This Airport Shuttle Service May Be Pricier Than the Flight

Blade helicopter ride starts at $195 per person, plus $350 fee
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2019 11:37 AM CST
American Airlines Will Get You to Airport in Private Chopper
An American Airlines jetliner taxis at Logan International Airport in Boston on Feb. 1.   (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Why drive to the airport and stand in line when a helicopter can pick you up and drop you off one step from the gate? If you don't mind paying more than the cost of an economy seat on the flight you're arriving for, American Airlines makes it possible. The airline has announced a new partnership with private helicopter service Blade that will allow any of its passengers to be whisked to and from LAX and JFK airports. "We're taking a 2-hour drive and turning it into a 5-minute flight," Blade CEO Bob Wiesenthal tells CNBC. The outlet notes New York passengers would depart one of Blade's three Manhattan terminals. Costs start at $195 per person or $695 per six-person charter, though there are add-ons.

For example, passengers must pay an additional $350 for American's Five Star Service. Under that service, passengers are accompanied to a priority check-in and expedited TSA screening area before heading to the gate or American's Admirals Club. Per CNBC, an additional $1,200 pays for two passengers to be taken to the VIP terminal frequented by celebrities and the ultra-rich. Even without that upgrade, a single five-minute ride would cost more than a $300 economy seat on a roundtrip flight to Los Angeles from New York, Sean Captain writes at Fast Company, concluding "maybe money can't buy love, but it can afford less misery for fliers with the means." (More American Airlines stories.)

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