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Chartered Rides / Helicopters / Choppers / Semi-Private Rides / Crowdsourcing / Weekend Destinations / → All Tags
No, Gotham Air is not the name of Batman’s new helicopter — though you could easily imagine the caped crusader swinging from one of these shiny black choppers by a grappling hook. His playboy alter ego Bruce Wayne, on the other hand, would fit right in snagging a seat for 11 new routes that the high-flying shuttle service — which lets riders crowdsource shared charter flights — will launch on May 21.
Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, Gotham Air (which launched in January by offering six-minute helicopter hops from Manhattan’s Downtown Heliport to JFK and Newark airports) will now deliver commuters and summering weekenders to the following locales: Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Provincetown, Massachusetts; East Hampton, Montauk, Southampton and Westchester, New York; Atlantic City, Belmar and Morristown, New Jersey; and Washington, DC. How many greenbacks should you pack in your handy dandy utility belt? Starting rates for rides range from $145 (Morristown) to $1239 (Provincetown).
But it’s the business model behind Gotham Air that is most unique.
Hawaii Travel / Tourism / Helicopters / Kauai Travel / Island Travel / Travel Photography / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Tell friends who've been to Hawaii before that you're heading to Kauai and there's one thing you'll hear over and over: "you've got to take a helicopter tour!"
Soaring above remote waterfalls, azure reefs, untouched coastline, and Hawaii's own version of the Grand Canyon (Waimea Canyon) sounds like a no-brainer... until you see the price tag. Averaging $200 per person, helicopter tours around Hawaii demand more consideration and budgeting than, say, a surfing lesson. And, for some of the islands' more unique destinations, scenic helicopter flights edge upward toward $300.
Recently while in Kauai, we flew with Island Helicopters, the only company with landing rights at the impressive Manawaiopuna Falls, better known as "Jurassic Park Falls" for their cameo in the movie. The "Jurassic Park Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure" tour costs from $269 per person and lasts 75-85 minutes. The more basic flight, named "Grand Circle Tour," is available from $145 per person and lasts 50-60 minutes.
Monaco Travel / How to Get to / France Travel / Italy Travel / Train Travel / Helicopters / Trenitalia / SNCF / Delta / French Riviera Travel / Luxury Travel / → All Tags
The tiny Principality of Monaco just so happens to be both the world's densest country and its richest. Long a favorite of the cruise crowd and wannabe James Bonds, it's more than just Grace Kelly and gilded yachts; Monaco is one destination that deserves a prominent place on your bucket list and all week we'll be sharing why.
Despite the difficulty of locating Monaco on a map that lacks detail, traveling to the principality is remarkably easy from almost any major metropolis in Europe. There's no income or bling requirement to visit, and no special handshake to saunter up into its famous Casino. Monte-Carlo is actually fully connected to the rest of the world by air with a heliport, by rail with a lovely train station, and by its famous World Rally and Formula 1 roads.
Retro Travel / Boeing / 707 / LAX / Los Angeles Travel / Helicopters / United / Disneyland / → All Tags
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
A collection of National Geographic magazines from decades past may take up shelf space, but it’s hardly something to take for granted. We recently leafed through a few mid-1960s issues from the small library in the lobby of Miami’s Freehand Hotel, and struck retro travel ad gold in this United page touting their helicopter transfer service from LAX.
These were the days of Boeing 707s, United’s campaign as “the extra care airline,” and obviously putting far too much text in magazine ads. The fine print explains it all:
Everyone loves a good airport beer, and perhaps a good shower beer when the mood strikes, but what about a helicopter beer?
This last weekend, the China Helicopter Tournament 2013 in the province of Shandong decided that a fun challenge for the 20 competing pilots would be to open a beer bottle...using bottle openers mounted to the skids of their choppers.
Awesome Stuff / Fourth of July Travel / First Class Travel / Hamptons Travel / Uber / iPhone Travel Apps / Helicopters / New York City / → All Tags
Believe it or not, a few years ago there existed a helicopter transfer service from the Wall Street Heliport in New York City out to the city's airports. It was awesome. For $120 (or $99 on sale), travelers could zip from downtown to their awaiting airplane flight in 10 minutes.
And then the recession happened. US Helicopter is no more, and those big ballin' heli rides to the airports are over and done with unless you're President Obama or making it rain with thousand dollar bills.
The magic may be back, however; ride booking service Uber just announced that today (July 3) only, from 12-8pm, New Yorkers will be able to open their Uber apps and book a freakin' chopper to the Hamptons. There's just one thing: it's $3,000 one-way for five people (including Uber SUV transfers to the Manhattan heliport and from the East Hampton heliport).
If only Charles Lindbergh could see how easily we can all fly around the world these days. In fairness, he did live until the 1970s and did serve as a consultant with Pan Am, but much has changed in just the few decades since. In 1927, when he completed that history-making nonstop flight from New York to Paris, he won the Orteig Prize and its $25,000 pot. It was a lot of money for the 1920s, but considering four teams trying to win the prize spent $400,000 on their efforts, the money meant nothing.
