Less than a month after a successful water landing trial on the Hudson River using one of its Airbus A320s, US Airways today announced twice-daily non-stop flights from Charlotte directly to downtown New York City.
"You can't get any closer airline service to New York City than this, with the exception of flying an airplane into one of the downtown skycrapers," US Airways Douglas Parker said. "And we all know how that turned out when American and United tried that back in 2001."
Upon landing in the Hudson River, passengers have the option of swimming to shore or taking a water taxi shuttle to either the New York City and or New Jersey harbors. "In line with our a la carte pricing," Parker said, "those who choose to swim and take one of the on-board personal flotation devices will have to pay $50-debit or credit cards only, please-before disembarking. Likewise, those choosing the water taxi will be charged $20 for this service before leaving the cabin."
Passengers wishing to take the water taxi to New Jersey should use the left over-the-wing exit and stand on that wing; for New York City water taxi service, passengers should stand on the right wing. Those swimming will exit using the left main cabin door, according to US Airways.
The new service starts Sunday, March 1. Passengers on the inaugural 11:50 a.m. flight will each receive a free commemorative yellow rubber ducky when boarding at the gate in Charlotte.