Uber and Blade Will Fly You to Coachella in a Helicopter for about $4,000
Tickets go on sale starting at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) today for rides to Coachella 2016, a festival held in the desert outside Palm Springs, Calif. during two weekends in April. The cost is $4,170 per one-way flight from the Van Nuys Airport outside of Los Angeles to the festival grounds. Each helicopter can hold six people, which would make the price $695 per person.
While Uber has offered helicopter rides to Coachella in its so-called UberCHOPPER service for the past two years, it had partnered with a company called Corporate Helicopters, which could only fly five people to the festival at a time—though at a lower cost of $3,000 per trip, or $600 per person.
Blade, which will provide this year’s rides to Coachella, had previously focused on the East Coast, shuttling New Yorkers to the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, and Miami. Blade, along with Uber, had also separately offered flights from Salt Lake City to the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Coachella festival-goers can purchase chopper tickets on either the Uber app (for customers in L.A. or Orange County) or Blade’s app. Uber will pick up the passengers in the L.A. area and drop them off at the airport for their Blade flight to Coachella, as well as drive them the last leg to Coachella once they land.
Also included in the price of the ticket: a Casamigos tequila open bar at the airport before boarding the chopper. Besides pre-gaming the festival, Uber is promoting another benefit of opting to fly to Coachella, which is known for stop-and-go traffic congestion on the desert roads leading to the entrance: “There’s no traffic 1,000 feet in the air,” Uber noted in announcing the offer Friday.
Since a roundtrip chopper ticket to Coachella would cost $8,340, Uber is also offering a slightly lower-budget option: For only $399, helicopter passengers can ride back to L.A. in an Uber SUV.