Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Helicopter rides in Maui/Kauai (

Anita May 6th, 2000 01:32 PM

Helicopter rides in Maui/Kauai
I've been searching websites for helicopter rides on both islands. I've sent emails and none of them will guarantee a window seat. Is it worth the price if you get a center or back seat? Are you constantly leaning over someone to see? Does anyone know of airplane tours? Thanks for your responses.

Bart May 6th, 2000 08:30 PM

HI Anita, the reason they don't guarantee window seat is that the operator must balance the aircraft. There are usually 6 passengers on each flight and they spread the weight around to balance the aircraft for a safe flight. Most of the helicopters have large windows and views are good from all seats- the windows are better but middle back is worth it. IMO the trips in Kauai are much better than Maui. Enjoy

Jim May 7th, 2000 10:23 AM

Tried both seats and all have a great view. If you are at all prone to motion sickness do NOT take a window and try to avoid lots of picture or video taking. Some people feel ill. Overall it was worth it.

Henry May 11th, 2000 03:32 PM

Hi Anita, <BR> I returned from Kauai a few weeks ago and must say that the helicopter ride in Kauai was really fantastic. Upon my guide book's recommendation I booked with Jack Harter Helicopters. I told them that I was a photographer, and found myself in one of the helicopters with four passenger seats. I was up front next to the pilot, and there were two adults in the back and one infant. <BR> The company went to lengths to provide this helicopter as we were all photographers and the windows on this craft were open. The pictures were great, and certainly would not have been as good if I had to shoot through glass. <BR> <BR>Good luck, and enjoy! <BR>Henry <BR>

Anna May 12th, 2000 06:05 AM

We took an hour long helicopter ride with Air Kauai when we visited in April. We were really happy with the trip and would go again with the same company. As one of the above posters said, they balance the aircraft by weight. I had a window seat in the back, my husband was next to me and our friend was in the middle too. Neither of them complained about being in the middle, so I don't think it makes a big difference.

John May 12th, 2000 06:48 AM

We took Jack Squuires Helicopter tour and loved it. I think they are all good. You can see well from all seats. I took many pictures but regret it. Through glass glare. Better to NOT take pix and buy the video. Enjoy the flight. It is the quickest hour you will ever spend.

spon May 14th, 2000 09:38 PM

Just back from Kauai where we took the 90 min. Inter-Island helicopter ride. Only 4 seats (2 front, 2 back) and the doors are off the back. Incredible views! The 90 min. trip includes 30 minutes in the air, 30 min. at a secluded waterfall (only reachable by helicopter in the island's interior), and 30 ending minutes in the air. The waterfall stop also included lunch (in addition to our swin in the waterfall pool). Nothing like it. Cost was $225 per person and worth every penny.

Dan May 15th, 2000 12:07 PM

Spon, which helicopter company did you use??

liz May 15th, 2000 02:32 PM

I tend to disagree with comments that the middle seat is fine--we flew over Kaui in 1995-I think jack squires sounds familiar, when reading other posts.WHat they did for us was there was one other couple-they flipped a coin and they got to chose between one seat next to the pilot up front and husband in the middle in back or the two sides in back. my husband and I were relieved that the other couple chose up front and back middle because we saw everything unobstructed-the guy in between us was miserable-and complained afterward--although his wife had the best seat of all--It was a good one time experience--beautiful-- but I would rather spend the money on Hawaiis great food-Don't miss Death by chocolate souffle at Roys- best dessert in the world in my opinion- and I love dessert the food is outstanding too, have fun!!

spon May 15th, 2000 04:31 PM

Dan - we used Inter-Island Helicopters; they fly out of Port Allen. In addition to the 90 min. ($225) trip, they also offer the traditional 1 hour trip without the waterfall landing. I believe it's the same or less expensive than other 1 hour copter tours. They are really good!

Great_Vacation Feb 6th, 2006 03:42 PM

I found a website of an airplane that does tours on Kauai at half the cost of helicopters and guarantees all window seats with big windows. My husband &amp; I flew with them last March and it was the highlight of our entire vacation! Here's the website:

Candy210 Feb 7th, 2006 04:20 PM

Word to the wise..., tip the pilot while shaking hands( prior to the pre-boarding instructions).It doesn't hurt.And may give you a better seat.(It did for us) But remember, the seating is also based on the weight of the passengers and the balance of the helicopter.

jamaltay Feb 7th, 2006 08:05 PM

Another airplane tour is &quot;Wings Over Kauai&quot; (Google it). It is the pilot plus 2-3 passengers. Everyone has a window seat. Much cheaper than a helo.

Peterman Feb 8th, 2006 09:35 AM

Did you see the New York Times this past Sunday? Helicopters in Hawaii crash all the time. There were two crashes last month...I would read that story before getting on a Hawaii helicopter or any helicopter. Small plane seems much safer.

Kaymit Feb 8th, 2006 11:25 AM

I ditto spon's posting. WE did the waterfall landing with Inter-island last year and WOW OH WOW it is absolutely worth every penny.

I have pictures if you would like to see them just emial me at [email protected]

littlehouse Apr 16th, 2006 09:40 AM

In case anyone is interested, the website for wings of Kauai is:

littlehouse Apr 16th, 2006 09:49 AM

I have a tendency to get motion sickness. Should I even try the helicopter tours or just stick with the plane tours?

trippinkpj Apr 16th, 2006 10:05 AM

I rode with Jack Harter Helicopters also, a few years ago. It was great, and a nice smooth ride. I'm a little prone to motion sickness and I didn't have any. Although, I didn't have a window seat and didn't take pictures. I was in the front right next to the pilot. It wasn't my choice, it was a weight balancing thing as previous posters said.

Kaymit Apr 18th, 2006 11:05 AM


My hsuband and I did our helicopter ride in Kauai with Inter-island and abslutely loved it WOW what a ride. They avae no doors and only hold 4 passengers (two up front by the pilot and two in back. WE did the waterfall landing !!!!

You can email me if you would like to read the trip report and look at the pictures of our Inter-island trip.

I HIGHLY recommend them


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:40 PM.