Uber to launch helicopter service in NYC next month by Drew Johnson
The new Uber Copter service will operate between Manhattan and JFK airport.
Uber plans to eventually deploy a fleet of flying cars to ferry its passengers around urban areas, but while we patiently await the Jetsons-age, the company's Uber Elevate division is launching a new helicopter service in New York City.
Called Uber Copter, the service will launch on July 9 and offer helicopter rides between Lower Manhattan and Kennedy International Airport. Uber Copter will also include pickup and drop-off car service to either the heliport near the Staten Island Ferry or to a helipad near Terminal 8 at Kennedy airport.
According to Uber, the helicopter flight will take just 8 minutes; when you factor in car service, Uber expects a travel time of no more than 30 minutes. That represents a significant time savings over ground transportation between the two locations, which typically takes between 60 and 120 minutes.
"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,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, told The New York Times.
Uber Copter will run weekday afternoons when traffic is typically heaviest. Each helicopter can accommodate five passengers but has limited luggage space -- due to weight restrictions, passengers can only bring along one personal item and one carry-on bag weighing no more than 40 pounds.
Like Uber's car service, prices will vary based on demand, but the company expects the typical fare to be between $200 and $225 per person. At least initially, Uber Copter will only be available to Uber Rewards members with Platinum or Diamond status. For those members, Uber Copter can be booked on demand or up to five-days in advance.
Uber says it plans to eventually offer Uber Copter service in other cities.