Courtesy of Blade
With the U.S. set to celebrate Thanksgiving, retail businesses are gearing up for “Black Friday” shopping mania that follows.
Traditionally, mobs of determined American shoppers flood outlet malls and shopping centers, eager to get good discounts on holiday gifts before the stores run out of stock. This can make ground traffic notoriously cumbersome to navigate. Perhaps a helicopter would be a more efficient way to get to shop.
Woodbury Common Premium Outlets sits in Orange County, New York, about an hour’s drive north of New York City. It has hundreds of stores and services — a list populated by brand names and designers. The New York Post reports that in an effort to cater to its New York City patronage, the outlet center has paired up with the on-demand transportation service Blade to offer round-trip helicopter flights for Black Friday.
For $395, customers can buy a round-trip seat for one of four flights on Black Friday and every Saturday through Christmas to do their Woodbury shopping. This is the first time the shopping center has offered a helicopter service. But short flight arrangement is Blade’s business.
According to its website, Fly Blade, Inc. is an indirect air carrier for public charter flights. The company acts as an agent for customers, working with operators, like Liberty Helicopter, to book seats. With a system similar to Uber, customers can use the mobile app to launch their own crowd-sourced charter or book a seat on preexisting flights. Blade is also offering short helicopter flights over New York City’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.