United Airlines To Launch Flying Taxi Service

While it may sound like a page out of science fiction, one of the largest airline carriers in the United States announced a flying taxi service to open by the end of 2025. United Airlines will use unique aircraft as a means of getting travelers across large cities, starting with Chicago.

The new service will allow travelers to get to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport with time to spare. The current estimate of trip time between Vertiport Chicago downtown and the busy airport is about ten minutes.

According to United, the company is purchasing up to 200 Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing craft from the company Archer.

These unique aircraft borrow features similar to traditional planes and helicopters. The craft can lift off and land vertically, similar to a helicopter, but fly using traditional wings. This is similar to the Osprey, used by the United States military. The aircraft can fly up to 150 miles per hour and have a range of approximately 100 miles.

The use of such flying taxis demonstrates that the new service will include a daunting level of organization and logistics.

The 2022 deal to purchase aircraft from Archer cost $1 billion. The company announced that a trip on one of these unique vehicles will cost about $100.

United will not be the only major company to offer a flying taxi service. In 2019, Uber announced its version of the concept utilizing a helicopter. Dubbed Uber Copter, the ride-sharing service said that ordering a helicopter to travel to an airport would be just as simple as ordering an Uber to drive you to a location.

According to the company, its service offered “door-to-door airport trips designed so you can spend less time stressed and even less time in traffic.”

A review at the time noted that a trip between Manhattan and JFK International Airport in New York City cost approximately $200 and took just 8 minutes. This is substantially quicker than taking a taxi or driving to the major airport. Uber Copter allows for one carry-on suitcase and a personal item.