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News / City Life

Uber and Blade are offering helicopter rides from LA to Coachella

Coachella 2015, day 3
Photograph: Kate Wertheimer Coachella 2015, day 3

Just when we were starting to feel confident that our beat-up car could survive the two-hour-plus trip to the Empire Polo Club, Uber had to come along and make us feel bad about ourselves.

The ride hailing service is partnering with Blade, an Uber-like helicopter service, to offer less-than-an-hour flights to Coachella. For the low, low price of $4,170, you and five friends can share a private helicopter ride to the desert. Feeling stingy on the ride back? You can book an UberSUV to LA for $399.

Starting at noon today, you can open either the Uber or Blade apps and reserve an UberCHOPPER—what else would it be called?—for either festival weekend (an Uber press release erroneously states "all 3 festival weekends," or perhaps it's going to be available for Stagecoach as well).

After you've made your nonrefundable reservation, Uber will get in touch to arrange an UberSUV ride to the Van Nuys Airport—which will feature an open tequila bar—before you're whisked off to your Airbus EC-130. The flight will touch down at the Indio Blade Desert Lounge, which Uber promises is only minutes from the festival grounds. Here's hoping that's enough to avoid the detestable desert traffic.

It's not the first time Uber has offered helicopter rides to Coachella; they teamed up with Corporate Helicopters over the past two years to offer a similar $3,000 service. But this year they've switched to Blade, a primarily East Coast service, and brought that thousand dollar price bump along with it—blame it on the open bar, we suppose.

While we certainly wouldn't turn down a helicopter ride from a generous friend, we'll be sticking with the free festival parking and $30 in gas money.