Uber Copter New York City

Time to fly

Uber intends to expand its mobility offerings by launching a helicopter service, Uber Copter, in New York City, reports The New York Times and others.

Uber Copter will be available only to users who are Platinum and Diamond members - the top two tiers - of the company's loyalty program, Uber Rewards.

Dynamic pricing means the cost will change depending on demand, but the average ride is expected to be between $200 and $225 per person.

In any case, dissimilar to Uber's auto service, it has a predetermined route that keeps running between a location close to the Staten Island Ferry in Manhattan and Kennedy Airport with a flight time of around eight minutes. According to Uber, the service should cut travel time down to a half-hour, including ground transfers.

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"This is a trip that so many travelers make a day, and we see an opportunity to save them a huge amount of time on it", said Uber Elevate chief Eric Allison. Normally, the journey would take at least an hour or two by vehicle, depending on traffic and if you're attempting the trip in rush hour. Passengers will get a confirmation email that doubles as a boarding pass after the seats are reserved.

As reported in this space, Uber Copter isn't the first service to fly customers from Manhattan to the airport.

"In rush hour, an Uber Black auto could cost up to $200 to J.F.K., so these helicopters are competitively priced", Steve Wooster told The New York Times, the managing director for air operations at Virtuoso, a luxury travel network firm.

The helicopters will be operated by HeliFlite, a Newark, New Jersey-based company with a fleet of twin-engine helicopters. After a 90-second safety video, the whirlybirds will takeoff and head on over to JFK airport and land at a heliport within the vicinity of Terminal 8 at JFK. Starting July 9th, in addition to passengers being able to share rides, order food, electric bikes, and scooters, they will now be able to book a helicopter flight from the app. The Blade ToteTaxi will deliver two oversized pieces of luggage to the airport for $85, plus $40 for each additional bag.

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