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.

To date, a couple of commercial airlines — Delta and United — have partnered with helicopter transfer services to make your travel experience comfortable and easy, and rides start at under $200. 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.

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Delta Airlines offers passengers traveling between Manhattan and John F. Kennedy 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 can book transfers on the BLADE website or app for a fee, starting at $195 for a single seat on an existing flight. Private helicopter flights through the service start at $1,325.

“Our customers value speed and reliability, and so do we,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “Partnering with BLADE in the New York City market — home to and destination for many of our most discerning travelers — highlights Delta’s commitment to enhancing every aspect and detail of the travel experience, including getting to and from the airport.”

Due to its partnership with helicopter charter service HeliFlite, United Airlines offers business-class travelers the option of hopping on a helicopter in Manhattan, from the helipad of their choice, and arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport in about six minutes — or vice versa. Starting at around $2,100 for up to three passengers, the price includes a car transfer to the terminal, Travel & Leisure reported.

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For people who live or travel in other areas of the country that don’t include these services via Delta and United, helicopter transfers are available at competitive prices through a variety of companies. And for travelers seeking a bargain, it’s worth asking if any single seats are available on an already chartered helicopter.

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