Blade, the on-call helicopter service that started a few years ago with quick, easy-to-book trips between Manhattan and the Hamptons, continues to expand its offerings that aim to make life easier—and faster—for travelers. Blade now has partnered with Bristow, a global helicopter operator based in Houston, to offer flights in the Sikorsky Ultra 1, with leather seats for eight in an all-new spacious cabin. The helo can whisk you and your gear from downtown Manhattan to the Hamptons in 27 minutes, the company says. The twin-engine, two-pilot Ultra 1 also offers expanded capabilities for inclement weather, and an extra-large baggage compartment that carries up to 600 pounds, plenty of room for up to eight golf bags. Prices start at $695 per seat and can be booked online or with the Blade app.
The company also has expanded its options for getting from downtown to the airport, a trip that can bog down in traffic, but takes as little as five minutes in the air. Blade Bounce provides trips from Manhattan to all the local commercial and private airports, where travelers are met by Blade staffers who arrange transport directly from the helicopter to your flight. An exclusive partnership with Delta Air Lines provides expedited transfers at Delta’s newly updated and renovated Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Prices start at $695.
Besides helicopters, Blade also offers trips in seaplanes and jets to a variety of destinations in the Northeast and South Florida. All the flights launch from Blade lounges, where travelers are offered cocktails and comfort in a curated, private space. The company also offers charters and pop-up travel services for special events, from Burning Man to concerts and polo matches. Until we have real flying cars or transporters, a helicopter might be the next-best thing for maximizing travel-time efficiency.