Monday , September 23 2019
Home / EconLog Library / Helicopters Over Manhattan

Helicopters Over Manhattan

Summary:
Helicopters have been whisking the wealthy from Manhattan to New York’s airports for decades. Now the ride costs as little as 5, and you can book it via a smartphone. Back in 2014, when Rob Wiesenthal founded Blade Urban Air Mobility Inc., a chopper ride to John F. Kennedy Airport—13 miles from Manhattan—started at ,000, he says. Wiesenthal has been able to chop that price after finding efficiencies in fueling, equipment, and scheduling. This, from Hailey Waller, “Blade Offers New York Airport Transfers for 5, Aiming at Uber Black,” Bloomberg, May 9, 2019, is incredible news. I’m a bit of a penny pincher but I’m also an economist who understands the value of time. On top of that, based on the one time I flew in a helicopter over New York City, from

Topics:
David Henderson considers the following as important: ,

This could be interesting, too:

Sarah Skwire writes What Signals the Value of a Book- Sales versus Prizes

David Henderson writes Extended Warranty Prices as a Market Measure of Quality

David Henderson writes Great Moments in Price Discrimination

David Henderson writes The Mule

Helicopters Over Manhattan

Helicopters have been whisking the wealthy from Manhattan to New York’s airports for decades. Now the ride costs as little as $195, and you can book it via a smartphone.

Back in 2014, when Rob Wiesenthal founded Blade Urban Air Mobility Inc., a chopper ride to John F. Kennedy Airport—13 miles from Manhattan—started at $3,000, he says. Wiesenthal has been able to chop that price after finding efficiencies in fueling, equipment, and scheduling.

This, from Hailey Waller, “Blade Offers New York Airport Transfers for $195, Aiming at Uber Black,” Bloomberg, May 9, 2019, is incredible news.

I’m a bit of a penny pincher but I’m also an economist who understands the value of time. On top of that, based on the one time I flew in a helicopter over New York City, from Laguardia to JFK in September 1977, I love flying over big cities in helicopters.

On top of that, my marginal tax rate 0n earned income (I hate that term) is 46.6% (22% federal income tax + 15.3% FICA and HI + 9.3% state income tax). If I were in Manhattan wanting to get to an airport quickly, the odds are that I would be doing it while on a business trip and so the $195 would be fully deductible, bringing the net cost to me down to $104. That could be well worth it in many circumstances. The transportation time could be cut from over 1 hour to 10 minutes. (Of course, I would have to get to the helipad and so whether it’s worthwhile would depend on how far I am from the helipad when I’m willing to leave Manhattan.)

This is fantastic news. I love free markets.

David Henderson
David Henderson is a British economist. He was the Head of the Economics and Statistics Department at the OECD in 1984–1992. Before that he worked as an academic economist in Britain, first at Oxford (Fellow of Lincoln College) and later at University College London (Professor of Economics, 1975–1983); as a British civil servant (first as an Economic Advisor in HM Treasury, and later as Chief Economist in the Ministry of Aviation); and as a staff member of the World Bank (1969–1975). In 1985 he gave the BBC Reith Lectures, which were published in the book Innocence and Design: The Influence of Economic Ideas on Policy (Blackwell, 1986).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *