If you’re name is Daddy McMoneypants and you happen to dress like the guy on the Monopoly board (top hat, spats, etc.), what better way to spend your surplus buckets of cryptocurrency than by taking an Uber Copter to the airport. That way, you can smugly laugh at all the little commoners below, stuck in traffic on BQE.
This past week, Uber announced the commencement of helicopter service in Manhattan. That’s right, the ride hailing app now allows New Yorkers to order a helicopter from their smartphones. Does this seem like the making of something dumb you might end up doing while drunk with your sorority sisters?
For $205.34, you can take an Uber Copter ride from Manhattan to JFK airport. Estimated time of helicopter ride: eight minutes.
And no, the Uber helicopter doesn’t swoop down out of the sky and pick you up at your house. So, you have to take an old school Uber to the local heliport locale, which is now only in Lower Manhattan.
Here’s how it works, according to the company.
To book your Uber Copter:
1. Open your Uber app and choose your pickup and dropoff locations: one in Manhattan and the other at JFK airport.
2. Scroll through your available options and select Uber Copter from the menu.
3. Decide when you’d like to take your trip and request a time. Trips are available in the afternoon, Monday through Friday.
4. Request your trip and prepare to fly.
Previously, the Uber Copter service was only for elite diamond and platinum members, but now its available to anyone who has the Uber app, money and a desire to ride in a helicopter. Although, you’re limited to only bringing one bag onboard. Bah.
Already, people are complaining about the new service. A writer for CNN business lamented how there were additional minutes tacked onto her eight-minute copter ride and how she didn’t save much time over taking an Uber X.
Sure, but you’re riding in a helicopter… over the city of Manhattan.
Not to get all Jetsons on you, but in 2023, Uber plans to launch a class of flying electric vehicles that will be able to take off and land vertically. Under the new Uber Air taxi service, the electric aircrafts will first be available in Dallas, Los Angeles and Melbourne.
“Our vision is that on a daily basis, it’ll be more economically rational for you to fly than for you to drive,” Eric Allison, the head of Uber’s aviation programs, said earlier this year at the third annual Uber Elevate Summit.
But there is competition for your helicopter airtime; Blade also offers helicopter service via an app. And the company not only flies to JFK but also to several other nearby airports, as well as routes to the Hamptons, Atlantic City and Nantucket. And Blade only charges $195 to JFK.
Uber joined forces with the third-party, charter company, HeliFlite for its helicopter service.
The big question is: As the service increases, will the Uber helicopter pilots have to supply their own helicopters? Do they have to pay for their own gas and repairs, like regular Uber drivers do? And are they official employees of Uber or not?