Papillon Helicopters Customer Reviews

"Even The Pilot Said This Was His Favorite Helicopter Tour"

We went on a Grand Canyon helicopter trip very last minute. The kiosks on the Strip and our hotel could offer only $429 each cheapest....along with a fuel surcharge and another surcharge on top! We went on the internet and looked for low cost helicopter excursions and Papillon was among the initial ones I came across....and which seemed to be the least expensive. I called in an effort to clarify the charge and availability, the amount shown online was the all-inclusive price, no surcharges for fuel or late bookings, no tax addition.... just the all-inclusive price. It was $314 per person - deal! We were picked up the following day in a beautiful comfy coach with recliner-style seats. We drove out of Las Vegas and shortly realised we had passed McCarran International Airport, as it happens the departure point was from the Boulder City Municipal Airport, which is appx. 30/40mins away. I must say don't let this discourage you, you have to pay a whole lot extra to have your departure from McCarren. Boulder is a quaint little airport with quick efficient check in and very soon we were all set to go. We selected the Grand Canyon chopper trip with the champagne lunch that lands at the bottom of the canyon - even the pilot himself said this was his favorite helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon Skywalk. Once we flew by the Glass Bridge I was so delighted we hadn't picked that tour, be sure you land in the basin. It's gorgeous and very unreal. Our pilot was charming, lots of kidding around and laughs to put us at ease. All round, I would completely recommend Papillon Helicopters. Also, it's worth noting I decided between this trip and the Vegas Strip tour managed by other tour companies.....the Strip tours last around 10mins and I am so glad we selected this tour instead of that one.

Roxy & Thad C., London

"The Splendidly Knowledgeable Yosh"

We've just come back from a family vacation (14yr and 12 yr girls) to NYC, Vegas and Orlando, FL. We reserved a chopper trip with Papillon Helicopters prior to leaving England and for us it was the highlight of the trip. Logistically, everything was perfect, Papillion reconfirmed the reservation with us through our resort-hotel, picked us up by limousine at the proper time and location and after a brief wait and a safety and health briefing we took off. I was quite anxious having never ridden in a heli before but Yosh, our pilot, was comforting and I soon relaxed. She was a great pilot and tour guide, providing us lots of information, identifying lots of sights and giving answers to all our questions. We breaked for lunch which was comprised of a hoagie, crisps and fresh fruit along with champagne for us and coke for the girls. We had about 30 minutes to just sit and marvel at the view before lifting off and flying out of the canyon and back to the airport, picking out all sorts points of interest on the return trip. Once back it was only a couple of minutes before traveling by limo back to our hotel room. This was definitely a once in a lifetime trip and made all that much better by the competent organisation that Papillon is and the splendidly knowledgeable Yosh.

"Smitty" & Jillian P., Liverpool, UK

"I Could Not Believe I Was There"

Arranged this during a 5-day break in Las Vegas - such a contrast! The shuttle bus picked us up at the Bellagio spot on time and we drove out to Boulder City Airport, which took just over an hour (we were the first hotel pick up). Once we got there we were promptly checked in and led to a smallish side room to check out a safety briefing and just as it ended came the news over the PA that all trips were postponed because of wind in the Canyon - big bummer for us! So back on the coach we went and headed back to the Strip - what a way to blow 4 hours! We were fortunate to be able to repeat the process the very next day and weren't to be let down this time around - I guess what I'm trying to say to you is don't leave this tour until your final day in Vegas just in case! Our pilot was Devon and he was really down to earth - a pilot, waiter and tour guide all rolled into one! Papillon gave us a free front-seat upgrade to sit next to him because of the inconvenience of having our flight cancelled yesterday. - I guess that proves the old adage that every cloud does indeed have a silver lining! We shot off and went directly over the Hoover Dam, which looked amazing. I'm frightened of heights, open water and flying but this all felt so odd I was fine! After a brief flight over Lake Mead and a few old mines we came upon the Canyon. I got quite emotional as we made the descent and had to choke back tears during the flight inside Canyon following the route of the Colorado River was stunning - I could not believe I was there. Subsequently, we landed on a makeshift helipad about 100ft from the riverbank and had a pleasant champagne picnic attended to by Devon and some time to take pictures. It was incredible but all too short. In a perfect world I wished I could have been left there for the day but regrettably after 30 minutes we were back into the heli for the quick flight back to Boulder City. This is not an inexpensive trip but it was worth it and one of the most phenomenal experiences that I've ever had. Do This!

