As airlines begin pre-flight COVID-19 testing, BLADE Urban Air Mobility has said it is offering and now requiring pre-board testing for its regular private jet services in the United States. The requirement applies to all passengers, cabin attendants and BLADE lounge employees for all shared jet flights. It is included in the ticket price.
Its current schedule includes flights from New York to Miami and Aspen. BLADE offers passengers private lounges in Manhattan (at West 30e Street for helicopter transfers), Westchester Country Airport, North New York, and Miami Opa-locka Airport. In Aspen, it uses private aviation facilities, so customers in any case avoid major airport terminals used by airline passengers.
The pre-boarding test is carried out before check-in. It is performed on site by CrowdRX, a division of Global Medical Response.
Melissa Tomkiel, General Counsel and President of Fixed Wing at BLADE, said: “Testing has always been on our schedule for our shared jet services. Now that we are happy with the safety, reliability and ease of our testing program, it has been incorporated into our pre-board protocols.
BLADEone jets can accommodate up to 50 passengers depending on regional carrier configuration. On its semi-private flights, they only have 14 or 16 seats organized in a 1×1 configuration. This means that there is always an aisle width between you and the next passenger.
How much does BLADE cost?
Standard BLADEone seats between New York and Miami sell for $ 2,850 with an additional cost of $ 495 if you choose to add the helicopter link between Westchester and Manhattan. The cost of the seat during the holiday season can reach $ 3,050.
You can also buy a pack of 10 tickets, offering a 10% discount or a pack of 20, which reduces prices by 15%. Both are valid for one year.
Flights between New York and Aspen start at $ 3,500 per seat.
XO, the other major player in the East Coast shared scheduled private jet market, said it continues to require passengers on shared flights to submit a health declaration form at least 24 hours before departure. to check their well-being and identify any symptoms. It also reviews trips for the previous 21 days and further screening may be required. Masks are mandatory for shared flights.
He said that in some cases passenger temperatures can be taken with a non-contact infrared thermometer. In the field, privileged faith-based organizations reconfigured the facilities to facilitate social distancing and implemented targeted clean-up procedures. The planes are equipped with personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer for use by passengers.
Prices per seat for XO flights between New York City and South Florida range from $ 1,790 to $ 3,390, depending on date of departure.
XO allows passengers to offer shared flights anywhere in the United States, as well as international routes. A seat for a shared flight from New York to London is priced at $ 7,390. However, you will need to find nine other like-minded travelers, as a minimum of 10 seats must be sold for the flight to take off.
There could be more shared flights on the way. Talk to Corporate Jet Investor Americas 2020 conference earlier this week, Kenny Dichter, CEO of Wheels Up, told attendees: “We will work closely with Delta (Air Lines) if a pair of cities is not served. We’ll look at shuttles, seats, shared flights. Delta Air Lines owns 24% of Wheels Up, now second behind NetJets with the second largest fleet of private rental jets.