Posts Tagged ‘flying’

Free JetSmarter Helicopter Transfers in NYC


Boarding the helicopter transfer at the West 30th Street Heliport

My husband got me a JetSmarter membership as a present recently and it’s officially become my favorite luxury travel app. Like all private aviation, JetSmarter does not come cheap (rates are going up June 1st, but you can get membership until the end of May for $$9,675 annually plus a one-time initiation fee of $3,500. Details at bottom of this post).

Some video of my Blade flight over the Hudson River

While this may seem steep at first glance, it’s a bargain if you are used to paying full fare for first class travel between New York and Los Angeles. One way First Class airfare on American Airlines costs $2019. If you regularly fly bi-coastal, JetSmarter can be a great value for money.

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Cool view sitting next to the pilot

One of the best things out of the best things about being a JetSmarter member is the free helicopter transfers to and from Teterboro and Westchester airports to the West 30th Street Heliport in New York City.

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Helicopter pilot at the controls

JetSmarter also offers helicopter transfers to the Hamptons from Manhattan and from Chicago airports to the Loop.

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Above the Hudson

If you ask nicely, you can sit next to the pilot when you take off from the West 30th Street Heliport. Keep in mind, this side of the chopper is away from the NYC skyline when heading out of the city.

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The view through the passenger side door

JetSmarter is raising rates in June to $10,000 annually plus a one-time initiation fee of $5,000.

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Headed to HPN Airport in Westchester

I’ll do a post in the future detailing the LA to NYC JetSmarter shuttle experience.


The View after dark into NYC is dramatic and beautiful


Obligatory helicopter selfie


500 East Broward Blvd., 19th Floor,
Fort Lauderdale, USA, FL 33394

+1 (888) 9 VIP JET



(Please mention Jen Pollack Bianco when contacting JetSmarter) 

JetSmarter App on iTunes


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Australia’s Red Centre As Seen From a Helicopter Ride over Uluru


If you want a bird’s eye view of Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) Helicopter is your best bet 

During my recent visit to Uluru- Kata Tjuta National Park in Australia’s Red Centre, it was incredibly clear that the one thing you shouldn’t do is climb Ayer’s Rock. Fortunately Longitude 131 offers scenic helicopter tours as part of it’s menu of “Bespoke Experiences.”


My pilot and the R44 Raven II helicopter

The ride in the R44 Raven II helicopter was smooth. I liked this little helicopter!

Taking off from Longitude 131 in a helicopter for my scenic ride

The photographer in me always likes to get shots from different vantage points, so I booked the 30 minute scenic flight over Uluru & Kata Tjuta to Ayers Rock Airport instead of taking the car transfer. I’m glad I did. The bird’s eye view from the R44 Raven II helicopter gave me a great perspective of the vastness of the desert and stunning views of Uluru and the 36 domes (not all visible by ground) of the Kata Tjuta range (formerly known as the Olgas).

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A nice view of Uluru from a helicopter

 The helicopter ride was smooth and 30 minutes long and took me over both Uluru as well as the Kata Tjuta ranges before heading to the Ayers Rock Airport.

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Approaching Ayer’s Rock Airport

Seeing the scrubby dotted landscape below also made me appreciate the tribal prints of the native Aboriginal people, the Anangu. You can buy their prints at the cultural center.


Different domes of the Kata Tjutas are visible from the ground

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Left: Approaching Uluru Right: Uluru/Ayers Rock is more solid than nearby Kata Tjuta

I shot some video on my iPhone 6 during my helicopter ride. Check it out:

 Flying over Uluru (Ayers Rock) in a R44 Raven II helicopter

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A view of The Kata Tjutas (formerly known as The Olgas) as seen from helicopter

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The domes of Kata Tjuta are visually more interesting that Uluru

While I went to Longitude 131 intent on seeing Uluru, The Kata Tjutas were far more visually interesting for me.

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Obligatory helicopter selfie

The 30 minute scenic helicopter ride over Uluru and Kata Tjuta from Longitude 131 to Ayers Rock Airport costs Australian $570 for two people and can be arranged directly from the resort. It’s great for both photographers and aviation geeks. Since I am both, to me it was totally worth the money.

Longitude 131

Yulara Drive,
Yulara Northern Territory 0872,  Australia
Tel: +61 08 8957 7131
Fax: +61 08 8957 7130

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Jet Set Pets: Interview with Miles Kelly, aka the Points Puppy

Just winding down from another beautiful, but somewhat chilly Miami day

Editor’s Note: I love to travel and I love dogs… as part of my series on Pet-friendly travel,  I thought I’d do an interview with one of my favorite jet set pets, Miles Kelly aka The Points Puppy (his person is The Points Guy). Miles is so cute that he’s had Donna Karan stop in her tracks and comment- Cruella DeVille style- on the beauty of his coloring. You can follow Miles on Instagram where he’s known as @BlueFrenchieMiles. – Jen

Vital stats: 26.5 pounds

Name: Miles Kelly

Breed: French Bulldog

Astrological sign: Libra

How many miles have you flown: About 25,000 and many more to come!

Left: Another day, another mile flown Right: Ugh, I ordered champagne- not this nasty sparkling wine nonsense! Take it away

Favorite way to travel: First class of course.

Favorite airline: American Airlines because my first time flying with my dad the flight attendants gave me wings and a junior aviator log book with lots of compliments about how well behaved I was.

Window or aisle?: I prefer an aisle seat, but my dad always makes me sit by the window boxed in so I can’t escape!

Favorite hotel (or hotel chain) and why?: The W Westwood LA is my favorite hotel because it has a great outdoor restaurant that I can grab lunch with my dad at and there’s great green space out front that I can run around on during our early morning walks to Starbucks.

Quick trip to LA for the Grammys, but having anxiety about leaving this little nugget for the first time!

Left: Yes, hi I’d like the bone-in ribeye (hold the ribeye) and one bowl of Fiji with 6 ice cubes. Gracias  Right: I can haz suite upgrade

Favorite pet friendly place you’ve visited?: The dog beach in Bonita Springs, I got to make so many new friends and rode on a boat with my dad to get there.

Biggest travel pet peeve(no pun intended)? When I get off a long flight and really need to pee and everyone mobs me trying to show me love. Don’t get me wrong – I love giving kisses but please just let me do my business!

Left: Busy day in the life of a puppy blogger Right: Are you tracking all of your miles and points on Awardwallet?

Do you have any tips for pet owners traveling with their dogs?:

Don’t stress out, if your owner is stressed then it will translate to you. It’s much easier than it seems, just make sure you plan extra time because a lot of airlines will make you check in extra early and security takes longer. Some flight attendants can be rude, but my advice is to just kill them with kindness and good behavior and everything will be fine!

What’s your dream destination?: I’d like to visit my homeland of France and do some major shopping with my dad.

I missed my Dad so much… Never go on a business trip again

All images used in this post are courtesy of Brian Kelly (aka The Points Guy) who is worth following
for great tips on how to maximize your loyalty points for travel.

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