Bernice K, Vancouver, Canada

"Her 31st Birthday"

I gave my wife a trip to Las Vegas in celebration of her 31'st birthday. and part of what I lined up was a trip to the Grand Canyon, which she always wanted to see. . I'm happy we went by air. The helicopter trip as we went into the canyon was positively fantastic and an experience that you've got to do if you've got the budget. I shelled out the $50 upgrade per person to sit in the front seats next to the pilot and it was absolutely worth it. I actually started out by surfing Papillon's sister company's website because I wanted to take an EcoStar and I didn't see those aircraft on Papillon's web page (they have them - I wasn't looking in the right place!). I was unaware at the time that the two companies were part of a larger company.. I called the phone number listed on the sister co and reserved my tour but somehow I didn't get the sunset flight over the Las Vegas Strip that I thought I had booked which was the primary reason we decided to take a helicopter.. Well, as it turns out, Papillon and it's sister co offer different packages and I ended up getting the one that doesn't do the Strip although I don't think that was available at the sister co where I thought I was purchasing my seats.. I totally enjoyed the tour and my wife was ecstatic but I was a bit disappointed that I was unable to get that Vegas Strip flyover (definitely will get it next time!). I'm positive Papillon wasn't intentionally trying to screw me over or anything so much as the confusion generated by operating 2 separate companies that don't have the ability to cross-check what you think you bought. . It's my impression that few travelers order from the affiliated co and the good folks at Papillon weren't quite familiar with the packages there. Unfortunately it didn't dawn on me that I didn't get the flyover package until I was back on the bus back to my hotel and we fly home the following day so I didn't bother trying to get the flyover we missed. Harping aside, I can't think of a better way to do the canyon and Papillon made my wife's special day more than wonderful.

Jon & Carrie S., Dallas, TX

"Grand Celebration Tour Without Hesitation"

On Monday we took a Papillon tour called the Grand Celebration that departed from Vegas. Obviously, this is not going to be everyone's experience with Pap but here's the part that annoyed me. We got picked up from our hotel just before 8 a.m. and did a few more stops before we got on the freeway and were on our way to the Boulder City Airport. This particular day some of the South Rim airplane tours were cancelled due to weather so the passenger lobby was chaotic. Of course, I expected this to pose some challenges but the whole scene seemed very disorganized and I'm unsure why South Rim cancels disrupted West Rim tours like ours so badly. Our trip was scheduled to leave at 9a. However, we were like 1 hr. late getting off the tarmac. Time passed like paint drying on a wall and it appeared to me that lots of other people on tours similar to ours were also getting a restless. OK, that's all I'm going to say about that, and I don't think this kind of situation happens regularly anyway, but I had to get it off my chest. The helicopter tour itself was absolutely spectacular. Shayla was our pilot and you could tell she loved doing her job. It was my first time on a helicopter and the sensation was awesome!. The views of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, the surrounding mountains and Grand Canyon National Park were breathtaking. No lack of photo opportunities...great shots were everywhere. The canyon landing made my day. We took the option where you get a meal and Champagne and I highly recommend that. Except for the delays at Boulder, we had a wonderful time. For the most part, the airport staff, bus drivers and other support personnel were great. I would recommend Papillon and the Grand Celebration tour without hesitation.

