June 17, 2019

Uber's first helicopter rides set for NY

09 June 2019, 02:26 | Hattie Nash

Time to fly. Image uber

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.

The service will launch on 9 July and initially will only be available to "top-tier" Uber members - constituting "Platinum" and "Diamond" ranked members of Uber's loyalty program, Uber Rewards. Like the company's standard ride-hailing service, Uber Copter will operate with dynamic pricing, with an average ride costing between $200 and $250.

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The drive from downtown Manhattan to the airport can take about an hour, sometimes closer to two, depending on traffic conditions. The helicopters can accommodate up to five passengers and can be booked on demand or days in advance.

Helicopters have been whisking travelers from Manhattan to nearby airports for decades. The helicopters will fit up to five people and will run on weekdays during afternoon rush hour.

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However, according to the New York Times article the head of Uber Elevate, Eric Alison, has said the company plans to roll-out the service to more customers and other cities in the future.

Pick-up is at a small city heliport located near the Staten Island Ferry terminal, and then at Kennedy you get a ride from the helicopter landing area to whatever terminal you're departing from (and vice versa if you're flying in). Once a user reserves a seat, they will receive an email confirmation and boarding pass from Uber.

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Passengers will be picked up or dropped off by vehicle in Manhattan, and at JFK, they'll be met at the helicopter tarmac by a auto and driven directly to their terminal or picked up at the terminal and taken to the helicopter tarmac, Goel said. Two pilots will be on every flight, and passengers will be shown a 90-second safety video before taking off. Large bags will not be permitted, with each passenger admitted only one personal bag and one carry-on that weighs in at 40 pounds or less. Blade's 7 a.m. -to-7 p.m. service from Manhattan now leaves from three Blade Lounges - near Hudson Yards on the West Side, East 34th Street and Wall Street - and also offers continuous flights to LaGuardia and Newark Airports from Sunday through Friday.

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