Big increase in spring/summer bookings at Grand Canyon Helicopters

Big increase in spring/summer bookings at Grand Canyon Helicopters 6 May, 14, Source: Grand Canyon Helicopters

Grand Canyon Helicopters, a Las Vegas-based provider of National Park tour and travel information, is reporting a significant spike in spring tour bookings and is expecting that to increase as summer approaches.

“Spring travel to the Grand Canyon is really taking off,” said Keith Kravitz, owner of Grand Canyon Helicopters. “Every kind of trip is being booked, especially the deluxe versions.”

Types of Tours

There are two kinds of helicopter tours: Basic and deluxe. The former typically uses a standard helicopter and includes a limited number of perks. The deluxe, by contrast, includes a limousine shuttle and the EcoStar 130, a far superior aircraft.

“There’s a big difference between the two packages,” noted Kravitz. “And, yes, the deluxe is more expensive. However, when total value is calculated, it’s easily the better deal.”

The majority of deluxe helicopters fly from Las Vegas to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon. In nearly all cases, such trips depart from Las Vegas Strip heliports, which are just minutes away from all major Strip hotels.

Limousine Shuttle

“Convenience is what makes deluxe flights so appealing,” said Kravitz. “No matter where a traveler is staying on The Strip, that individual can usually be transported by limo to the heliport in about 10 minutes.”

As for the EcoStar 130, it’s all about personal space and elegance. “The EC 130 has 25% more cabin space than the average helicopter,” Kravitz said. “Plus, these aircraft are equipped with 180-degree wraparound windshields and stadium-style seats so all passengers get excellent, unobstructed views of the Canyon.”

Deluxe flights are also available out of Tusayan, AZ, which is also referred to as the South Rim. “These tours are available in 30-minute and 50-minute flights,” Kravitz noted. “Basic versions are available, but the best experience is obviously to be had aboard the EC 130.”

South Rim

Travelers need to note that South Rim helicopters do not fly below the rim and land at the bottom. “The Federal Aviation Administration bans such flights at South Rim,” Kravitz said. “Those flights are only available from Las Vegas and they are in extremely high demand.”

In order to get a helicopter tour during spring and summer, travelers are urged to book in advance. “Rule of thumb is purchase helicopter tours at least a week in advance,” said Kravitz. “Forget last minute reservations as flights generally aren’t available, especially if it’s a group consisting of two or more people.”

Temperatures are starting to heat up at the Canyon so dressing comfortably is paramount. “Mid-May is when temperatures usually break 100 degrees at the West Rim,” noted Kravitz. “South Rim is at a higher elevation and thus more temperate but it still gets hot. Best advice is to wear a hat, use sun block and drink lots of water.”

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