On July 9, Uber will provide helicopter rides from JFK airport to Lower Manhattan available on demand using its app. Uber Copter will provide eight-minute flights from the city to its main airports. The heli rides will cost around $200 and $225 for every person and must be booked five days in advance.
Three years ago, Uber announced the launch of its Uber Elevate. It is an ambitious project that aims to offer rides using a plethora of electric and lightweight aircraft. Ever since the company has been offering one-off marketing campaigns where it provides people with helicopter rides in major events like the CES. However, nothing is really concrete like the Uber Copter that will bring people from point A to point B.
Uber Copter aims to bring down the total number of transport times from JFK and NYC to as short as half an hour including the time it will take an Uber car to transport customers to the helipad located in Manhattan. That is comparable to the one hour travel time it usually takes, which could sometimes take two hours or longer during rush hour or heavy traffic. When you take the Long Island Railroad, it will take around 50 to 75 minutes to travel.
While the Uber Copter promises convenience and speedy travel, the service is not for everyone. So far, the service is only available to Diamond or Platinum members of Uber Rewards, which is the company's rewards program similar to that offered by airline companies launched in 2018. Aside from this, the upcoming service limits the weight of luggage for every passenger. While there is an allocated space for five riders for every help ride, each passenger will only be allowed to carry two items only, which includes a carry-on bag and a small personal bag that must not weigh above 40 pounds.
Blade, one of Uber Copter's major competitor, which calls itself the Uber for Helicopters also offers the same route. The Uber competitor provides the same service at only $195. Recently, however, Blade made headlines when one of its helicopters plummeted into the Hudson River. Fortunately, no passengers were on board during the crash while the pilot was unharmed.
The Uber Copter is the latest stint that the company launched for its premium riders. The company has been struggling since last quarter last year of its lackluster earnings despite its IPO debut. The company also bets on its other services like Uber Eats in the hope of becoming profitable.