How would you like to fly on a private jet to a tropical destination and then land on the water in a seaplane right next to a yacht in a remote anchorage that’s waiting for you and your family? Sounds like the pinnacle of luxury and connivence, right? Well, it is. And it’s easier to do than ever now that Wheels Up and Tropic Ocean Airways have teamed up to “take the friction out” of the luxury travel experience as Lee Applbaum of Wheels Up says.
Applbaum talks pretty fast as he explains the new strategic partnership and minority investment that Wheels Up has made in Tropic Ocean Airways, the world’s largest amphibious airline and leading provider of last-mile private charter and scheduled service in Florida, the Northeastern United States, the Bahamas, the Caribbean.
And he’s quick to point out their multiyear commercial agreement is the latest step by Wheels Up in its efforts to offer a seamless first- to last-mile travel solution for its members and customers. The agreement provides for the integration of Tropic Ocean’s charter and certain scheduled by-the-seat services into Wheels Up’s services, and Wheels Up members and customers will be able to directly book and pay for travel on Tropic Ocean flights through their normal Wheels Up booking channels.
That all makes perfect sense to me. But the light bulb over my head really powers up when he says, “We believe people are starting to care more about ‘traveling well’ than just being ‘well-travelled.’”
“It’s not necessarily only about the number of stamps in your passport or how many trips you take,” he continues. “It’s the quality of the trips that you take—the aircraft you fly, the resorts you stay at, the yacht that you charter, the food that you eat, the wine that you drink—that people are really starting to look for companies like ours to provide.
“For example, our partnership with Tropic Ocean is about really helping our members travel well. It’s interesting because we have a really unique opportunity here because most travel is focused on what happens in the middle—the yacht, hotel or resort etc. We are working to make getting there as luxurious as being there.”
Take it from me. There are more than a few yachts in the Bahamas and South Florida that will be way more fun and relaxing to join via seaplane instead of schlepping through multiple airports and crowded marinas to get there.
If you can afford it, why would you ever travel any other way?
Sign. Me. Up.