Uber presses the class-warfare button

Meet the Uberchopper: Luxury in the skies for New York beachgoers who can't stand holiday traffic

By Andrew Leonard
Published July 2, 2013 9:24PM (UTC)
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(uber blog)

I wanted to be outraged at the news that Uber, the car-hire service that apparently plans to take over the globe, is offering helicopter service from New York City to the Hamptons on July 3 for the low, low price of $3,000. Smartphone access to a chopper is clearly the kind of 1 percent perk that gets the Twitter masses all uppity, and I was ready to join in with the fun.
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But then I went to read Uber's UberCHOPPER announcement on Uber's own blog, and ingested the following passage:


Independence Day for New Yorkers is synonymous with fireworks, long weekends in the Hamptons, beaches, BBQs, and relaxation. Let’s not forget the most important part: FREEDOM. This year, we’re giving you the ultimate freedom – from the crowds, the traffic, and the long trip out East – with UberCHOPPER. Tap a single button to request a private driver who will transport you and four friends to the helipad, where you’ll take off directly for East Hampton. Another driver will be awaiting your arrival to drop you off at your final destination. Blair Waldorf, Don Draper, and Jay Gatsby got nothing on you. This is the epitome of luxury, convenience, and style.

No, what this really is is the epitome of Twittter-bait. By which I mean a P.R. stunt purposely designed to press the social media class-warfare button and get everybody frothing about Uber, thus pumping up brand awareness. The fact that New York is amply endowed with rich kids who will no doubt seize upon this new transportation option for their beach-hopping this weekend is just extra gravy. Win, win.

Certainly, a move worthy of Don Draper.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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1 Percent Class Warfare Luxury One Percent Uber Uberchopper