A New Ride for Highfliers
By Kate Bonamici

(FORTUNE Magazine) - Everyone has CEO fantasies. But mine aren't about running a multinational; they're about fabulous offices, sweeping views, luxe travel. So a test-ride on US Helicopter's new Manhattan-to-J.F.K. airport shuttle (launching March 13; $159 each way) is total wish fulfillment.

My imaginary flight departs J.F.K. at 10:30 A.M., yet I arrive at the Wall Street helipad at ten, with just a half-hour to spare.

10:02 I breeze through TSA security at the heliport (if I were flying American Airlines (Research), I could check bags to my final destination).

10:07 Settling into a cushy eight-seat Sikorsky S76, we lift off effortlessly, quickly soaring above the poor slobs stuck in Town Cars below.

10:15 Touch down behind the brand-new AA terminal at J.F.K.

10:18 Once inside we're behind security--and mere yards from the entrance to the gleaming Admiral's Club.

For now US Helicopter can land only behind American's gates, but CEO Jerry Murphy says he hopes to soon prescreen passengers on other airlines. By mid-April flights will also depart from the East 34th Street heliport, with future service planned to LaGuardia and Newark and from the West Side.

Sadly, instead of winging off to an exotic locale, I catch the subway back to the office. But my fantasy continues: Given my CEO salary, taking a time-saving whirlybird is a boost to my company's bottom line. Top of page

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