Uber Copter Offering NYC Airport Helicopter Service

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Uber is planning to launch a new helicopter service called Uber Copter in New York City. The new service will compete with BLADE continuous, as Uber’s addition will provide connections between lower Manhattan and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The new service will launch next month on July 9, 2019 and initially will be available to Platinum and Diamond Uber Rewards members. Prices will start at $200 each way, however these include Uber transportation to/from the Helipad in Manhattan, something that BLADE doesn’t provide.

Per the New York Times,

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.

These customers can book Uber Copter on demand or up to five days in advance. The helicopters accommodate up to five people and will run Monday through Friday during the afternoon rush hour. Once seats are reserved, passengers will receive an email from Uber with a boarding pass.

Similar to Uber rides, Uber Copter will have dynamic pricing determined largely by demand.

Nikhil Goel, Uber Elevate’s head of product, said that the average ride will cost between $200 and $225 a person.

Do you plan on taking Uber Copter to/from JFK for your next flight? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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Comments

  1. This service only operates during rush hour and leaves from the heliport by the Staten Island Ferry (at the bottom tip of Manhattan). In rush hour traffic, unless you are already downtown, you might spend as much time getting to the helipad (for free) as taking another route to the airport itself.

    Plus, once you arrive at the heliport you have to check in, board, and watch a safety video, and once you arrive at JFK (near Terminal 8) you have to disembark and be driven to your terminal. An eight-minute helicopter ride sounds fast, but it is a fraction of the total travel time.

    The New York Times notes that “Uber Copter promises to cut the total travel experience — including ground transportation — to as little as 30 minutes.” A minimum of 30 minutes means it could take longer. Depending on your travel time to the heliport downtown, it will definitely take longer.

    For comparison, you can take the subway/AirTrain to JFK from for $8 ($7.75 with a Metrocard). Depending on your location, you can get to JFK in 50-65 minutes. People who would spend $200 (or more; note that pricing is dynamic) for a one-way helicopter ride probably will not take the subway, but they will expect a premium experience. Note (also from the Times) that, “[p]assengers will only be allowed to bring on one personal bag and one carry-on weighing no more than 40 pounds.”

    This seems like a service for Wall Street elites (who are already downtown), people for whom money is no object, and/or people who want to post a selfie taken in a helicopter thinking it will impress others.

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