Chopper rides from Hamptons fly off the shelves as Covid changes plans

Helicopter ride-sharing spikes as elites plan to linger out East

TRD TRI-STATE /
Aug.August 21, 2020 01:00 PM
Chopper ride-sharing services are seeing increased demand for Hamptons helicopter route as wealthy New Yorkers book commutes to Manhattan (Illustration by The Real Deal; iStock)

Chopper ride-sharing services are seeing increased demand for Hamptons helicopter route as wealthy New Yorkers book commutes to Manhattan (Illustration by The Real Deal; iStock)

Elites are snapping up the fastest ride from the Hamptons: by helicopter.

A chopper ride-sharing service, Blade, last week announced a membership deal for helicopter flights between the East End and New York City. Customers who forked over $965 could then book one-way flights for $295 a pop.

The memberships sold out in one day, according to CNBC.

The company said business typically diminishes by 80 percent in September. However, as more Covid-weary New Yorkers decide to stay on Long Island for the near future, Blade sold all 250 memberships in 24 hours.

“We were very surprised,” Rob Wiesenthal, Blade’s CEO, told CNBC. “This is a signal that people plan on staying out there.”

Eighty percent of the demand was from new customers, according to Wiesenthal, who is adding helicopters to meet it. Full-time residents of the East End have been complaining about helicopter noise for years, but the flights remain legal. (There are restrictions over Manhattan.)

Some observers expected residents to return to the city following word that schools can reopen next month, but many brokers have seen continued interest in the tri-state area from New Yorkers. Some have said families are enrolling their children locally or seeking home-schooling options. [CNBC] — Sasha Jones


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