SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Nearly 70,000 people from all over the world expected to attend Burning Man later this summer have a new way to travel to the Nevada desert.
Santa Monica-based Burner Air promises “the most convenient, fast and safe way to travel to Burning Man,” with direct, private flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Reno that deliver you to your camp within minutes of landing.
With round trip tickets starting at $2,199 per person from San Francisco ($2,999 from Los Angeles), Burner Air is appealing to a new brand of “burners” rolling into air-conditioned camps with personal chefs and VIP perks. In recent years, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and now Mark Zuckerberg and other employees from Facebook, Twitter and Uber have started making the yearly pilgrimage, many in private planes.
“Burner Air is the fastest way to burn. Avoid the traffic and travel in style,” the company says on its website, offering several FAA-certified aircraft approved to safely land at the Black Rock Municipal Airport, which doesn’t exist for most of the year.
CEO and Founder of Burner Air Ryan Geist said he started the company out of a passion for music festivals.
It also helped that his fiance’s father is a pilot who opened him up to the possibility of mobilizing charter plane companies to fly to Black Rock City.
Since launching last year, Geist says business is good. His clients include the Winklevoss twins, Virgin Galactic executives, Summit Series leaders and international travelers looking for an easy way to get to the playa.
“We have a great list of contacts,” Geist said. “Our profile includes wealthy individuals looking for convenience but also burners who just can’t afford time and want to get in get out.”
Meanwhile, organizers of the radical freeform art event assure the masses who will have to endure up to 12 hours of long lines of vans and trucks that “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
Tickets cost $390 — up from the $35 in cost to attend 10 years ago. Last year, nearly 66,000 attended the festival, scheduled to take place this year from August 30 to September 7