Grand Canyon National Park by Helicopter - 5 Tricks for Getting the Best Flight

Travel & LeisureTravel Tips

  • Author Susan Bissonnette
  • Published January 8, 2014
  • Word count 516

Now that we are officially into 2014, it's time to start planning that Grand Canyon helicopter tour. Here are a few things you should know about these fun Grand Canyon tours.

Tours Depart From Las Vegas

Helicopter tours that depart from Vegas go only to the West Rim. What should you do if you have your heart set on touring the South Rim? The South Rim is too far for a chopper but you can go by plane and get there in about an hour.

Another important thing to know is helicopters can only fly to the bottom of the canyon at the West Rim. Authorities do not allow this at the South Rim so they can control noise. So if you want to get to the floor of the canyon, you need to take off from Vegas and head to the West Rim where the air tours land at the top or bottom of the canyon.

You should also keep in mind the choppers only take six passengers besides the pilot. So if there are more than six people in your family or group, you will have to split up and ride in different choppers. If you all want to stay together, you should take a tour by airplane instead. The planes carry 19 passengers so large groups can fly together.

About The Window Seats

Most everyone wants to know if they can book a window seat. The weight in a helicopter has to be distributed evenly, so passengers are generally assigned seating according to how much they weigh. Therefore, there is no guarantee you will get a window seat. Still, it is possible to book one when you book your tour online. It doesn't mean it is guaranteed though and if you don't get one, you won't be charged for it.

So we've covered four important points about Grand Canyon chopper tours. Here's the fifth: Upgrade to an EcoStar 130. Yes, I know they are more expensive but these choppers are the kings of the sky. These choppers have 180-degree wraparound windows, huge cabins, and stadium style seats that offer the ultimate in comfort and scenic viewing.

Let's discuss booking your tour. First and foremost, please book your tour in advance. During holidays, helicopters can be sold out for days. You should get your seats at least one week before you plan to take your tour. You want to purchase your tour online too. You get the best rate when you buy online.

The Weather

Las Vegas might be in a desert, but it gets cold there in the winter. So wear a heavy jacket, gloves and a hat, plus long pants and enclosed shoes. I usually go the "layers" route, which lets me peel off a sweater or two if I get too hot.

Hopefully these tips answer your questions about Grand Canyon air tours. These are the topics most people seem to ask about. By learning about what to expect, you can pick the best air tour for you. Don't forget to book your seats online. It is super convenient and you'll save money too.

All set to fly Grand Canyon National Park? Here's the author's directory of the top helicopter tour companies: Following that, click here for flight discounts:

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