By Alexander P. Cohen

Abstract
“Uber in the sky,” while catchy, does not accurately capture the business models of Flytenow and AirPooler. Instead, pilots would post to an online bulletin board on a semiprivate website, members would decide which flight to join based on a common destination, and the pilot and each passenger-member would pay a pro rata share of the expenses. This so-called “flight-sharing” is not a new concept. In fact, the Federal Administrative Agency (FAA) explicitly wrote private pilot flight-sharing exceptions into its rules far before Uber or the Internet were even conceived. It was, and still is, permissible for a private pilot to fly others and charge a pro rata share of expenses under FAA rules. So long as the fees charged merely cover costs, the FAA has historically been permissive.

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Recommended Citation
Alexander P. Cohen, Sharing the Skies: The Legal State of “Flight-Sharing” After Flytenow and Current Regulatory Issues with Lyfting the Sharing Economy Off the Ground, 82 J. Air L. & Com. 587 (2017)