The StraightLine ...

An Introduction to StraightLine By CEO Tom Filippini

The Genesis of StraightLine

Creating world-class, extraordinary travel experiences – for myself and others – has been my lifelong passion. The inspiration for StraightLine has its roots in one of my earlier ventures — when I founded Exclusive Resorts, the world’s largest and most respected luxury destination club, now owned by AOL Founder Steve Case. Many of Exclusive Resorts’ jaw-dropping properties are in the most beautiful — but most remote — parts of the world.

With constricting airline flight schedules, reaching many of these destinations is a real pain.

Commercial flights to remote airports typically involve long layovers, inconvenient flight times and all of the hassles that come along with airline travel these days. Moreover, the airlines — accessing fewer than 400 of the nation’s 5,000 airfields — rarely fly into the closest airport, so long ground commutes are the norm.

The Exclusive Resorts’ members that have access to private aircraft are able to bypass the enormous hassle of flying commercial, set their own flight schedule and fly directly to the nearest airport — often several hours closer. As we were feverishly building Exclusive Resorts, I was occasionally afforded the opportunity to fly private to reach as many locations as quickly & efficiently as possible. The inspiration for StraightLine has its roots in one of my earlier ventures — when I founded Exclusive Resorts, the world’s largest and most respected luxury destination club, now owned by AOL Founder Steve Case.

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StraightLine was created to fix three big issues plaguing the private aviation industry. 

  • Most programs own & operate a "fixed fleet."
  • Aircraft mismatch.
  • Corporate overhead; sales & marketing costs.
  • Private equity & hedge fund backing.

Many of Exclusive Resorts’ jaw-dropping properties are in the most beautiful — but most remote — parts of the world. With constricting airline flight schedules, reaching many of these destinations is a real pain. 

Commercial flights to remote airports typically involve long layovers, inconvenient flight times and all of the hassles that come along with airline travel these days. Moreover, the airlines — accessing fewer than 400 of the nation’s 5,000 airfields — rarely fly into the closest airport, so long ground commutes are the norm. The ER members that have access to private aircraft are able to bypass the enormous hassle of flying commercial, set their own flight schedule and fly directly to the nearest airport — often several hours closer.

As we were feverishly building Exclusive Resorts, I was occasionally afforded the opportunity to fly private to reach as many locations as quickly & efficiently as possible. From the moment I first experienced flying private myself, I was hooked.

Choosing to fly into any airport, at any time was life-changing.

It was so powerfully convenient that I was determined to figure out how “it really works” so that I could enjoy it more frequently and help others navigate the complex landscape of private aviation. I didn’t ever anticipate that the secrets I uncovered would lead to a disruptive private aviation business model. As I dug in to understand traditional private aviation businesses, I uncovered several “fatal flaws” that contributed to the exorbitant costs levied by the big name jet companies.

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