- As offices open back up, some people are looking to commute from their summer homes into New York City.
- Blade, the app-based aviation company that allows people to book helicopter and seaplane flights, is launching a September commuter pass from the Hamptons to NYC.
- The commuter pass costs $US965 upfront. The price of each plane or helicopter flight for a pass-holder is discounted to $US295.
- Without the commuter pass discount, each Blade trip costs $US795.
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Summer might be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean summer homes are about to empty out the way they usually do.
Instead, many people who moved out to the Hamptons as the pandemic spread through New York City are planning on staying in the East End. And that, per Simon McLaren, spokesperson for aviation service Blade, is creating a whole new type of commuting demand.
As Business Insider’s David Slotnick previously reported, Blade is an app-based aviation company that allows users to book private or shared helicopters to nearby airports, including the Hamptons and Nantucket.
“Last summer when we flew, we used to say that we would fly you from New York to Nantucket, to the Jersey coast, to the Hamptons, to Westchester, to the airports,” Blade CEO Rob Wiesenthal previously told Slotnick. “But now, from a marketing and product perspective, we’re flying to New York from other places.”
On a recent phone call with Business Insider, McLaren said that as offices open back up, people are planning to commute from their second homes to their jobs in NYC. To fill the commuting need, Blade is launching a new September commuter pass.
How Blade’s commuter pass works
There are two fees involved in the commuter pass, which is effective for both helicopter and seaplane flights. Blade’s commuter pass costs $US965 a month upfront, McLaren confirmed to Business Insider.
After purchasing the commuter pass, clients are able to buy unlimited, one-way trips between the Hamptons and New York City for $US295 a piece. Without the commuter pass, a full-price, one-way ticket for the same trip costs $US795.
Flights run seven days a week and the pass is effective for the month of September. McLaren declined to disclose how many daily flights Blade runs.
To break down how the prices shake out, here’s the maths: There are 21 working days in September this year. Commuting twice a day with Blade without the commuter pass would add up to $US33,390 in transportation costs. The same commute with Blade’s commuter pass comes out to $US13,355.
The company sold over 120 passes in 24 hours, McLaren told Business Insider.
Per McLaren, the flight from NYC to the Hamptons runs about 35 minutes. For comparison, the train ride from New York Penn Station to Montauk (the last stop in the Hamptons, furthest from the city) takes just under four hours. And making the roughly 120-mile drive can take about two and a half hours, per Google Maps estimates.
“On the reservations I’m looking at, most people are doing the same day trip,” McLaren said. “They’re coming in the morning, going to the office and then flying back.”
He noted that the commuter pass may be extended into October depending on September demand.
McLaren said the company’s business is down compared to previous years, but the type of demand the company is experiencing has also changed. “It’s gone from a very heavily weekend driven business to seven days a week,” he said.
“People are living in the Hamptons and flying to the city multiple times a week,” he added. “They’re creating their own suburbs in some way.”