Pay for your flight by the minute in South Africa

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A new airline in South Africa will have passengers counting more than just their frequent-flier miles. If all goes well with its launch later this month, Airtime Airlines (flyairtime.co.za) will operate from its home base in Durban to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Johannesburg using a somewhat unconventional model: Rather than pay a set fare, passengers will buy minutes, much like a prepaid cell phone, which they can then redeem for a ticket. That means you'd only pay for the length of your flight, regardless of how long you idle on the tarmac.

The airline is still working on securing its fleet, so who knows if it will actually take off the ground, but the concept certainly piqued my interest. I might even consider visiting my in-laws in Savannah more often if I could pay by the minute from that bastion of delays, LGA.

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