The new seaplane between DC and New York is a blast
Tailwind Air lands on the East River and docks at 23rd Street and FDR Drive. Photo: Kristen Hinman/Axios
👋 Hi, Kristen, Axios Local Office Manager. Can I tell you about the night last week when I found myself frantically weighing my MacBook on my bathroom scale?
What was happening: I was going to New York for two nights. And I had booked the new seaplane. But it wasn’t until I paid that I saw the fine print: “Your ticket includes 20 pounds of hand luggage/rollaboard only.”
Why is this important: Name one time you’ve packed 48 hours of New York wardrobe changes into the equivalent of a diaper bag!
- Flight time: 80-95 minutes, depending on the winds.
- Plane: Cessna caravan.
- Cargo: eight passengers, two pilots, lots of snacks.
At $395+ one way, tickets are 💰💰💰. But believe me, you’ve never had so much fun going to Manhattan.
Most : First, the journey is nearly frictionless.
- You ride from the Billionaires Hangar in Dulles (aka the Private Jet Terminal) and down the river at East 23rd Street and FDR Drive.
- You can show up 20 minutes before your flight.
- There is no TSA stop or security line.
The is this ⬇️
Yes, but: There are a few downsides.
- Thefts are not as frequent as you would like. (According to Felipe Infante, Tailwind station manager for Boston, that’s because the company only flies three planes between DC, New York and Boston.)
- The ascent and descent can be very good herky-jerky. If you’re the puking type 🙋♀️: Dramamine.
Also: Low cloud cover may result in cancellations.
- Tailwind may need to abandon a flight or land at a conventional airport (like Westchester or Teterboro) and work to provide ground transportation from there.
- The week I traveled saw three consecutive days of cancellations, Infante told me.
To note : I also had a reservation canceled five days in advance due to “operational issues”. Company representatives could not determine the exact reason, but told me the aircraft was likely in need of maintenance. At least I had enough notice to change my plans.
The bottom line: Tailwind is a great option for commuters or those not worried about a 2.8 lb MacBook hoarding valuable carry-on baggage. That said, I would 100% do it again – unboxing was a breeze.