Weather and Delay Policies
Determining Your Flight’s Status
If your flight is delayed or canceled due to weather or any other circumstance, you will be notified by Team BLADE via email, text, phone, or in-app notification. You may also see your flight’s status by viewing Your Upcoming Trips.
Delays – Due to Weather or Other Circumstance
From time to time, your flight may be delayed due to weather, unforeseen mechanical issues, temporary flight restrictions, and airport/heliport congestion. If your flight is canceled or delayed, you will be notified by Team BLADE via email, text, phone, or in-app notification.
- When you would be notified of changes to your flight: BLADE will notify you of any delays or cancellations due to weather at least one hour prior to your scheduled departure time. For flights scheduled to depart prior to 10:00am on Monday mornings, BLADE shall send notifications of weather delays or cancellations no later than 9:00pm on the preceding night.
- Excessive Delays: In the event any Flight in excess of 50 miles is delayed more than 2 hours – or, for flights departing from the Hamptons to New York City on Monday mornings, 1 hour – you have the option of 1) booking on a different flight at no additional charge or 2) canceling your flight and receiving BLADE credit. BLADE’s Cancellation Policy outlined in Section 7 of the Terms of Service shall apply to anyone canceling their tickets on a Flight delayed less than 2 hours.
- Moving to other aircraft: In order to minimize the passenger impact of cancellations and delays due to weather, unforeseen mechanical events, temporary flight restrictions and airport congestion, BLADE may reassign you to a different aircraft than the type on which you originally purchased your ticket. Such reassignments may include moving between helicopters, seaplane and turboprop aircraft. If for any reason you decline to accept the alternate aircraft, BLADE will credit your Account for the originally-purchased fare.
- Flights rescheduled for an earlier departure time: If BLADE has to move your flight to a time earlier than your scheduled departure time due to weather, unforeseen mechanical issues or Temporary Flight Restrictions and you are unable to make the newly scheduled flight, BLADE will credit your Account for the originally-purchased fare.
Factors Determining Weather Cancellations or Delays
There are several factors in the decision of whether a flight will be canceled due to inclement weather:
1. Aircraft Type
Each type of aircraft has different inclement weather-flying capabilities.
- Superior: Seaplanes (Aqua, Aqua Xcel, Aqua Ultra) - Seaplanes have greater flexibility when taking off in inclement weather and have a lesser chance of weather cancellations than helicopter flights during the morning because of their increased IFR capability. They also have a higher chance of flying out on Monday mornings in New York because they are based in East Hampton on the weekends.
- Superior: IFR Helicopter (Sikorsky S-76 C++) - Helicopters operating under Instrument Flight Rules can operate when the cloud ceiling is over 500 feet along the entire flight path, subject to Air Traffic Control delays. The Sikorsky is also a great option for those looking to land on the West Side of Manhattan on poor weather days.
- Solid: VFR Helicopter (Xcel, Agusta) - Helicopters operating under Visual Flight Rules can operate when the cloud ceiling is over 1,500 feet and visibility is greater than 3mi along the entire flight path.
2. Pilot's Decision
Pilots make the final determination as to whether a flight will occur or whether one in progress will be diverted to another airport. While weather conditions for flight must be within FAA regulations and operator rules, pilots may unilaterally choose to cancel or divert a flight based on their own judgment of the safety of the immediate and forthcoming weather conditions.
Thunderstorms can be unpredictable. Sometimes they can be circumvented, but it is up to the pilot.
4. Weather Along Entire Flight Path
Sometimes weather will look fine at the origin and destination but it’s also important to consider the weather in the flight path. If there is weather along the flight path sometimes the aircraft can fly around it, sometimes it can divert to a different destination, and sometimes the flight may be canceled altogether.
In the Hamptons, Southampton is typically the first helipad to cancel flights due to inclement weather because of its proximity to the ocean, its single helipad, and its lack of tower. It also has a 7:00PM curfew, so flights delayed due to weather may miss the curfew. Montauk is typically the next airport to cancel flights due to weather conditions, as it has no tower, is next to the ocean, and generally has morning fog. In terms of flight reliability, next comes East Hampton, then Westhampton, as Westhampton is the largest airport with a 24-hour tower and is not near the ocean.
In the Los Angeles area, Santa Monica often has fog issues due to its proximity to the ocean, affecting departures and landings.
In New York City, inclement weather may cause seaplanes and helicopters to be diverted to neighboring airports, such as Teterboro or LaGuardia, if possible.
For more help, see our frequently asked questions.