Helo Days logo
Female passenger gazing out of FlyNyon helicopter window

How to book helicopter ride

It can be overwhelming when booking a helicopter ride, but once you know how, you'll be booking a ride that is suited to your budget in no time.

How you book a helicopter ride would ideally be online; this is where automatic discounts or offers are applied when booking a ride. Never assume you can fly on the day so always book up to a month in advance. Book with an experience day service or why not book up directly with the helicopter operator themselves.

It can be quite frightening booking a helicopter ride for the first time for many reasons; frightful of the ride itself, or whether you'll mess up the booking process.

Think of booking a helicopter ride just as you would ordering a product online. Select the package that is within your budget, then add to basket.

Customers must focus there attention more on cost, time and location.

Costs are usually what you see is what you pay, whereas time is the flight duration. If its a short flight its usually a low cost ride, whereas if its on the higher end, it an extended ride.

More importantly, always check the helicopter operators departure point; this is the heliport or airfield to which you need to arrive at one hour before departing, minimum.

If it is easily accessible to you then book up, if you feel with lack of car travel or no near by public transport, then give it a miss.

Very rarely will a helicopter operator provide a full refund if you decide to cancel late on.

That will then bring me to you - the passenger, guest or customer - who should be well prepared.

Play it safe wherever you're in the would by bringing form of payment - regardless if you paid in advance - photo ID such as passport and wear appropriate clothing.

Notwithstanding, customers will need to be weighed to see if they qualify for a helicopter ride, so know you're within the weight limit for a helicopter ride to avoid being rejected.

Better value ordering online

Let's get this straight, when you book a helicopter ride you must do so online, as this is where the special offers or discounts are applied.

Absolutely the helicopter operator may offer the discount over the phone, but it is something that can be overlooked.

So always book a helicopter ride online or risk losing money off offers.

No need to go out and scour the internet for discount codes; it usually works with the operator applying the discount already.

Listed prices online are full prices, but once you see the price breakdown you often realise a discount as been applied - as part of a special offer month, for example.

Options made available to you are over the phone and for a handful are people without internet connection, its the only option.

But if you can, do it online as this is where offers or discounts are automatically applied, plus its easier to book a date and, or time.

Avoid booking on day

Never ever consider booking a helicopter ride for the day you intend to fly; its very rare people will get a place so near to the departure time.

Its made even trickier if you need to book for two people or perhaps a group; then the odds of getting an available seat is made harder, when its more seats you require.

So whatever you do, do not book a helicopter ride on the day.

That is not to say its not made possible but I only say this because having reached out to hundreds of helicopter ride operators - they often say the same thing.

Book in advanced to guarantee a place on a helicopter.

What can go wrong if booking a ride on the day can also come down to not enough time for payment to process - which they will need to verify before departing.

Then there's an issue with you getting to the departure location; if you don't put to much planning into it, you just might not be able to get there in time.

Having said all that, helicopter rides serving smaller, rural areas usually have places on the day, its just the big helicopter tour companies who do not.

Book helicopter ride in advance

How to book a helicopter ride is doing so way in advanced. If you can book up to say two months in advance, then you're way ahead of the game.

If booking two weeks in advanced, in most cases you'll still get a seat.

However, if failing to book a helicopter ride two weeks or more you will often be to late, for example to take a helicopter tour in New York, Hawaii or over the Grand Canyon.

Major helicopter operators can carry up to 600K passengers a years, so its not very often they have spare places.

You can phone up or attempt to book a helicopter ride with them on the day, and to be fair, places could be made available - but its not a guarantee.

What I have found when booking though is the month ahead is quite sparse; meaning there's an handful of places, but not necessarily on a day or time that suites you.

Always book your helicopter ride in advanced if you're local or a tourist visiting from abroad - to be guaranteed a helicopter flight where a time, day and price suites you.

Booking as visiting tourist

Difficulty in how to book helicopter rides is if you're visiting a country from abroad, is that you need to sync it with your stay.

Take for example visiting New York City; if visiting Manhattan for 5 days, you will have a short window to make sure the flight goes as planned.

Its also difficult to reschedule if there's issues with the weather, to which point you'll be on your way home.

So this is what you do, book your travel tickets for America, Europe or Australia for example, then once all arrangements are set in stone - its time to book a helicopter ride.

Visit the helicopter services directly by using search terms associated with the city or region you're visiting.

Remember, countries are huge so well it might seem simple back home; taking public transport to your helicopter departure point will be more complicated.

So always make sure the heliport is within reach, or better still located in the city you're staying.

Gift voucher ordering

You might not be booking a helicopter ride for yourself so the intention might be you wish to book a ride for a special someone.

If that applies to you then be sure to book a helicopter ride directly with the operator, or if in the case of booking in the UK... make use of helicopter experience days services.

Often they will be well known companies who make arrangements for customers to be sent a gift voucher that will entitle them to a helicopter ride.

No savings to be made this way but it sure will make receiving a unique, once in a life time gift voucher, to be delivered.

Its then up to you, or in the case of the actual recipient to make sure they arrange a flight with the operator that is on the gift voucher details.

Its thought most gift vouchers last up to one year, so it must be used before it expires.

If booking a helicopter experience day in the UK, be sure to consider:

  • Buyagift
  • Experience Days
  • Activity Superstore
  • IntoTheBlue
  • Red Letter Days
  • Virgin Experience Days

Such experience day operators do exist globally but there is more well established operators serving the UK and Ireland.

Helicopter operators directly

Having said all that, people who wish to book a helicopter ride should do so directly, so always leave out the middle man - which is the case of experience day operators.

Its a little difficult if you don't know how, but it always begins with a Google search for helicopter rides - followed by the place, town, city or location that is easily accessible to you.

Now often it can require you to travel a little further than expected, as not all counties regions - wherever you're in the world - have a helicopter company who deliver a tour, ride or helicopter pilot experiences.

Once you've landed on what will look like a suitable helicopter operator; first thing to do is find out point of departure.

Can you, a partner or perhaps group get to this location on a certain day or time without any problems?

If yes then be sure to book a helicopter ride with the company. If not then continue to seek out a company who have a heliport that you can travel to with no issues whatsoever.

All you have to do then is see if they have a helicopter passenger FAQ page so you can be well prepared.

Now all you need to do is whip out your credit card and book a flight online or over the phone - though bare in mind over the phone should be you final option.

Summary

Never book a helicopter ride over the phone or face-to-face as its much easier, and cheaper to do it online.

To maintain people's interest well offering an opportunity for repeat customers to get a bargain, the helicopter operator will list there discounts online.

You will not need a discount code or do anything complicated; as most of the time the real discounts are automatically deducted online.

Therefore, the price you see is the discount price. If viewing the price breakdown its often possible to know what those reductions were.

Now you know to book online only, unless you have issues or need help; always book in advanced, and never on the day.

Big helicopter tour companies, such as those you fly over the Grand Canyon are busy operators, so will rarely have seats available.

Its up to you to make sure a helicopter ride can go ahead by booking nice and early, say up to two weeks, but a month or more would be ideal.

That is if you can guarantee you will be at the point and time of departure as planned.

When visiting a country from abroad, you will need to book before but only on a day you'll be in town - tourists can pay for miss-flight type insurance if there's a risk of you canceling due to not being there in time, or not at all.

Share this article: