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Uber expands helicopter service from Manhattan to JFK airport

An eight-minute, one-way ride costs roughly $200, and the service could be the start of a "future all-electric Uber Air ride-sharing network."
Uber will run helicopter trips between lower Manhattan and JFK airport.
Uber will run helicopter trips between lower Manhattan and JFK airport.Courtesy Uber

The next time travelers are headed to the airport from Manhattan, they may have a new way to beat traffic.

Uber announced Thursday in a tweet that it will offer a helicopter ride option to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport to all of its users. Uber Copter, as the service is called, initially launched for the ride-hailing company's Platinum and Diamond members in July, according to Bloomberg.

A one-way trip lasts about eight minutes and costs between $200 and $225 a person, although price will vary by demand. Each trip includes transportation to and from the heliports, as well as the helicopter ride. The rides are available weekdays during afternoon rush hours.

Uber Copter is available everywhere in Manhattan south of Houston Street, as well as in select areas with access to the West Side Highway, according to a company blog post announcing the limited launch in July.

All flights are operated by direct air carrier HeliFlite. The company will use two helicopters for the service, each of which can seat six passengers and two pilots, and passengers can bring a personal item and a carry-on bag, according to Bloomberg.

Uber said this service could pave the way for "a future all-electric Uber Air ride-sharing network," the company said Thursday in its tweet.

In its July blog post, the company called Uber Copter "the first step toward building the future of urban air mobility and transforming urban aviation."

For now, the helicopter service can be requested only from iOS devices. Users can book a trip from the airport on demand, and they can book a trip to the airport up to five days in advance.