The fastest way to travel between Manhattan and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport just became even easier for Delta customers. Delta will enable a fully integrated, streamlined airport transfer experience through an exclusive partnership with BLADE, a digitally powered aviation company that arranges on-demand helicopter service between its Manhattan heliport lounges and JFK.
Delta is New York's largest carrier and has invested more than $2 billion in New York City's airports, leading the way in improving the traveler experience for an ever-growing number of New York passengers. Delta opened a $1.2 billion Terminal 4 at JFK in 2013; another $200 million investment in 2015 added 11 gates and 75,000 square feet in Terminal 4 along with a renovated check-in hall and concourse holdrooms at Terminal 2. The airline offers more than 500 peak-day departures to more than 130 destinations worldwide from its hubs at New York's JFK and LaGuardia airports.
"Our customers value speed and reliability, and so do we. We're proud to be the only airline facilitating an on-demand helicopter transfer that is curated specifically for Delta customers and in line with the enhanced premium amenities and services they have come to expect from our brand," said Tim Mapes, Delta's Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "Partnering with BLADE in the New York City market — home to and destination for many of our most discerning travelers — highlights Delta's commitment to enhancing every aspect and detail of the travel experience, including getting to and from the airport."
Delta's JFK customers can book an expedited, seamless experience that begins and ends at one of BLADE's three Manhattan heliport lounges where they may relax in a full-service lounge prior to their five-minute flight. Upon touchdown, a member of Delta's Elite Services team will welcome the customer, collect baggage and personally escort them from the helicopter via awaiting ground transportation to the departure terminal, expediting security clearance as they head to their departing aircraft. When it's time for the Delta flight, the customer is escorted to their seat on board. Bookings are available via the BLADE app.
Delta customers arriving into JFK, including those on transcontinental service from Los Angeles and San Francisco and trans-Atlantic flights from London, can also enjoy a seamless helicopter transfer experience. Delta's Elite Services will meet customers on the jet bridge as they disembark a Delta flight or immediately after they clear customs, reclaim baggage and whisk them directly to the door of a waiting helicopter for the five-minute flight to Manhattan.
"With Delta, BLADE has found a partner that shares the same customer-centric focus to provide a truly unrivaled travel experience," said BLADE Founder and CEO Rob Wiesenthal. "The integration of BLADE airport transfers into Delta's core offerings will enable us to remove much of the friction faced by many frequent travelers: the challenge of quickly transferring between Manhattan and JFK."
The BLADE partnership is just one of many enhancements Delta is making to offer an innovative customer experience. It's part of a multi-billion-dollar investment that includes a cabin modernization program featuring new seats, seatback entertainment systems with free entertainment, and high-capacity overhead bins; access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights; complimentary meals in the Main Cabin on select flights; upgraded free Main Cabin snacks; chef-curated meals in Delta One; a seasonal wine program; an Alessi-designed collection of service products and tableware; and more.
On the ground, Delta plans to add nearly 250 new aircraft to its fleet in coming years. The airline has also opened new Delta Sky Club locations in Denver, Atlanta, and Seattle, and renovated Clubs in Nashville, Dallas, Newark, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Meanwhile, Delta is investing in airport enhancement programs in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York and Salt Lake City, and testing and implementation of an enhanced boarding process in Atlanta.