KinectAir is a new name in the world of aviation and travel, and it hopes to disrupt the airline industry as notably as Uber did to transport services.
While still very much getting off the ground (pun always intended), KinectAir is growing its fleet rapidly. Their goal is to reach a critical mass sooner than later that would allow small-plane transport to be an affordable, efficient, and on-demand option.
In January of 2023, Sophie and I were contacted by someone with the company to join them on a scenic flight to the San Juan islands in the Pacific Northwest. No terms, payment, nor obligations were set, just an invitation to occupy two empty seats to experience what KinectAir was all about.
In this post, you will read all about our flight and find an honest review of our experience. If you have had or are considering a maiden voyage of your own, we’d love to hear about it in the comments at the end!
🧑✈️ What is KinectAir?
KinectAir is a start-up company out of the Pacific Northwest focused on bringing the “ride share” concept to the aviation industry by making small-plane transport available by app.
Their primary advantage is the ability to use ANY non-commercial airfield for pick-up and drop-off, bypassing the pains that come with major airports.
In addition, the flight experience itself is substantially improved as all passengers get a window seat and private class experience, in addition to on-demand scheduling.
Eventually, KinectAir hopes to grow their fleet large enough to service the continental US such that users can order a private or group-share plane via app, much like ordering an Uber.
🛫 Is KinectAir Legit?
KinectAir is reputable and trustworthy, with all information on its executive team, investors, and advisors publicly available.
The company is, however, still a young start-up and is far from peak operation, though they have begun providing limited services.
🌎 Pros and Cons of Flying with KinectAir
Pros of Flying with KinectAir
- Local pick up and drop-off
- Private class experience
- Guaranteed window + lower altitude = Better views
- On-demand flight scheduling
- No TSA nor major airport hassle
Cons of Flying with KinectAir
- Short haul only
- Availability is still very limited
- More expensive than commercial
- Not yet at full-service capacity
💸 Is KinectAir Worth It?
KinectAir is a fantastic option for small groups requiring short-haul transport, especially to remote destinations. This could be an executive outing, bachelor party, family ski trip, or similar.
Flying with KinectAir is not a good option for long-distance flights nor budget travel (for the moment, anyway).
Eventually, the company hopes to more effectively and affordably serve individual passengers. As KinectAir’s airline fleet grows, the ability to schedule flights as part of a ride share decreases customer pricing and increases availability.
🛩 Who Should Fly with KinectAir?
Until KinectAir reaches critical mass, their services are best utilized by small groups traveling short distances to remote destinations. Some examples of customers within their current target niche include:
- A business sending employees and/or executives on a golf or ski weekend.
- A destination bachelor or bachelorette party.
- A family traveling to a remote destination such as the San Juan Islands.
- A group of fishing friends angling in a remote wilderness.
Eventually, KinectAir hopes to offer their services as an affordable and time-efficient option for individuals and couples willing to travel via a small-plane ride share. Affordability and availability will both improve as KinectAir grows its fleet and user base.
🙋♂️ KinectAir Personal Experience & Review:
My First Flight with KinectAir
This section will detail my personal experience flying with KinectAir for the first time. This includes my thoughts and feelings on every step of the process you can expect when booking with them.
As Sophie and I were invited to occupy two empty seats at no cost, we will not discuss the experience in terms of value as this is something we cannot fairly assess.
As already stated, this is an honest and genuine review. We were not charged for our seats, but they were only accepted on the condition that no terms be set that could inhibit our ability to freely express our opinions.
📲 Booking Process
We were contacted directly by email by someone with the KinectAir team wondering if we were available and interested in occupying two seats on a next-day flight from Hillsboro, Oregon at noon.
We responded that we were indeed interested, but that we had moved to Vancouver, Washington just a week prior. Instead, they scheduled our pick-up for Pearson Field… literally within walking distance from our new apartment.
Obviously, this will not be the typical booking process for most passengers, but was about as good as it can get for us!
🛬 Airport Pickup & Drop-off
As the plane we would be traveling in was coming from Central Oregon and headed north to Orca’s Island, KinectAir was able to pick us up at any airfield we liked. We gave them our address and they picked us up promptly at Pearson Air Field, located within literal walking distance of our front door (1.1-mile walk).
We arrived at the airfield and were greeted promptly by Ben of the KinectAir team, who showed us to our plane. Within minutes, we were in the sky enjoying views of the incredible mountains that are scattered throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Our drop-off was equally easy, arriving promptly and without any hassle with airport security or baggage checks, etc.
🗺 The Itinerary
Sophie and I were more interested in the photo opportunities than the destination, so we were happy to go anywhere. That anywhere happened to be Orca’s Island, located in a remote archipelago in the San Juan Islands near the Canadian border.
After being picked up at our home in Vancouver, we made one stop at a small airfield in Seattle. We grabbed a quick coffee while another passenger joined us and our group was off to the islands again in no time.
We landed on Orca’s Island a short time later. We walked to a local restaurant called The Lower Tavern, which served the best hamburger in the Pacific Northwest according to most.
You can now count Sophie and me as part of that collection; this was a seriously incredible hamburger!
We departed the San Juans to return home after our meal with the hopes of catching and photographing an incredible sunset from the skies, but the typical northwest clouds canceled that.
🥂 The Flight Experience
Summary: Private-class beats first-class any day!
Many people are fearful of small-plane flights, but we found the experience to be incredible!
The flight was smooth even on a cloudy day and in the one instance of minor turbulence, we were informed to expect the small interaction beforehand leaving us confident that all was well throughout.
The views were unbeatable, of course. Each person gets their own window and flying at the lower elevations means much better photos and scenery.
The seats were plush and the legroom ample. Wine and beverages were offered (and accepted), all of which combined to create the feeling of being people who could actually afford the private-jet lifestyle, if only for the day.
This appears to be what KinectAir is going for; an affordable luxury option for people who value time, comfort, and experience.
💬 In Summation
Sophie and I both thoroughly enjoyed our day with KinectAir and as people with a vested interest in the travel industry, we will be keeping a close eye on this company’s growth.
We would gratefully accept any spare seats they decide to offer for the time being and will always keep them in mind for a small group special occasion, but would be unlikely to book them for local travel until their fleet is large enough to reduce the cost per seat.
We were able to meet a few members of the team and became fast friends with every one of them. As a company and culture, we have nothing but positive things to say.
Their goals are lofty and seemingly distant, but they will have two new fans and vocal supporters if they are able to achieve them and reach critical mass.
🤔 Final Thoughts on Traveling with KinectAir
The two of us work very hard to create these free travel guides to help you plan your dream vacation. If you think we’ve done a good job and would like to say thanks, please consider clicking the donate button below 🙂
I truly hope you have found this personal KinectAir review useful in whatever capacity you were seeking information.
This is a company we are very excited about and will be monitoring their growth closely. It’s not often someone comes along with an idea that could genuinely change the entire travel industry but, if successful, that is exactly what KinectAir will do.
Now we’d like to hear from YOU!
Do you have any unanswered questions? Concerns? Compliments? Help us help others by sharing your thoughts in the comments below!