Jonathan Weisberg, former employee at the Boeing Company, JetBlue Airways, and founder of Weekend Jetsetters, shared his thoughts and advice on the aviation industry and travel efficiency in a talk on Tuesday, Sept. 26.
The audience consisted of a medium-sized group of undergraduate students, some of whom were members of the University’s Aviation Club. The event was carried out in a casual conversational style with the lecturer.
Weisberg earned his MBA at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. At the school, he conducted several studies related to fuel efficiency and cost reduction for aviation travels. Weisberg started his experience at Boeing in a procurement position before moving to defense. After a series of tough decisions, Weisberg left Boeing to pursue aviation/traveling entrepreneurship.
At the lecture, Weisberg described his two businesses, Weekend Jetsetters and A2Z Travel Concierge. Weekend Jetsetters provides tips on customized and efficient ways of traveling, and A2Z, which already profits in the six figures, serves as the travel agency that executes customers’ plans.
At the talk, a student asked Weisberg about what distinguishes Weisberg’s startups from existing companies.
Weisberg explained that his startups cannot beat many sites that compare flight rates, since those are not his sites' specialties. “However, we do have hotel rates, and other cost cuts ... that are easier for us to provide because of our human resources," he said. "We offer the personal concierge touch.”
Weisberg emphasized the personal and customized service A2Z provides that reduces much of the hassle and difficulties that occur with other travel agencies and procedures.
One student asked about the challenges and successes Weisberg endured during his business start-up process.
“Definitely more challenges than successes so far,” Weisberg laughed. “Weekend Jetsetters only started about a year ago."
“The trouble I have right now is monetizing Weekend Jetsetters [rather than A2Z], for example," Weisberg said. He explained that Weekend Jetsetters started out with promotions as small as blogs and Facebook pages but is now growing at a decent pace. He noted that getting out the brand name has been a challenge for the company thus far.
Another student asked about the most cost-effective way to travel domestically. Weisberg mentioned Google Flights as having the best deals possible and emphasized its manipulability with respect to dates and destinations.
“It may be cheaper to fly to Singapore than to Miami during the Christmas period,” the president of the University's Aviation Club, Idir Aitsahalia, stated.
The audience asked several more questions about Weisberg’s experience at Boeing and as an entrepreneur, as well as about traveling tips, aviation vehicles technology, travel agencies, airplane companies, and policies on air travels.
The public lecture, entitled “Travel and Aviation: A Discussion with Jonathan Weisberg of Weekend Jetsetters and Boeing,” was part of the Aviation Club’s lecture series. It took place at Frist 207, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.