While Lyft is busy trying to gobble up earthbound ride-sharing, their chief competition, Uber, has their focus set squarely on the skies. In fact, they’ve just launched a bold new addition to their app-based service called Uber Copter, which allows users to literally fly to their destination in minutes — avoiding all traffic along the way.
Integrated into their current smartphone app platform, Uber Copter is presently only available for users traveling between JFK and Lower Manhattan — though we assume they’ll open up routes elsewhere if this test run is a success. Normally, a car ride that follows the same route can take around an hour (or more, if the traffic is especially bad), but renting a ride-sharing helicopter cuts that down to a measly eight minutes from takeoff to landing. Better still, flights can be booked up to five days in advance, so you can be sure your trip is set well ahead of time. The helicopters seat five people, alongside a single bag up to 40 pounds and a small carry-on, each — which seems limited, but is actually double what Uber’s competition at Blade offers. Unfortunately, the service is only currently open to Platinum and Diamond members with a cost of $200-$225 per ride. Uber Copter launches on July 9th.