Skip Airport Commutes in a Helicopter? It’s Cheaper Than You Think

Avoiding traffic hassles doesn't have to be a luxury.

Good news, travelers: You really can travel like a millionaire — without the millionaire budget.

You no longer have to settle for the inconveniences of ground transportation to get to the airport. Instead, you can now opt for a more streamlined experience and arrive at your gate within a fraction of the time — for much less than you might have thought.

Commerical airlines occasionally partner with helicopter transfer services to make your travel experience comfortable and easy. Although it’s more expensive to hop on a helicopter to or from the airport instead of opting for a cab, train or bus, the benefits might outweigh the costs especially if you’ve budgeted for VIP treatment.

American Airlines offers passengers traveling between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport the option of speedy helicopter transfers with car service on the ground through BLADE — an aviation company that arranges on-demand helicopter services. Travelers in the New York or Los Angeles area can charter planes to JFK or LAX or book transfers on the BLADE website or app for a fee.  Prices start at $195 for a single seat on an existing flight, and private helicopter flights through the service start at nearly $2,000. That’s on top of your standard ticket fees.

Learn: How to Get the VIP Travel Treatment You Deserve

For people who live or travel in areas of the country that don’t offer helicopter charters through your airline, helicopter transfers are available at competitive prices through a variety of private companies. And for travelers seeking a bargain, it’s worth asking if any single seats are available on an already chartered helicopter.

Learn how to make your next trip even easier, with flight attendants’ best money-saving travel tips.

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Ashley Ko contributed to the reporting of this article.