Mike & Melinda, St. Lake City, UT

"Jeff, Our Pilot, Was Excellent"

Seriously, ignore the negative comments. If you want to take a helicopter to the Grand Canyon use Papillon and I really wish I had figured this out before because I wasted time trying to compare them to other tour operators that fly the canyon. We reserved our Grand Celebration helicopter tour on the Papillon website (very well done) and it was the early morning flight (6:15 pick up from Mandalay Bay). From the get-go, customer service was in contact with us providing all the information we needed in regards to our trip. The transfer by shuttle from the Vegas Strip to the Papillon Aeroplex Terminal in Boulder City is appx 20min. You go to check in first (fast and friendly) and then check out a safety video, which takes about 5 minutes. The wait in the passenger lounge is relatively brief...keep your ears perked up because your pilot will come out and call your name and off you go. Several helicopters leave together but are spaced a couple minutes apart from each other and you don't realize they're there until land at the bottom of the canyon. Jeff was our pilot and he was excellent, truly he was, such a nice person and had all the answers about what was below us plus some about himself and he appeared genuinely interested in us, too. His outstanding service merited the biggest tip we gave out during our entire Vegas vacation. The helicopter was configured in such a way where four people sat in the back and two in front alongside Jeff. There were only four of us so each of us had a window - excellent for taking pictures! It was my first time to ride in a helicopter and I found it exhilarating while feeling safe the whole time. Several times it got a bit bumpy but Jeff weighed in and said it was normal. At the bottom, we were served a picnic lunch that included a pastry, fruit, cheese, nuts, and one bottle of Champagne to be split among all of us. Incredibly, there were some chipmunks down there. I never expected that. You get half an hour at the bottom so use it wisely and take pictures and check out the riverbank. The setting was phenomenal and even though people said the South Rim was more breathtaking I don't feel like I missed out on a thing. I'm sure the South Rim is incredible, but you have to have time and money and for us this tour was perfect. The tour might seem pricey but hey you only live once and it was worth every bit we paid. Make sure to do it!

Brock & Judy D., Cleveland, OH

"It's the Official Grand Canyon"

We researched our trip long and hard and came to the conclusion that we wanted to experience the South Rim as everyone we've talked with said it's the official Grand Canyon. This tour was spectacular. We booked the Grand Canyon Deluxe airplane package with South Rim helicopter ride. Total was just over $750 for two adults -- a total bargain compared to what it was being offered for on other sites. It definitely pays to book direct with Papillon like Mr. Kravitz suggests. We feel we definitely got our money's worth!. The shuttle bus picked us up from The Bellagio where we were staying and took us to Boulder City Municipal Airport where we transferred to the plane that took us over the Grand Canyon. My only issue here is that I wished we had flow closer to Hoover Dam. Outside of that, it was a perfect flight as you had your own window seat and the entire trip was narrated via personal headset. We landed at Grand Canyon Airport, South Rim, and got on the helicopter for the ride into the canyon. The pictures I took don't do what I saw out the window justice as we all had window seats on our heli and the views were spectacular!. Back at the airport we were picked up by deluxe coach and driven out to Bright Angel Point where we ate our lunch on the rim amid some phenomenal scenery that was such that it took my breath away...few more stops rim side and then it was back to our trusty plane for one last scenic flight over the National Park. The Grand Canyon Deluxe was the highlight of our vacation to U.S. and I'm so happy I spent the time getting the facts on this air tour as it was absolutely superior. It definitely gets our recommendation.

Wally & Hermonia S., Portsmouth, U.K.

"Take a Heli and Save Hours of Driving."

Yes it costs a lot when your a family of five but in the end we are so happy we decided to fly to the Grand Canyon rather than drive to see Grand Canyon National Park on our U.S. holiday. Our helicopter tour was called the Grand Celebration and it took us over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam (a major bonus IMHO) before landing on the floor of the canyon's West Rim for a Champagne lunch (a simple meal has never tasted so good!) The trip came with optional narration and we all found it very informative. Getting shuttled out to Boulder City, from whence most of Papillon's helicopter tour depart, didn't bother us in the least as it gave us the chance to see more of Las Vegas than just The Strip so for our family we found leaving from an airfield outside of Vegas to be a nice perk. The only wrinkle was having to get up early in the a.m., going down to the tour lobby of our hotel only to get a phone call that our trip had been rescheduled a couple hours later!

Cherie A. & Family, Newcastle, Australia

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