To get to New York JFK, we flew a BLADE helicopter from the West 30th Street heliport in Midtown Manhattan. At its current price point, BLADE can make a lot of sense when the convenience is factored in.
BLADE Helicopter Review: West 30th Street to JFK
There was a heliport right outside Casa Cipriani that would have been incredibly convenient, but we were looking at $2,000 to charter a helicopter to take us on the five-minute journey to JFK. Sorry, not reasonable. But $195 each to go from the heliport on West 30th Street to JFK was much more reasonable.
It was all so simple. We decided a couple of hours before to book, pulled up the Blade website (the app is even easier), and within minutes were booked to JFK at 2:00 pm for $195 each.
Luggage On BLADE
Was this really the ideal time for a BLADE trip? Probably not because my friend was traveling with two large checked bags. Only a carry-on bag (weighing 25 pounds or less) is permitted onboard. BLADE offers a luggage service in which your bags can be picked up in advance and then will be waiting for you once you arrive at JFK or Newark. We booked too close in advance to take advantage of this so we sent the bags ahead in the hotel car after it dropped us off about 20 minutes before departure at the West 30th Street Heliport.
And of course, we were at the Casa Cipriani in Downtown, which meant a 20-minute drive to reach the Midtown heliport.
BLADE guests can wait for their flight in a lounge prior to departure. It was crowded so pictures are limited, but the lounge offers complimentary drinks and has restroom facilities.
There is no security, but your ID is checked and you are given a colored bracelet to correspond to your flight.
A flight to Newark was just leaving upon our arrival.
Onboard BLADE Helicopter To JFK
Boarding was called at 1:45 pm and we were escorted out to our helicopter. As the first two passengers onboard, my friend and I asked for the “view” seats which are the two seats furthermost in the helicopter. The seating arrangement is 2-2 with the four seats facing each other.
We were instructed to put on headsets, the pilot recited a brief safety briefing, and moments later we were on our way.
The journey took us over the Hudson before we turned east, flying over Brooklyn and then Queens, finally arriving at the JFK General Aviation Terminal beside an Atlas Air 747 and a German government A340.
There are no drinks or snacks onboard…there is neither time nor space. All four seats were booked…our seatmates were a couple of guys also out for a splurge.
BLADE Terminal (JFK General Aviation Terminal) To Other Terminals At Kennedy Airport
Once at JFK, a complimentary shuttle will take you from the private terminal to your airline terminal or you can pay an extra $100 for a private car. We just had the hotel driver meet us, which meant we chilled in the lounge for a bit before the car made it, which contained our bags.
This was not my first BLADE journey. I enjoyed an extended ride to Newark a few years back with Zach Honig after ATC delays kept us in the air for nearly 20 minutes. What fun! This ride was very by-the-books, taking only five minutes.
Sure, it was still a lot of fun and a beautiful day for a helicopter ride over Manhattan, but I think this service would have been far more valuable if we had no checked bags and were staying in Midtown. Nevertheless, $195/person is a reasonable value proposition, especially if you are traveling alone (have you checked Uber prices lately?).
I’d absolutely use BLADE again under the right circumstances (like with my son Augustine), though in most cases I think a car is still going to make the most sense.