Grand Canyon flights are available in a basic and deluxe version and if you want the best experience possible, you should opt for a deluxe tour if you can. The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and you don’t want to skimp if you’re able to go see it. A deluxe tour package will give you the type of memories that you’ll have forever. Grand Canyon helicopters and airplane tours take off daily (virtually hourly during the summer) from Las Vegas and from Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCA), just outside the South Rim gates. Deluxe tours are available at both of the departure regions. If you’re taking a helicopter that flies out of Las Vegas, make sure it takes off from the Strip. That way the free hotel pickup and drop-off that comes with your tour will be by stretch limo instead of shuttle van.
The limo makes the tour perfect for celebrating special occasions. Sightseeing ChoppersAnother thing is to look for air tours that use the EcoStar 130 choppers. They are designed for sightseeing and are the best choice for a comfortable experience. They offer more personal space than other choppers, even the Bell Rangers, plus the seats are arranged stadium-style and the windshield wraps around the chopper for the ultimate viewing experience. Other types of choppers may not provide all front-facing seats meaning there is a risk you will have to sit in a rear-facing jump seat if you don’t fly on an EcoStar 130. That’s okay for some folks, I guess, but not with me when I’m paying to see something as spectacular as the Grand Canyon. Like the helicopter tours, airplane tours differ in departure points, type of aircraft and the vehicles used for hotel pickup and drop-off. Chopper tours sell out quickly, so it is a good idea to keep airplane tours in the back of your mind. Planes hold more passengers and are less likely to be fully booked. The deluxe chopper tours of the South Rim are fantastic, but remember you have to get to and from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport on your own since there is no free shuttle from Vegas to the South Rim. There are two main versions of South Rim helicopter tours: one gives you 30 minutes of airtime; it’s 50 for the other. A Popular Air TourI prefer the 50-minute flight, because it provides a much more comprehensive experience at the Canyon. After taking off from GCA it flies all the way to the Park’s eastern border. After that, it heads to the North Rim. Heading back to the South Rim, you’ll fly through the deepest, widest section of the Canyon (called “Dragoon Corridor”). One of the South Rim plane tours duplicates the route of the longer helicopter trip, and it’s a terrific bargain. The plane tour and the fifty-minute chopper tour let you see about 75 percent of the entire National Park from the air. Be sure to dress comfortably for your tour in