Even if you're privileged enough to fly private, you'll still be suffering through that onerous schlep to an airport all the same. That is, unless you've wisely employed the services of BLADE, a new on-demand helicopter charter company who provide hyper-convenient transport to New York City airports, the Hamptons, and Mohegan Sun. They've just opened a swank lounge in midtown Manhattan, and last week we got a sneak peek inside to preview what the pre-flight experience is like for their jet-setting members.
Pro-tip: File this away until the next time you're attempting to hail a cab to JFK during a rainy Friday rush hour.
Set just next door to the company's East River helipad on 34th Street, the unassuming BLADE Lounge blends right in with the industrial oasis underneath FDR Drive, which is most likely where you'd be stranded in traffic had you opted to take the layman's route to your Learjet.
Inside, it's an entirely different world. The dark interior—dreamed up by the visionary designer Michael Beneville—gets paired with warm lighting and panoramic views of the river. It's the perfect antidote to the incessant honking and emergency sirens wailing mere feet above.
Frankly, it's more comfortable and relaxing than some of the most exclusive airport lounges in the country. There are candles here guys. And succulents. It's practically a spa.
Depending how much time you've afforded yourself before your chopper's departure, you're free to post up at the comfy bar for some snacks and a drink or two. And no need to pound that dirty martini when it's time to board; you can take that sucker with you.
If, perchance, it's too early to be hittin' the lounge (no such thing), there's plenty of room to wrap up a little work. Try this desk, which may or may not be sculpted from a discarded plane's fuselage.
Since anyone can book a seat on any of their flights out, you'll most likely be hanging with a crew of randoms, as each departure carries a group of six.
So what happens if Mother Nature decides to be a total jerk and weather conditions are deemed to dangerous to fly? There's a handsome contingency plan: you'll be chauffeured to your destination in a Maserati.
You may still be forced to endure the heinous traffic, but there's just something about sitting in the back of Quattroporte that presumably takes the edge off.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. The only helicopter he's ever been in belonged to the police. It's a long story.