Gone are the two-hour standstill rush-hour commutes by car to JFK. From today, Uber's Elevate team has released ride-hailing helicopters from Manhattan to JFK at a push of a button for all. It's one of our Legend Award 2019 honorees for good reason. It is a total game-changer.
The ride-hailing app's Uber Elevate team is working hard to change how the world commutes, from scooters, e-bikes, and cars, and now this is their first citywide air-borne ride-hailing feature, which they'll hope will ease the dreaded rush-hour clog to JFK.
Uber Copter works in the app the same way as hailing a car. Set your destination to JFK and the option to book Uber Copter will pop up between Uber X and the Black Car selection. You can book from your current Manhattan location as the price (which ranges at a reasonable $200-$225 per person) also includes a car pickup from your location to the Downtown Manhattan helipad and from the JFK helipad to your terminal (or just to the swanky new TWA Hotel for brunch and a swim perhaps?). We tested the feature out both to and from JFK and both times took less than 8 minutes. The journey to JFK came in at about 6 minutes.
The Elevate team works to ensure its smooth flying for riders to get to their flights in time, monitoring New York's temperamental weather in case it isn't safe to fly, in which case you'll be notified and a car will be booked instead to suit your arrival time.
Flights are currently only available to riders during weekday afternoon rush hours between 2pm and 5pm, as the team works on expanding flight times and helipad destinations. And there's a lot more in store for Uber's skyward ventures over the next two years.
While currently operated in partnership with HeliFlight, the company is working on releasing its own more eco-efficient eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircrafts in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne by 2023.
“We are excited to bring Uber Copter to all Uber riders so they can experience our first iteration of aerial ridesharing,” said Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate. “We built this multimodal app experience to take riders between ground and air transportation so that five passengers have perfectly timed, fully-integrated journeys. This is our first step to what will become a future Uber Air network.”