New York Airport Helicopter Transfer War: BLADE vs Uber

A new war has broken out between two companies offering New York helicopter transfers. If you don’t want to sit in traffic leaving JFK airport, you now have two options. Both are helicopters; one with a company called BLADE, and the other everybody knows, Uber.

New York Helicopter
Could the New York helicopter transfer industry really take off? Photo via Pixabay

The services are designed to allow those in a hurry the option of a quick transfer to central New York. However, the services do come at a considerable cost. The service closely models that of cargo giant DHL who use helicopters to rush important documents and packages into the city centre.


Let’s start off by taking a look at BLADE. The company is certainly no stranger to operating VIP transfers, and that’s probably a good thing. Just imagine barging into busy airspace as a startup. Things could go horribly wrong! According to the company’s schedule, they operate the helicopter connection Monday to Saturday.

The service operates every 40 minutes from 06:10 to 17:30. It departs from JFK’s helipad and touches down at West 30th Street in Manhattan. When Simple Flying looked, we were quoted $195 one way. We were also advised that “Your flight will depart as indicated on your itinerary and we cannot wait for you.” and that we could take one carry on item up to 20lbs (9.07kg).

New York Helicopter Transfer BLADE
BLADE’s route compared to the car journey counterpart. Photo: Google Maps


Uber is a giant in the A-B travel industry. Indeed, I can’t think of a major city I’ve visited without Uber. According to the New York Times, Uber is keen to tap into the helicopter transfer market. The service will launch on July 9th, and cost between $200-$225 per person. This will, however, include an Uber car at the start and the end of your trip.

The flying Uber idea is not new. Indeed, three years ago, the ridesharing app announced plans for “Uber Elevate”. This was to see a mix between a plane and a helicopter launched. However, for now, Uber will just be operating a regular helicopter painted with the Uber logo.

New York Helicopter Transfer UBER
Uber previously wanted to launch an airplane-helicopter hybrid. Photo: Uber

DHL freight

As an off-course bonus to the Uber vs BLADE war for helicopter transfers, DHL has been transferring between JFK and Manhattan for a long time. When packages are shipped with priority delivery from London, they are loaded onto a transatlantic freight plane. When this touches down in JFK, the most time-sensitive pieces are immediately pulled from the plane and loaded onto a helicopter.

They are then flown above all of the traffic, right to the centre of New York in Manhattan. From here, they are offloaded and taken to a nearby distribution centre. They are then sorted quickly and delivered on foot to further avoid traffic.

Would you take advantage of Uber or BLADE’s helicopter transfer service in New York? Let us know why in the comments!