- Uber will start helicopter service in New York City, with a possibility to expand to other US cities. Initially, only platinum and diamond members of Uber Rewards - the top two tiers - will be able to use Uber Copter.
Uber Copter's helicopter service will be operated by Newark-based HeliFlite. "We've built Uber Copter to provide us with insight and real-world experience as we continue to lay the foundation for Uber Air", Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, said in an emailed statement.
Customers can book for a seat on the five-seater helicopter on demand or up to five days in advance. Starting July 9th, in addition to passengers being able to share rides, order food, electric bikes, and scooters, they will now be able to book a helicopter flight from the app.
Flying taxis may not be off the ground yet, but that doesn't mean Uber hasn't figured out a way to make flying out of NY that much easier. There are reports that Uber plans to expand this service to other cities.
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Uber Copter will use dynamic pricing like Uber's vehicle service and is expected to average $200-$225 per person, per ride.
Uber last month, for instance, unveiled a "quiet mode" option for riders to discretely request drivers not engage them in conversation during the ride.
"In rush hour, an Uber Black auto could cost up to $200 to J.F.K., so these helicopters are competitively priced", Steve Wooster told The New York Times, the managing director for air operations at Virtuoso, a luxury travel network firm.
Many helicopters, including those to be used by Uber Copter, have neither the space nor the weight capacity to accommodate large bags. Each helicopter has room for up to five passengers. Passengers will only be allowed to bring on one personal bag and one carry-on weighing no more than 40 pounds. To accommodate any extra weight, Uber will offer a special service for an extra $85 Dollars that will pick up and deliver checked luggage between the airport and addresses in Manhattan. Flights cost $195 per person one way, and include private auto transfer between the helicopter and the terminal.