Traffic in New York City is notoriously horrific, and Uber is trying to give people an alternative to sitting in gridlock for three hours. This alternative is called “Uber Copter,” a service that flies people between Lower Manhattan and JFK Airport during the afternoon rush hour Monday to Friday. The option is only available for users who have achieved Diamond or Platinum status, which are the highest echelons of Uber’s user rankings.
Uber Copter is a full-service operation, including an initial car journey to a heliport near the Staten Island Ferry, the flight itself, and the final car journey to a helipad near Terminal 8 at JFK. Including the eight-minute flight, the entire trip takes around 30 minutes. Be aware that you’re only allowed to bring a personal item and luggage that weighs less than 40 pounds, and it’ll be weighed prior to boarding. In total, the trip will cost about $200 each way.
While flights are currently only available in New York, they may eventually expand to other cities if the service proves successful. Flights can be booked up to five days in advance, and will be available starting on July 9.
Uber Copter might be revolutionizing the convenience of the transportation game, but it’s probably not doing the environment any favors. With Uber Copter contributing to the city’s already excessive emissions, the helicopters may ultimately be doing more harm than good.