Uber’s offering a novel way to avoid traffic en route to the airport.
The rideshare company announced that its most active users will get access to Uber Copter, a new service that’ll transport passengers from Manhattan to the John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The helicopter flies to and from a small airport by the Staten Island Ferry terminal, and a car will transport passengers to and from the respective airports. Port to port, Uber tells USA TODAY the flight takes around 8 minutes.
Flights begin July 9. The flight, Uber says, costs around $200, and covers the cost of car transportation.
Helicopters can only be hailed on weekday afternoons. They can be shared, or passengers can request a private helicopter, not unlike Uber’s auto offerings.
It’s not open to all Uber users, however. Only Platinum and Diamond members of its rewards program will have access to requesting the plane.
It’s the first official byproduct of Uber Elevate — an aerial ridesharing proposal that will eventually offer “an affordable shared flight” to passengers through a program called Uber Air.
“We’ve built Uber Copter to provide us with insight and real-world experience as we continue to lay the foundation for Uber Air,” says Eric Allison, the head of Uber Elevate, in a statement to USA TODAY.
The launch of Uber Copter arrives a month after its IPO, which was met with a mass driver strike.