Wow, who remembers back in 2007-2008 when Delta was offering free helicopter service from the east side of Manhattan (TSS) to JFK for Business Elite international passengers as well as domestic first class and unrestricted economy travelers? It was incredible, especially since at the time I lived right across the street from the east 34th street heliport. I would simply walk across the street with my bags, hand over any luggage that needed to be checked (yes, I checked one bag from the heliport all the way to Mumbai when Delta was operating JFK-BOM), obtain boarding passes for my entire trip, pass through a cozy security checkpoint (there was often no one else there), and then board the chopper to JFK. Most times it was just me and the 2 pilots for the 8 minute amazing journey over to JFK. Upon arrival I would walk straight into terminal 2 and over to the Sky Club. Adding on the segments to both ends of my trip included a call to a usually confused agent located outside of New York who had no idea what I was talking about. However, in all cases (even with an award ticket one time which was supposed to be excluded), my free helicopter legs to/from Manhattan were always added. The complimentary service ended in 2008, but Delta continued to discount rides for passengers ($45 one-way) until US Helicopter shut down a few years later.
Well, today Delta announces a new partnership with Blade with service to JFK from 3 NYC locations. No word yet on complimentary service or discounted connections, but I surely hope that these are considered to promote the new connections. These were the restrictions for the complimentary add-on back then, interstingly codeshares were applicable when booked as a DL flight – Complimentary one-way or round-trip helicopter service is included when purchasing a qualifying round trip or one way Premium ticket (designated by fare basis code beginning with F, A, J, D or Y) on Delta (DL) booked nonstop flights connecting to the helicopter via JFK. Offers not valid for point to point fares between JRB or TSS and JFK. If adding a helicopter segment to an itinerary which has already been ticketed, the fare must be recalculated from origin to destination including the heliport (JRB, TSS) and the ticket must be reissued subject to any applicable fees or charges. Seats are limited. Code share flights are eligible when booked as a Delta (DL) flight. Helicopter service is available only on weekdays (excluding holidays).
The fastest way to travel between Manhattan and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport just became even easier for Delta customers. Delta will enable a fully integrated, streamlined airport transfer experience through an exclusive partnership with BLADE, a digitally powered aviation company that arranges on-demand helicopter service between its Manhattan heliport lounges and JFK.
“Our customers value speed and reliability, and so do we. We’re proud to be the only airline facilitating an on-demand helicopter transfer that is curated specifically for Delta customers and in line with the enhanced premium amenities and services they have come to expect from our brand,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Partnering with BLADE in the New York City market — home to and destination for many of our most discerning travelers — highlights Delta’s commitment to enhancing every aspect and detail of the travel experience, including getting to and from the airport.”
Delta’s JFK customers can book an expedited, seamless experience that begins and ends at one of BLADE’s three Manhattan heliport lounges where they may relax in a full-service lounge prior to their five-minute flight. Upon touchdown, a member of Delta’s Elite Services team will welcome the customer, collect baggage and personally escort them from the helicopter via awaiting ground transportation to the departure terminal, expediting security clearance as they head to their departing aircraft. When it’s time for the Delta flight, the customer is escorted to their seat on board. Bookings are available via the BLADE app.
Delta customers arriving into JFK, including those on transcontinental service from Los Angeles and San Francisco and trans-Atlantic flights from London, can also enjoy a seamless helicopter transfer experience. Delta’s Elite Services will meet customers on the jet bridge as they disembark a Delta flight or immediately after they clear customs, reclaim baggage and whisk them directly to the door of a waiting helicopter for the five-minute flight to Manhattan.