What really came of all that innovation was a leap for commercial aviation, and now we're at a point where, for $100,000, a person may fly in private jets wherever they want. It's a little program called the Lindbergh Card, recently launched by Air Charter Service to allow movers and shakers with the means, "who have to strike while the iron is hot," to do so without the usual limitations and surcharges of private jet cards.
Sports Travel / Helicopters / Chile Travel / Lists / South America Travel / Wine Travel / Ski Travel / Snowboard Travel / Awesome Stuff / Santiago Travel / → All Tags
What countries do you think of when it comes to extreme sports? Costa Rica, sure. Switzerland, all right. Australia and New Zealand, definitely. But Chile? CHILE.
Though Chile may be known as the safest country in Latin America, it's not above gassing up a helicopter for some unique adrenaline-addled adventure. Here's the three that figure highest on our bucket list:
· Heli skiing & snowboarding at Valle Nevado
We'll start out easy as almost everyone's heard of heli-skiing, right? If you're experienced, taking a helicopter up to go off-piste means more than just bragging rights; it means stunning Andes views and natural snow conditions. Valle Nevado, being perched on a mountaintop as it is, offers heliski trips that lift off from less than five minutes' walk from the hotels, at a very low cost compared to what you'd pay in Aspen or the Alps.
What's that saying? Ah yes, "the best camera is the one you have on you." Since we're never without a camera and hardly ever not traveling, we've managed to capture a serious collection of travel photos in our numerous Photo Galleries.
Here at Jaunted, we devote a lot of enthusiasm to exploring the the premium airline lounges of the world, but we can't forget that other forms of air travel also warrant fancy-schmance lounges too. Like helicopters.
Peninsula Hotels are particularly well known for their devotion to having heliports and offering helicopter transfers and tours. Each of their properties with a helipad also has a departure lounge, and we've been fortunate enough to visit three of these luxurious helilounges, in Hong Kong (the flagship, named China Clipper), Tokyo (The Seven Seas) and Bangkok (Paribatra). Please enjoy our exclusive photo galleries of their interiors, chock-full of historical Pacific aviation memorabilia:
Retro Travel / The Way We Once Traveled / New York City / Helicopters / Vintage Travel / Architecture Travel / → All Tags
We'll fully admit that we save our ticket stubs even sometimes our bag tags. Of course travelers of decades ago were no different; in fact, they were worse. Sometimes we dig up vintage gems that deserve to be shared. All week, we'll look at a few lost pieces of ephemera that continue to inspire.
The 1960s were a great time to hop a helicopter ride in New York. These were the days when buying a First Class ticket on Pan Am or TWA meant the inclusion of a chopper transfer to the airport, and helicopters weren't yet clogging the skyways above the rivers, causing the accidents and concerns that exist today. In 1964 specifically, families keen on spending a day at the 1964-1965 World's Fair could take a scenic ride on New York Airways' helicopters from Manhattan out to the fair at Corona Park in Queens.
Landing was the fun part, actually; the choppers set down atop the first completed structure for the fair, the Port Authority Exhibit Building, which counted the helipad, a restaurant ("Top of the Fair"), cocktail bar and 360-film feature theater as attractions. Coincidentally, the 360-degree film shown was also shot by helicopter, as the cameras dangled and captured the beauty and geography of the New York region.
Photo Gallery / Helicopters / Peninsula Hotels / Hotels / Bangkok Travel / BKK / Airline Lounges / → All Tags
The 34th floor may not sound like so high, but in an area with no other skyscrapers to challenge it, the Peninsula Hotel Bangkok's Helicopter departure lounge might as well be in heaven. Named "Paribatra" after HRH Prince Paripatra Sukhumbhand, Prince of Nakorn Sawan, the Pen's helilounge is one of those sweet secret spaces often heard of a city, but rarely visited. The only ways to access this one? You must either book a helicopter flight transfer for a grand chunk of change or rent out the place for a private function with others who appreciate aviation history; in other words, it's hardcore.
We managed to sneak around the helilounge recently, and though the helipads remained out of reach (for now), we did sink our heels into the rich carpeting, get up close with jet engine parts as wall decoration, and drink in what may be the best view in Bangkok, of Bangkok. You see, The Peninsula sits on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, opposite like 90% of the central district. Therefore, The Peninsula is essentially gazing over at the metropolis, with the helilounge winking.
Monaco Travel / Helicopter Travel / Holiday Travel / Monte Carlo Travel / Heli Air Monaco / Helicopters / France Travel / First Class Travel / → All Tags
How do you make flying to the Cote d'Azur even more glamorous? By taking a helicopter transfer from Nice International Airport to Monaco, of course.
We were lucky enough to hop this speedy leg of a long journey from the U.S. to Monaco on a recent work trip, and we can't recommend it enough. Sure, the drive from Nice to Monte Carlo doesn’t sound bad at around 30 minutes (or, we’re told, 20 minutes by scooter). But why not reduce that trip to seven minutes and throw in staggering views and the inimitable glamour of helicopter travel?
Heli Air Monaco has over 20 daily flights between the airport in Nice and the Principalityfrom 110 euros each way. For this price, you get the aforementioned speed, views, air of fabulousness, and the ease of checking your bags straight through from the helipad in Monaco to wherever your final destination may be.