Uber will start offering $200 helicopter rides in NY next month


After taking on the roads, Uber is now spreading its wings into the air by announcing its helicopter riding service called Uber Copter.

Uber Copter is only available to the company's Platinum and Diamond members, the top utmost tiers of Uber's loyalty program, Uber Rewards. The rides can be booked on demand or up to five days ahead of time, said the person, who asked not to be identified.

News has surfaced of Uber's newest venture courtesy of today's New York Times - Uber Copter. By auto, the trip passes through some of the most congested roadways in the city, which during rush hour can take more than two hours to navigate.

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Uber is looking forward to offering helicopter rides starting July 9th according to a report from the NYT. Launched in March, Blade Airport flies between three Manhattan locations and JFK, La Guardia Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Mass transit by liht rail or subway can take more than an hour and given the recent service issues now plaguing New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority, the ride could be even longer than that.

As with all Uber rides, the cost will be subject to surge pricing, but most rides will fall in a range between $200 and $225, said Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate. The flights, which take off from near the Staten Island Ferry and land at a helipad near Terminal 8, will run Monday through Friday during afternoon rush hour. Each helicopter will be capable of carrying five passengers and their belongings.

While Uber continues positioning for a future filled with air taxis, the ride-share giant's Elevate arm is launching something more tailored to the present: Uber Copter. One potential sticking point-at least for some customers: Each passenger will be allowed only one personal bag and a carry-on weighing less than 40 pounds because of space and weight constraints. Blade CEO Rob Weisenthal revealed to Sean Captain of Fast Company that his company is profitable in its "core market" of the New York City area. Flights-which run from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 2 p.m.to 7 p.m. on Sunday-cost $195 per person and include private vehicle service between the helicopter and terminal.