Eight New Yorkers with good timing who want to flee to the Hamptons this summer could arrive via helicopter paid for by Cadillac.
Cadillac's "Fly and Drive" program will fly eight people, those quickest to notice the special flight on Blade, the helicopter-hailing app, to East Hampton, N.Y., and lend six of them a Cadillac XT5 midsize crossover for the weekend.
The program follows other efforts from General Motors' luxury brand to provide mobility to consumers, such as partnering with Uber Technologies Inc. last year.
People can reserve a "Fly and Drive" flight, departing every Friday evening from July 7 through Aug. 25, by frequently checking the Blade app for the air-charter, which will be posted "at random" during the week. Users can then reserve a seat at no cost until all eight are filled.
Cadillac hopes to attract Blade's customers to the brand by giving fliers a frictionless and pain-free travel experience, said Nathan Tan, director of brand partnerships and experiences for global Cadillac.
"The summer is Blade's high season with New York City to Hamptons travel at peak demand," Tan said. "So it made sense to provide a service that addresses a pain point and be a value."
If skies are clear, winners will make their way to Blade's East 34th Street or West 30th Street lounge to depart on a 40-minute flight to the end of Long Island. If weather interferes with a flight, Cadillac will chauffer winners in a XT5 to the island.
"Customers can fly instead of sit in traffic, get there no matter the weather, and have the convenience of a car to freely move around," Tan said.
The air-charter service, which has been called "Uber for helicopters" costs as much as $795 for a one-way seat to the Hamptons on a Friday afternoon during summer. Blade also offers five-minute whisks from Wall Street to John F. Kennedy International Airport for about $695.