How to Choose the Right Helicopter Tour Company?
While a helicopter tour can be one of the most thrilling experiences to have, some people don’t have as much fun as others, and that’s primarily due to the helicopter tour company they choose.
And this is why it’s important to choose the right helicopter tour company so that you can have the best experience. Here are some tips to help you do that.
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Do NOT Involve a Middleman
Many people book their helicopter tour through the hotel they stay in. This can be a mistake, as helicopter tour companies often pay enormous charges to hotels for referring customers to them.
If you go to the helicopter company directly, you would very well be able to save up to 30% or more on the charges. The good old Yellow Pages directory does come in handy here.
Check Online Reviews
Most helicopter companies – especially the well-established ones – have gotten many reviews from their past customers. It’s important to go through them and see if there are any common pain points of flying with them or most of the customers had a great experience.
This can help you avoid unpleasant surprises when flying, which are things that can ruin your experience. Also, if you do find more than a few customers complaining about something, be sure to clarify it with the company before booking them.
Booking in Advance
If you have been vacationing during the summer like everyone else, then you may want to book your tour well in advance. This is because just like you, there will be thousands of others booking helicopter tours, meaning that the time and day you want to book for may have already been taken.
In fact, sometimes it can get hard to find a seat in any of the reputed helicopter tour companies during such times. Booking in advance gives you the peace of mind that no matter what, you will be able to have your tour at the time and day of your choice.
Further, you may also be able to get some discount if you book fairly early, as well as improve your chances of getting a good seat.
Avoid A Stars
The A Stars are French helicopters that many helicopter tour companies use. The reason these companies use them over their American counterparts is that they are cheaper.
However, the problem with them is that they are not believed to be as safe as American helicopters, and the comfort can often be an issue as well.
That said, there are a few exceptions to this, and the Echo Star and Bell 407 are two much better helicopters to fly in. So if possible, try to choose a company that uses either of these two helicopters, or an American helicopter for your tour.
Take the Safety Seriously
If you want to ensure the best possible level of safety, look for the FAA Part 135 Air Carrier certification when choosing a helicopter tour company. This certification means that the company follows better safety practices than others without this certification, which is something nice to have given that helicopter accidents are not as rare as they might seem.