Grand Canyon flights - advice please

Jan 4th, 2010, 11:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 5
Grand Canyon flights - advice please

My family (2 adults and 2 teenage children) are visiting Las Vegas from the UK in August and want to take a flight from there over the Grand Canyon.
We don't really want all the champagne breakfast razz-a-matazz and don't want to land in the canyon or anything like that, we just want to fly over the canyon to see it and get some idea of the scale of it.
There look to be a large number of options in terms of trips, so I was wondering if anyone has any particular trips and companies to recommend or to avoid.
I'm not even sure if we want to go fixed-wing or helicopter. Fixed-wing looks to be cheaper but is that because the experience isn't so good ?
As ever, any advice will be gratefully received.
HanMan is offline  
Jan 5th, 2010, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
I like Papillion. I would with the helicopter.

My parents flew with them and here is what they did. They took a fixed wing to the Grand Canyon, then a helicopter down into it and took an hour float throught the canyon.

Keep in mind that trips from Vegas see the west rim area only. This really isn't the best of the Grand Canyon and not the "true" Grand Canyon in most peoples minds.

I have been to the Grand Canyon 3 times. Helicopter twice, and a raft trip. I haven't even scratched the surface. It is huge and the more often I visit it, the more interesting it becomes. This said, it is one of my least favorite National Parks that I have been to.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 5th, 2010, 04:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,729
Several years ago we took a plane from Vegas that left early in the morning, stopped near the National Park for lunch and a bus tour of the south rim and then flew back to Vegas in time for dinner. This was a fantastic way to see the canyon for the first time and we have been back for longer visits several times since then. We did this last minute and used one of the magazines that have ads in most of the hotels. I'm not sure of the company.

Best wishes for a fantastic trip.
emalloy is offline  
Jan 5th, 2010, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
We booked with Scenic Air (affliated with Papillon and Grand Canyon Air) and were very pleased with the experience. We were picked up at our hotel, a few others were picked up, and we were all delivered to the air field where everyone was organized for boarding planes. The views over Hoover Dam and the West Rim were magnificent on the way to the South Rim. Once at the air field at the South Rim, we boarded a bus. First stop was a buffet lunch, which was actually very good. Then, we were driven to an Imax presentation, then two spectacular look-outs - where we had plenty of time to walk around and take photos. Then, it was back on the bus, back to the air field, back to Las Vegas. We returned in time for our dinner reservations.

I booked by phone to be able to select a specific time (rather than a two-hour window) as I hoped to return at sunset time, and that worked out perfectly! Our flight was in a fixed wing plane. I would guess the views are a bit more panoramic in a helicopter, but views from the plane were just fine.

There are some tours that are not recommended, but I've never seen any complaints with Scenic-Papillon-Grand Canyon Air.

If you do a search of the TA Las Vegas forum, you'll find many more reviews.
djkbooks is offline  
Jan 5th, 2010, 04:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 7,443
I flew Scenic Air in route on my float trip and I agree with last poster- They were good.
spirobulldog is offline  

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