Highways and major roads in and around big cities can be full of traffic. For those with resources, traveling by helicopter can be much quicker:
But the use of commuter helicopters in the greater Los Angeles area is probably second only to New York City, said Kurt Deetz, who ferried Bryant from 2014 to 2016 as a former pilot for the charter service Island Express Holding Corp.
The customer base skews rich, famous and traffic-averse. In 1997, for instance, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs got permission from officials in Richmond, Calif., to build a heliport that was only a short drive from his office at Pixar Animation Studios.
“It’s about time and money,” Deetz said. “If you were to go from Orange County to Los Angeles on a Friday at 4 p.m., how long would that take you? It’s convenience.”…
The choppers are used by “everyone from celebrities to actors to investment guys and simply people with a lot of money,” Deetz said. “It’s not a poor man’s way of transportation.”
Perhaps this information would fit into a class-based system of daily transportation in the United States (in broad strokes): poor and working-class with more reliance on mass transit where available, people of most classes looking to drive themselves if they have the resources, and then the wealthy seeking alternatives (ranging from having drivers or using helicopters and planes). Driving regularly signals a level of independence and status that many Americans want – unless they have so much money that they can get around everyone else who wants to drive.
The article mentions expanding opportunities for helicopter transport in Los Angeles as well as the possibility of flying cars or vehicles that can vertically land and take off. Would there be a point where there are so many trips by those vehicles that the advantage of going by air is decreased?