Private aviation used to be the privilege of the ultra rich. Now, several startups have figured out how to make it more accessible and even bookable on your iPhone.
1.) Beacon Air: $2,000 per month all you can fly. Allows for unlimited flights between NYC (flying out of Westchester, 45 minutes north of the city), Boston (BOS), East Hampton, and Nantucket. Nine flights daily on the NY to Boston route. The co-founders previously started Surf Air on the west coast, with the same unlimited flight model, and it has proved very successful there.
2.) Blade: Helicopter rides to East Hampton, Southampton, Montauk, Nantucket, among other destinations from East 34th Street and West 30th Street helipads. Also offers seaplane service from the East 23rd Street seaport. Rides start at $575 and can be booked from the Blade mobile app.
3.) Gotham Air: Launched in 2015 to compete with Blade, starting with flights from Manhattan to both JFK and Newark airports. $199-219 fare with a special promotion of $99 for first time users. Offers hors d’oeuvres from Che Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, Hermes leather finishings, beverage service, and an inclement weather guarantee (complimentary Tesla S car service to the airport in the event of bad weather).