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American Airlines passengers can take helicopters to skip airport lines, traffic

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 2/19/2019 David Oliver
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American Airlines is letting passengers arrive at the airport faster via a private helicopter − if they're willing to pay handsomely, that is.

Customers who participate in American Airlines' Five Star Service program in Los Angeles and New York can use Blade, a digitally powered aviation company, for their private helicopter needs. 

The service doesn't come cheap, however: A private aircraft alone today (Feb. 19) from downtown Los Angeles to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) starts at $1,995 .

Fast Company points out that the helicopter flight could become more expensive than the actual plane flight. The outlet ran through "a best-case scenario" that puts trips to and from airline flights at $1,602.

Blade will pick them up in their respective city and fly them to LAX or John F. Kennedy International Airport before being driving via Cadillac to American's Flagship First Check-In. In Los Angeles specifically, customers will have a private screening service thanks to The Private Suite.

"The No. 1 pain point of traveling from New York City and Los Angeles to the airports is traffic," Rob Wiesenthal, founder and CEO of Blade, said in a statement. "Our Blade airport transfer product turns an hour-and-a-half drive into a helicopter flight that’s five to seven minutes. Blade and American Airlines will now provide customers with a seamless experience from the door of the helicopter to their seat on their American flight."

"The Blade helicopter service is available to Blade customers who book a charter," Sunny Rodriguez, an American Airlines spokesperson told USA TODAY. "The charter prices can vary, but typically start around $1,350."

American's Five Star Service program grants customers personal escorts through all airports, priority boarding, car service coordination and more. It costs $350 for the first person, $100 for every extra adult and $50 per child. It can be found at 12 U.S. and four international airports.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: American Airlines passengers can take helicopters to skip airport lines, traffic

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