In this exclusive Pursuitist Q&A, we talk to Arturo Gomez and Todd Rubin, college football fanatics who founded a new luxe way to get to (and from) the game – Big Game Air, the first-of-its-kind service dedicated exclusively to luxury game day travel.
Arturo Gomez is a former president and partner at Rockit Ranch Productions and partner Todd Rubin also owns sports bar and beer garden Leader Bar Chicago. At present, the duo subcontract with about two dozen Chicago area private jets, and plan to sell individual seats for anywhere between $1,200 and $2,200.
From custom charters for groups to jet hangar parties, Big Game Air patrons will travel same day round trip to their favorite sporting events (often those in college towns that are not easily accessible with commercial air), eliminating the need for hotels, ground transfers and more, all while enjoying the company of like-minded sports fans and enjoying premium food and beverage.
We spoke with the founders to learn more about how the company works.
Q: How does Big Game Air differ from standard private jet companies that work on a charter or per-hour basis, such as JetSmarter or NetJets?
A: Todd Rubin: Well to start, we don’t require a membership fee or a jet card purchase. Secondly, we offer two very distinct products and one of them allows individuals to buy single seats on our jets that are traveling to a regional high demand sporting event. The other is a purely custom trip that we create with our clients. We also not only offer jet service, but on-the-ground transportation, dining and entertainment arrangement in destination cities, as well as unique experiential packages. The level of individual care and creativity to these experiences is unmatched.
Q: How does pricing differ from standard jet rentals?
A: Todd Rubin: When purchasing a whole jet experience from us its actually comparative in dollars but when you consider all the extras and experiential components we add that’s where it begins to diverge quickly.
Q: What types of jets do you use?
A: Todd Rubin: We love to use Heavy jets, such as Falcons, Gulf Streams and Challengers to name a few, but it’s often based on clients’ needs.
Q: How far in advance must one book flights?
A: Todd Rubin: As little as 72 hours and as far a 6 months is what we have seen. Our team can get things coordinated in as little as 36 hours notice.
Q: Must one buy an entire jet, or can they secure single seats?
A: Arturo Gomez: The company offers both options…the most flexibility is when clients buy the whole jet for a unique experience.
Q: What is the “biggest game” in your mind?
A: Arturo Gomez: The Kentucky Derby!
Q: What’s next for Big Game Air?
A: Arturo Gomez: Continue to expand our national footprint [group flights at present only depart from Chicago] and really push the envelope on our offerings as far as experiences are concerned.