Avoid hellish traffic this Independence Day by taking a helicopter to the beach.
To help New Yorkers going to the Hamptons this 4th of July avoid hellish traffic, popular on-demand car service Uber is offering an unusual deal: For $3,000, you and four friends can fly out in a helicopter, complete with a driver to take you to and from each helipad.
It's a terrific deal.
But if you want to cut a multi-hour trip down to about 40 minutes and take in some amazing sights along the way, above the traffic is the way to go. And it's hard to find a flight for less than $3,000.
New York Helicopter offers charters for six passengers to East Hampton for $3,350. The same trip with HeliNY, for five passengers, costs $3,680. You can take a round trip for just $4,115, but you'll pay $300 for every hour in between the two flights.
HeliFlite does not publish its rates, but CEO Kurt Carlson said a trip for five people from the city to East Hampton in one of the company's executive class whirlybirds would likely cost a "little bit more" than $3,000.
The closest we could find to a better deal than Uber's comes from Awesome Flight. The one-way ride costs just $1,597, but the chopper fits only three passengers. So your group of five would need two charters, bringing the price to $3,194.
The Only Alternative
There is one way to fly to the Hamptons for less than $3,000: Go by seaplane. We've already determined it's the best way to make the trip, and if you buy individual tickets with Sound Aircraft, instead of chartering an entire whole plane, your group of five can get to the beach in 45 minutes for just $525 each.
That's a total of $2,625, leaving you with more than enough money to hire a car to get to and from each marina in style. And unlike the Uber deal, which is valid July 3 only, you can hop aboard all summer.
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