Uber Copter Flights From Manhattan to JFK Are Quick, Surprisingly Affordable

Only eight minutes in the air, people!

Uber Copter

I work in the heart of Manhattan, about ten blocks south of Central Park. I have a go-to sandwich spot, a go-to sports bar, and even a go-to afternoon walking route, but I do not have a go-to airport. There are three airports in the New York area, and all three of them are somehow 50-plus minutes by taxi or ride-share from the office.

The highway gridlock around here is unholy, especially around the time of day people are trying to make flights, while using public transportation to reach LaGuardia, JFK or Newark is an unwanted odyssey.

Luckily, reaching at least one of those airports is about to get easier. Uber Copter went public this week in NYC, and is offering eight-minute, $200-225 flights from Manhattan to JFK. You might remember us covering similar news back in June. But that roll-out was exclusively for Uber’s Platinum and Diamond members. Now, anyone can book “multimodal transport” with Uber, meaning if you set a location in Manhattan, Uber will pick you up in a car, bring you to the heliport, fly you to the airport, and then drive you to the terminal.

A couple caveats. One, obviously, is the price. Highways around here are packed, and normal UberX rates are bloated, but assuming you give yourself enough time, you can make your flight for around $75. The chopper, not to mention, will limit you to the baggage of a carry-on traveler. One small personal item, one bag that fits in the overhead compartment.

It will be interesting to see how Uber Copter performs against Blade, which had the market all to itself up until now. Uber has the all-in-one advantage — you can book each stage of the trip with a single click. But, ironically, one could simply Uber to a Blade heliport. Plus, Blade charges less (by a negligible $5, but still), and flies to LaGuardia and Newark, too. Wherever you land on all this, it’s clear getting to and from the airport is getting easier. We like Uber Copter and Blade for business travelers, especially. If you’ve got a briefcase, a laptop, limited time, and a company card, this is a far better use of your time than sweating on the freeway.


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