Uber is adding regular helicopter air service to the heaviest users of its platform with Uber Copter — a new service line launched today that will provide on-demand transportation from Lower Manhattan to JFK airport for, on average, between $200 and $225 per person, which includes car service to and from the helipad at each end.
Is a ~$200 helicopter ride on top of whatever you’re paying to fly in an airplane for everyone? No, of course not — but the cost of an Uber ride for that same span is roughly $70 to $90 according to a third-party fare estimator, and the price can go even higher depending on demand, so it’s actually not that much of a stretch.
Plus, this isn’t something just anyone can access: It’s reserved for Platinum and Diamond members of Uber’s Rewards program, which means you’ll have to already be dropping a lot of cash on rides to even qualify for whirligig service. If you qualify, the rides are available either on-demand, or bookable up to five days ahead of time. Each helicopter has room for up to five passengers.
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 whichever terminal from which you’re departing (and vice versa if you’re flying in).
Providing helicopters for the wealthy amid city dweller protests against NYC helicopter traffic and following on the heels of Uber strike action in NYC around the company’s IPO might not seem like the most logical approach to reputation management, but Uber likes exploring transportation demand wherever it finds it, and people definitely do hate NYC traffic — frequent travelers maybe most of all.
Flights take off starting July 9 in case you’re ready to request some rotational routing.