Uber will begin offering helicopter service between Manhattan and JFK on July 9th. The ride won’t be cheap, coming with a price tag of between $200 and $225 for the roughly 8-minute ride, that price is supposed to include ground transportation before and after the flight.
Uber Copter, as it is being called will be available only in New York City at first. As with all things Uber pricing will be dynamic based on demand, but projected prices are believed to be between $200 and $250, according to an Uber executive.
Unlike other Uber services, Uber Copter will have one route flying from a set location in Manhattan and JFK airport. Though there have been no public announcements about the service many news sources are reporting the flights will carry up to five passengers. The helicopters will be piloted by two pilots and operated by Heliflite charter services. Uber is trying to develop a “multi-modal” using Uber car services at each end of the helicopter flight.
According to an Engadget post on 6/6/19 the head of Uber Elevate Eric Allison gave the following statement:
“Uber Copter offers the first real demonstration of the Elevate experience. We’ve built Uber Copter to provide us with insight and real-world experience as we continue to lay the foundation for Uber Air. This is Uber’s first multi-modal option, integrating an 8-minute helicopter flight with an Uber trip on both ends with a single tap of a button. Uber Rewards Platinum and Diamond members will get the first opportunity to try this new fast and seamless way to get between Manhattan and JFK.”
While $200 for a ride to the airport sounds steep, an Uber Black ride in traffic from Manhattan to JFK can easily run $200 and take far more time.
Uber continues to pour money into research in development while cutting pay to its drivers. I don’t have a business degree, but it would seem to me a company should make a profit before expanding into other areas.