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American Airlines will let super-rich passengers take private helicopters to avoid long lines

American Airlines and private helicopter service Fly Blade announce a new partnership in which they will whisk passengers over crowded streets and past long lines at LAX and JFK airports. ( More...

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s2v8377 7
American had a similar service around 10 to 15 years ago which really never took off in NY. Also PAN AM used to have a service like this as well so it's certainly not a new idea.

AA should focus more time on their overall customer service experience for all cabins and less on the top 1%.
Yeah, they definitely need some help there ...

My brother attempted to fly American from BOS to TPA, with a layover in PHL. Spent SEVEN HOURS at BOS, and another 2.5 at PHL! The flight home was a bit better, with only a 3 hour layover in CLT.

Glad I wasn't on that one!!
Roger Curtiss 7
I have no issue with people paying for expedited travel. What irks me, and has for quite a few years, is priority TSA checks. TSA is a government operation so how much you paid for your ticket with a private airline should have no bearing on how fast you get through security. First come-first served is the fair way to handle it.

I don't see any turnpikes with reserved lanes at toll booths for more expensive vehicles.
Stefan Sobol 5
No, but rush hour tolls for the express lanes exceeding $50 kinda does the same thing.
F Minook 3
Roger, There are two programs that may be confusing you and others. Flying first class does allow you to enter a separate line but you still are subject to the searches by TSA. The "TSA Pre" program does the same thing except you do not have to remove your belts, shoes, and coats. You enter a separate lane and are pretty much cleared because you pay a $85 for 5 years letter. That fee pays for a background check by the DHS. I just got one and the requirements are stiff. You have to be a USA citizen with no criminal record. You have to prove that you are actually you and a citizen and live in the USA. They made me buy my birth certificate with a seal from my birth state. Present a picture ID from my state and a current utility bill. The TSA (DHS)does not recognize the new California driver's license but they accepted the picture from the state. So I ended up paying a "toll" fee to allow me to enter a separate lane. You too can join TSA Pre by applying for the program.
thank you f minook...I was trying to explain it to roger from my knowledge of that particular tsa program,but you did it in detail...
roger..your point is well taken, however, there are several services you can pay for to expedite your processing through the tsa,not involving a helicopter major airports its a separate screening process and you pass around those "regular folks" the way, crews also must even if in uniform with an id, go through the long tsa lines as they no longer have the separate screening point for employees at any airport..turnpikes don't have reserved lanes for more expensive vehicles,true..however, they do have e z tag and e z pay where a camera reads your tag so as you approach you just continue driving because you prepay for the tag and are charged monthly for your use of the turnpike or toll road...
Marcel Rivard 1
Roger knows how to hit the nail

[This poster has been suspended.]

Roy Hunte 5
True, most super rich have their own jets...
Kobe Hunte 4
I dont think it makes a huge amount of sense...
dcmeigs 5
This isn't going to work for AA. Can you imagine Greyhound offering such a service? Why would someone with the financial ability to use that service want to fly on a lowlife carrier like AA. I'd have a NetJets account. Others have said this, but AA needs to first take a step or three back and get their customer service act together.
David Beattie 1
Lowlife Cartier? Try first class next time!
chalet 4
Back in the early 70s I was doing a consulting job for a large and very successful Mid-Western company and they encouraged me and others to fly First Class including helicopter service where available. I had a number of particularly enjoyable weekly rides on NY Airways Vertol 107s from La Guardia (after having landed from O´Hare) to Newark on Friday afternoons and overfly the entire length of Manhattan. Remember very clearly that the Twin Towers were under construction. My dad enjoyed few thing in life more than taking the compter from any of the NY area airports and land at the top of the PanAm building and viceversa when leaving town. Good old times indeed.
Phil Nolden 6
Ah, the 70's - those were the days. Companies worried more about their employees and their successful image than about every last single dime and criticism from jealous nitwits on social media.
Relics 4
Pretty sure most higher class people are going to fly private, on their own plane or with a charter service. Seems AA is out of touch with the customers.
Elmer Montag 3
Middlin’ rich, maybe.
Super rich have their own plane.
Martin Cooper 3
The real RICH will have their own JET, only the wanna be RICH will
shell out senseless money to avoid JOE BLOW, when they are a JOE BLOW
Marcel Rivard 1
And then sit in the same tube as many Joe Blows
Phil Nolden 3
Used to fly a multi-billionaire. The only commercial jet he ever flew was the Concorde, since his personal jet(s) were too slow for him across the Atlantic.
Stefan Sobol 3
I'm glad American has gotten the permission of the merely super-rich to let them be handled this way. The super-super-rich don't give a rat's *ss what American is doing.
Al Stewart 2
I fly the real rich on their chartered jets. On a couple of occasions the clients flew into teterboro on a Blade helicopter from Manhattan and jumped on the jet.
ADXbear 2
Yea this makes no sence.. wslk up to your G650 at a smaller airport no hassels..
if history and my memory serves me correctly,PAN AM had a helicopter service many years ago with the same concept,and a helipad on top of the pAN AM building in the heart of new York city..i don't think they had it in los angeles any case,large corporations and the like have their own private jets to "shuttle" executives and others around, and they do not have to go through tsa screening,nor worry about a limo to and from the airport..people who are using mileage points or buying a first class ticket,or even a coach ticket,more than likely will not or cannot put out the extra money for his service because it is fairly expensive..why doesnt american just put a little extra money into upgrades on their current service and aircraft, which most can afford??
AWAAlum 1
I imagine it's true, but eons ago, I worked at McDonnell Douglas, and of course owned its own plane for executive use. The thing is, it was rarely used due to how expensive it was over commercial.
You mean you can pay TSA to get expedited security?
Kobe Hunte 1
I guess the people that are rich and don't really feel like spending millions in a jet, would rather take this option to skip the chaos.
Phil Nolden 1
"Personal escort" service? Perhaps not the greatest name AA could have chosen.
Nick Burch 1
Back to the future..... customer service focus for more than just the top 1% of the traveling public might be a great way to raise revenue.
joel wiley 1
Not really for the super-rich. More for middling-rich, those on business expense accounts with a friendly accounting department, and any of the hoi-poloi willing to pony up the funds.
Maybe some will see it like the teens renting a limo for the prom for a special occasion.
Aside from the already posted comments, but doesn't the major source of noise helicopters produce, comes from the blades. Right??
padrooga23 1
There are still heliports around NYC, but they are on the river. Do not think they still have them on top of any particular building.
But who wants to go to Downtown LA ? :) I'm a Native so it's OK
AWAAlum 0
This makes me smile - (thinking back to the Meigs Field post) - This is exactly the service provided at Meigs that I took advantage of ... a helo to ORD. It was great...not just the convenience, but the views of the area most have not seen that up close.
Derek Vaughn -2
Know what they say about being more likely die on the way to the airport..


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