Blade Helicopter, Manhattan West 30th Street – New-York JFK, Xcel Bell 407: Excellent ground service

To round off this short stay in New York, a short helicopter ride back to JFK. The convenience of this mode of transport could make me addictive

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1LoungeAmerican Airlines Admirals Club, Boston Logan (unreported)
2FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Boston Logan – New-York JFK, Embraer 175
3FlightBlade Helicopter, New-York JFK – Manhattan West 30th Street, Xcel Bell 407
4HotelThe St. Regis New-York
5FlightBlade Helicopter, Manhattan West 30th Street – New-York JFK, Xcel Bell 407
6LoungeBritish Airways & American Airlines Soho Lounge, New-York JFK (unreported)
7FlightAmerican Airlines Domestic First, Boston Logan – New-York JFK, Embraer 175 (unreported)
Today’s itinerary

Booking

As for the outward journey, I had to make a number of changes to my booking for this flight.

Given the uncertainty surrounding this itinerary, and to avoid costly modification or cancellation fees, I waited until I had completed the outbound leg before booking the return.

So I booked my helicopter flight the day before departure, allowing me to arrive at JFK airport two hours before my flight, a delay necessitated by the two conference calls I had to take part in before my flight to Boston.

Boarding

I leave in an Uber from the St. Regis New-York about 45 minutes before my flight to JFK.

I arrived about ten minutes later at the 30th Street / 12th Avenue boarding terminal, the one by which I had arrived.

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Pre-boarding welcome

The reception was very charming and I waited while the Blade hostess finished checking in passengers for two previous flights. A few moments later, she proceeded to weigh my luggage and check-in formalities. I was offered a drink and take a double espresso, which turned out to be excellent.

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It’s a very pleasant place, and the wait was shorter than expected, as the passengers are all accounted for and the crew was ready to take off for JFK.

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Boarding and flight

The stewardess on the ground escorted us to the helicopter. I did not have to worry about my baggage, which was taken care of until I arrived at the departure terminal for my commercial flight.

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Once on board, the pilot gave us the safety briefing.

And after a magnificent 6-minute flight, we arrived at the JFK business aviation terminal.

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Arrival and disembarkation

Two Blade stewards picked us up and took charge of our luggage, leading us to the cars that took us to our departure terminal.

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I was alone in my car, and my driver dropped me off at JFK terminal 8, where my flight to Boston departed from.

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Bottom line

Another very successful experience. Obviously, it’s not for everyone. But if you’re traveling alone and in rush hour, it’s definitely worth it.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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