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Tried the US Helicopter service from NYC to Newark Airport yesterday. After taking it, I realize that I can never take a regular form of transportation to the airport ever again. It was truly awesome.
For about $30 more than a car service from my apartment, I walked into the US Helicopter terminal on 33rd Street and the FDR Drive. Once there, I walked inside, checked in, (I was one of two people on the flight) and was checked in not only for the USH flight, but for my flight to South Carolina, too.
Then I went through security. While I still had to take my shoes off, I didn’t have to take my laptop out! Now I was using the new “Checkpoint Friendly” laptop bag from Pathfinder Luggage, but the TSA guy said it was because when they only had one person at a time through security, they could just look. So, SCORE!
Sat in the lounge there for 10 minutes, then was escorted to the helicopter. All my bags were carried for me, I just walked and watched. And giggled.
Got onto the Helicopter, less than a minute later we were in the air. Went down the East River, cut across Wall Street, over the Hudson, past the container yards, and over the airport. Landed at the edge of the airport. Total airtime – 8:35.
This is from the time we hit the airport until we landed. The last 2 mins of the flight.
Got off the helicopter, right into a van five feet away. Took me right to the gate. Literally, to my gate. Walked up the ramp, waited about five minutes, they called for boarding, I walked onto the plane.
I don’t understand why more people don’t use this – Granted, they don’t fly late nights or weekends, so I can’t use it all the time – but next week I have to go to Denver. I have a 10am flight. I’d have to leave my apartment at 6 to take mass transit there, or I can leave at 8:30, walk to the helicopter pad, get on a 9am chopper, be at my gate by 9:20, and walk onto my plane. For what? $30 more than a car service? I’m a believer.
Coolest thing – This isn’t a “luxury” or “uber-rich” thing I’ve discovered. If you’ve ever taken a car to the airport in rush hour, or dealt with EWR security at 6:30am on a Monday, you know what it’s like. So I don’t consider this a “luxury” by any stretch. This is a necessity – and part of doing business. If you find something that makes your time better spent, you do the math and ask yourself if the slight extra cost is justified by the amount of time you’ve saved. If it is, you do it. (Same reason you go to the front of the cab line at McCarran in Vegas and offer to pay for a cab for the next person who’s going to your hotel. You’d have to pay for it anyway, this saves you an hour or three during CES.)
I ask you – is my logic sound?