Continuing on from my previous post, we left Athens at 6pm and landed into Newark Liberty International Airport just before 9pm. A nice and easy ten hour flight across the Atlantic. By the time we got to the hotel most people were exhausted with the time difference and the flight over, so I headed to bed knowing the next day would be a busy day.
Waking at 6am with the effects of jet lag as per in the US, I jumped out of bed and set out on a walk for a Starbucks and to stock up on all my favourite American drug store products.
It was a beautiful morning walking through the typically American suburbs with the sun shining down!
After stocking up, I walked back to the hotel and got ready for the rest of the day. I had booked onto a doors off helicopter tour over New York City and four more of the crew had also booked on too by the time we got to New Jersey so it was set to be a fun day out! I met the crew downstairs and we took an Uber over to a cafe called Kudo Society for some breakfast/lunch and a coffee.
It was a Korean cafe and we ordered pulled pork kimchi bowls washed down with iced coffees, and we sat chatting away before moving on to the helicopter hanger.
The drive over took around twenty minutes to the FLYNYON HQ and we checked in and did all the formalities for the flight before having a safety briefing.
We were all weighed so they can evenly distribute weight in the helicopter and explained how to exit from our harnesses in the event of an emergency.
We were all put into harnesses and secured in by one of the team and all our phones, go pros and cameras were all placed into holders that were then attached to our harnesses so that we can capture all the pictures and videos that we wanted but making sure they were secure so we didn’t drop- them out of the helicopter.
There was a slight delay on ground due to a TFR (temporary flight restriction) as there were some government officials flying into the area. I wonder who it was! But it wasn’t before long we were walking out to the helicopter ready to take flight!
I’m actually seriously scared of heights and I didn’t know how I would cope ascending up to such heights! But this is something I’ve wanted to do for the longest time and knew it would be such an amazing experience. Our captain Chris gave us a quick briefing before telling us our route over Manhattan.
We were placed in our assigned positions and secured into the seat with our harness and we prepared for take off. I’m not going to lie, but about fifteen seconds in to the flight I was freaking out and didn’t think I was going to enjoy ANY of the thirty six minute journey.
Poor Danai who was sat next to me, I couldn’t let go off her leg I was SO scared! It really took me a good ten minutes or so to adjust and be okay with being so high up. She probably had a little bruise shaped hand mark in her leg later, but I couldn’t have got through it without her, so thank you and sorry Danai!!
When I finally calmed, I was able to take in the incredible view and the first place we were taken over was Central Park, and wow does it look impressive from above!
It was really difficult to first of all hang my legs over the edge cause I was so scared, but then when you did, the wind was also pushing your legs towards the back of the helicopter. So I apologise for the angled pictures at times, it was hard to trying to utilise both my GoPro and my phone, and not be pushed into my colleague Paris!
From here we crossed over Times Square and passed the Empire State Building where we circled for a couple of minutes to get the all impressive view back across Manhattan including the Empire State Building and the entirety of Central Park. Just look at how breathtaking that is?!
From here we then worked our way down Manhattan towards the Financial District or often referred to as FiDi.
The City of New York was created in the Financial District in 1624, and the neighbourhood roughly overlaps with the boundaries of the New Amsterdam settlement in the late 17th century.
The district comprises the offices and headquarters of many of the city’s major financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Anchored on Wall Street in the Financial District, New York City has been called both the most financially powerful city and the leading financial centre of the world, and the New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock exchange by total market capitalisation. What an absolutely incredible view! You can see how exposed we were here…
Moving on from the Financial District we moved back around taking in the view of Brooklyn and the ever impressive Brooklyn Bridge.
And finally venturing towards Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty. The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbour in New York, in the United States. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886.
The Statue of Liberty is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her head with her right hand, and in her left hand carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776), the date of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. A broken shackle and chain lay at her feet as she walks forward, commemorating the recent national abolition of slavery. The statue became an icon of freedom and of the United States, and a national park tourism destination. It is a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.
And just like that our thirty six minute helicopter ride over the city was coming to an end!
It was so incredible to see New York City from above. It’s a city I’ve visited so many times and really know quite well now, so to see it from a birds eye view was really something special. Having no doors on the helicopter was one of the most scariest yet most exhilarating things I have ever done, when they helicopter turns and you feel you really are face down over the city is a fear and excitement like no other. The views we saw were incredible, and seeing Central Park from above was phenomenal, you really don’t realise just how big it is!
We flew with a company called FLYNYON and opted for the extended trip which included Central Park, Times Square, Empire State Building, FiDi, Brooklyn and the Statue Of Liberty. The cost of the extended trip cost $245 with a guaranteed foot selfie seat position. The company offer discounted codes throughout the year and I managed to book my trip with a 50% discount code. What’s really great is that you can pay now and book later and you have a year to book the trip. So for cabin crew this works out great so you can schedule for your next layover, or for those with holidays planned in the future!
I highly recommend this experience if you’re ever visiting New York, or if you’re cabin crew like myself. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done and something I will never forget! I now want to do the helicopter tour again but at night, as we were shown some videos and it’s a completely different vibe on an evening. I’ll get that added to the bucket list!
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