An air taxi is a flight charter service, typically operating between small airports, to provide people with on-demand flights to locations within the taxi's service region. A variety of small aircraft, such as very light jets, may be part of such services, offering seats to small numbers of passengers. These services allow people to bypass major airports, cutting down on travel time. Costs vary, depending on the service and the type of flight required.
While an air taxi cannot pick people up at their doors, unless they happen to live next to an airport, it can take advantage of small regional airports and air strips. Such facilities are not as busy as commercial airports, allowing people to tailor their flight schedules to their needs. Individuals can book an air taxi between small airports, or can fly with a group. Some services also offer flights into larger commercial airports, many of which accommodate small aircraft on a separate runway area.
Business travel is the most common reason to use an air taxi service. Businesspeople may need to be able to travel rapidly between various points within a region, and can find it more convenient to use charter services. Air taxis may also be used in rural areas where roads are inaccessible or inconvenient to carry mail, medical personnel, and other people who need to be able to move around. Businesses can contract with a service for regular air taxi trips or may choose to book individual charters as needed.
Individuals can also use air taxis for trips. Some companies focus on individual travel, particularly vacation travel. Rather than operating flights on a regular schedule, they have routes available for people to book when they want to travel. Using small planes on demand can cut down substantially on operating expenses, and these savings may be passed on to customers. In some cases, it may be less expensive to use an air taxi than to take a commercial flight.
Regional air taxi services can be found online and in the phone book. Many regional airports also provide listings of charter and air taxi services that use their facilities regularly. People interested in such services can get information about routes, pricing, and booking policies so they can plan ahead for an air trip. Regular fliers may want to ask about discount and rewards programs for loyal customers, to determine if the service offers incentives of this nature.