BLADE Unveils Retrofitted CRJ-200 for Private Flights to Miami
BLADE is a company that continues to push the limits of what we think of as modern air transportation, a byproduct of the new, on-demand economy that's often referred to as being like Uber for helicopters. The brand is known for its helicopter service from Manhattan to New York City's airports, which lets you essentially "crowdsource" a flight with other passengers to help bring down the cost.
Yesterday, BLADE unveiled a new twist on a recently released product with the reintroduction of its BLADEone service, which offers travelers private jet service from New York City to Miami. Last year, the brand flew a Gulfstream IV — which TPG wrote about and throughly enjoyed — but has upped its game since then with two completely retrofitted Bombardier CRJ-200s on the route.
The CRJ-200 is normally used as a regional commercial passenger jet and can hold up to 60 people — in this case, it's been converted into a luxury jet for 16.
The CRJ-200 is much roomier than a normal chartered jet — all seats are full seats with no benches, which you'll sometimes find in some private setups. There's enough room for privacy but the size of the plane also allows for “common space” where passengers can interact with each other. Design company The Line has beautifully decorated the interior and just like its showroom in SoHo, Manhattan, almost everything in the plane is for purchase, all the way down to the pillows and blankets. Just pull up the shopping list on your personal iPad Pro and order away.
Gourmet food is provided by hand-picked executive chefs, and yesterday's inaugural flight was catered by Lure Fishbar. A bento box full of Japanese cuisine was served for dinner, complete with a side of caviar.
Part of BLADE's appeal is its exclusivity, and the brand plays on that through its partnership with Koio sneakers. Travelers yesterday actually got to pick out impossible-to-find custom shoes from the Italian company as part of the cost of their ticket. BLADE plans on doing similar partnerships throughout the season as well.
Henri Bendel designed the Dopp kits full of personal care products from boutique brands. Each seat also comes with a set of premium headphones from Master and Dynamic to use with your iPad Pro.
Gone are the days where people get dressed up to fly, but one of BLADE's goals is to bring back the golden age of travel. Jake Wildstein, who works on business development, said that commercial air travel has become "a cattle herding-like process," but BLADE wants people to be excited about their journey, not just the destination — you can tell they mean it by the level of care and thought that's been put into every detail of these flights.
Tickets for each seat cost $1,795 each way, but what seriously ups the value is that if you purchase a set of two round-trip tickets on BLADEone, you'll also get a room for the weekend at the spectacular Faena Hotel Miami Beach. Note that the cost of your helicopter ride from Manhattan to Westchester is not included in the price, but can be booked for an additional $250 in each direction.
Flights depart from Westchester County Airport (HPN) on Friday at 9:00am and land at Miami's Opa-Locka Executive Airport (OPF). Return flights depart Sunday at 4:00pm, with each trip lasting about two hours and 45 minutes. Flights will continue until April 16 when the seasonal service ends.
If you’re interested in trying out the BLADEone experience for yourself, click here and enter referral code THEPOINTSGUY (case sensitive). You’ll earn a $100 discount on your first flight, and TPG will receive $50 after you travel.
Have you ever flown with BLADE? Share your experience with us, below.