This helicopter flight from New York to East Hampton just got more expensive

  • A Blade helicopter flight from New York to East Hampton now costs 30% more, Bloomberg reported.
  • The price hike is the result of new airport regulations that aim to alleviate local noise complaints.
  • It won’t affect the billionaires’ private planes that regularly fly to the wealthy enclave.

Affluent New Yorkers looking to bypass summer traffic to East Hampton via a Blade ride-hailing helicopter will have to pay 30% more this year, Bloomberg reported.

A flight from Manhattan to East Hampton will now cost $1,025, up from $795 last summer, according to Blade’s website. Comparatively, its flights to nearby Sag Harbor and South Hampton are listed at the slightly more affordable price of $895.

East Hampton’s premium is due to new airport regulations limiting Blade to one trip per day in an effort to reduce noise, Blade founder and CEO Rob Wiesenthal told Bloomberg.

By setting a limit on the comings and goings of commercial planes, city officials hope to address the thousands of noise complaints filed against helicopters in recent years. To achieve this, East Hampton Airport has announced that it will close commercially on May 17 and reopen as a “private use” airport two days later.

The change will only affect commercial flights chartered by companies like Blade, not the private helicopters of the billionaires who frequently travel to the wealthy enclave.

A local politician called the debate over who should be allowed to fly their helicopters into East Hampton airport a battle between “the two percent against the one percent,” as reported by the New Yorker l ‘last year.

“Our focus at Blade has always been on low-cost shared aircraft,” Wiesenthal said at an October 2021 town hall, according to the outlet.

“Helicopters aren’t just for the rich anymore,” he continued. “Our customers…are not going to stop flying here, so it’s really in everyone’s interest to keep the airport open.”

A spokesperson for Blade did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. Wiesenthal told Bloomberg that 90% of current travelers said they would buy a flight to nearby cities if the daily flight from East Hampton was full.

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