Uber Chopper: For When a Mere Car Isn’t Enough for Your Sharing Economy Transportation Needs
First Uber offered cars. Then they offered weddings. And now? They’re offering helicopters. A collaboration between the sharing economy transportation venture and New York startup Blade, Uber Chopper will take to the skies on Thursday, making it possible for you to arrive at your summer vacation destination with panache. Or something.
There are a few caveats; Uber Chopper is only available in New York, it’ll only take you from the East Side heliport at 34th Street to the Hamptons, and it’s a one-day event. In theory, you’ll be able to board one of Blade’s choppers in the city, take a short flight instead of a two-plus-hour-long drive to the easternmost tip of Long Island, and then have an Uber car waiting for you when you land to drive you directly to your chi-chi beach house. Said Uber’s New York general manager, Josh Mohrer, to the New York Post, “We have a pretty large customer base in the Hamptons — it’s our third summer out there. We see it as the beginning of a tradition.” A tradition that will set you back about $2,500, according to Slate — but let’s face it: If you own a beach house in the Hamptons, that’s probably chump change to you.
Huell? You'd better not let Walt catch you doing that. He's going to be pissed.
If you’re not familiar with Blade, that’s probably because it’s so new: It only launched this past Memorial Day, making it a baby even in the startup world. Available for both iPhone and Android devices, the app allows you to book a seat on a chopper with just a few taps. I’ll probably never have the disposable income to justify the $575-a-seat price tag, but apparently it’s it a big hit with music marketing execs like Steve Stoute and Katie Lee Joel.
This isn’t the first time that Uber has offered helicopter rides; last year they partnered with Liberty Helicopters, the fleet that underpins (and owns stake in) Blade. According to the New York Times, if Uber Chopper does well this time around, it may become a permanent feature.
Speaking of weird Uber promotions, did anyone do that whole Uber wedding thing last week? If yes, let us know how it went — I’m dying to know what it was like. You think maybe Uber might combine their chopper service with the wedding service and offer airborn ceremonies sometime in the future? If it happens, just remember: You heard it here first.