Uber's New Helicopter Service Will Get You From Manhattan to JFK in 8 Minutes...Kind Of
Anyone who has visited New York City or lives here knows getting to JFK Airport isn't the easiest thing in the world. You have two options: Either painstakingly take the subway, or call a car.
As much as I love hauling my luggage onto a musty train and only spending a grand total of $7.75, I always end up getting an Uber X or Lyft because 1) It’s comfortable and a lot easier, and 2) The two times I tried taking the train I missed my flight.
With that in mind Uber just released "Uber Copter," which promises to take you from Downtown Manhattan to JFK in 8 minutes. That alone sounds record breaking and super awesome when you’re just trying to get the hell out of NYC as fast as possible.
The caveat is that as of right now, Uber Copter only takes off from the helipad near Wall Street. So, getting to the airport with a chopper requires these steps:
1) If you're literally anywhere in NYC other than the helipad, you need to take an Uber to the helipad on the southern end of Manhattan, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry.
2) Take the helicopter to the helipad at the airport.
3) Take another Uber to your actual terminal.
Well. That was a lot of Ubers.
As you can tell from my brief description, the total trip from home/hotel/work to JFK definitely turns out to be a lot more than 8 minutes.
I did a test run of the helicopter and it took me 1 hour and 23 minutes start to finish, from the moment I left my apartment in Brooklyn to stepping foot in JFK. An average Uber (or any car), on the other hand, takes me around 30-45 minutes.
Plus, the helicopter ride costs $200 for a one-way trip compared to a more humble $40-$60 for a car and a straight shot.
Moreover, if you’re traveling with luggage and/or your flight is at night or in the morning or at literally any time other than rush hour, you can’t take the helicopter.
So, unless I’m a businesswoman who works in an office across the street, has a multi-million dollar salary, and I’m traveling to a meeting in Boston with no luggage, I’d skip the helicopter and take a car.
But I'm fairly certain Uber Copter is marketed towards individuals who literally have that life so it all works out.
HOWEVER. Uber Copter = Clout Factor of 1,000,000. It definitely sounds a lot cooler to say “I gotta go, my Uber is here” and hop into a helicopter than a Toyota Camry.
Verdict? Uber Copter is definitely really cool, and probably useful for businesspeople. Is it actually practical for anyone else? Not really. But it's still cool, though.