US Helicopter, the service that provides connections from Newark and JFK airports to two heliports in Manhattan, has suspended all service, both scheduled and charter. According to the release on their website it is a “standown” of service and they will be reorganizing their operations with an eye on restarting service in November.
We are temporarily halting all service as we regroup to add aircraft to our fleet and introduce new routes. This ‘standown’ of service applies to our scheduled flights as well as our charter service. We plan to return to the skies of New York – a bigger and better airline – by late November. For information on refunds for tickets you hold for future travel, please contact your credit card company for a credit or refund. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we look forward to serving you again very soon with our 8 Minute Airport Shuttle.
While this certainly is unfortunate, it is also not all that surprising. The two times I used the service I was the only person on the helicopter. They recently offered a huge sale – $59 each way – in an effort to drum up some cash but it doesn’t look like it was enough. I hope they are flying again in December and that they have the deal on offer; I’ve got a trip planned and it would be fun to do it again if it is cheap. But at $159 each way the value just doesn’t seem to be there for me. And apparently not for enough other people either.
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They are directing people to their credit card issuers for refunds? That seems rather fishy — did their accountants "stand down" too? Is that a euphemism for "we fired everyone"?
It is simply the way the system works in the USA with air travel and bankruptcy. The CC companies hold back some cash from the supplier in order to hedge against this type of scenario and they are also much more readily able to get in line as a creditor for the missing cash. A consumer has no chance as an unsecured creditor.
It is things like this that make buying plane tickets with a CC infinitely smarter than any other means of purchase, including Debit cards, Bill Me Later, PayPal or the like.
Oh, I know. But they didn't say anything about bankruptcy. They called it "stand-down" and "reorganizing their operations." Making it sound like they are taking a little time-out to rethink their plan, not that they're going to file Ch11 (or Ch7, I suspect it will ultimately be).
And yes, I'd never buy travel with anything other than a CC… I have never used a debit card for anything, in fact. Just don't see why it would be to my advantage.
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