The demographics that could benefit the most from SkyHi:

Business Traveler:

Professionals that often make last-minute travel bookings and in-person meetings

Spontaneous Explorer:

Students and backpackers traveling abroad to Europe or the US for 1–2 months.

Weekend Warriors:

Open to traveling every weekend to a new destination or take a week off and see 2–3 new cities.

Digital Nomads:

Enjoy traveling and can work from anywhere with an internet connection.

All 4 of these examples have a few things in common they are spontaneous, adventurous, and explorers.

In conclusion: After Looking at the numbers it seems that if you like to travel last minute (within 10 days) and can use all 5 flights every month it would end up being a very good way to save money.

Top 3 concerns with SkyHi:

  1. It’s not perfect for roundtrip travel.
  2. If you don’t use all your flights it will add up quickly.
  3. Flight availability, “I can’t get home!”

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