When Uber Copter arrives next month, it will only be available to members of the company's loyalty program who qualify for the top two tiers, Platinum and Diamond, said a person familiar with the plans. Uber has began testing with flights from a downtown Manhattan heliport to John F. Kennedy International Airport. Uber Copter promises to cut the total travel experience - including ground transportation - to as little as 30 minutes. Normally, the journey would take at least an hour or two by auto, depending on traffic and if you're attempting the trip in rush hour. The constraints mean Uber Copter would increase convenience for a small group of customers but it likely won't gain traction as a viable traffic congestion reduction mode, especially considering each Uber Copter only seats up to five people.
Uber is looking forward to offering helicopter rides starting July 9th according to a report from the NYT.More news: Explosion in Swedish town damages buildings, injures 25
Since its inception in 2014, the New York-based helicopter booking platform Blade was nicknamed "The Uber of Helicopters" by the general press.
Similar to Uber vehicle rides, flights will have dynamic pricing determined by demand.More news: Bruce Cassidy Really Feels For Noel Acciari After Game 5 Officiating Debacle
While other helicopter services are available to NY airports, Uber is touting this as a "seamless" solution that includes all ground transportation and which can be booked on its smartphone app. Each helicopter can fit up to five passengers and will be in service from Monday to Friday during afternoon rush hour. It is also being reported that, "Hello, welcome to Uber Copter is the greeting passengers hear upon entering the aircraft".More news: U.S. risks losing measles 'elimination status' as cases breach 1000
Uber Copter won't be the company's first foray into commercial aerial operations. 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. Flights cost $195 per person one way, and include private auto transfer between the helicopter and the terminal.