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Grand Canyon Flights – 5 Things You Need to Know

There are a number of ways to experience Grand Canyon National Park. But the best is by air. To make sure you get the trip of your dreams, I wrote up this list of five quick tips.

First and foremost is knowing which rim you want to visit. There are two, the West Rim and the South Rim. The former is 120 miles from Las Vegas, while the later is 277 miles away.

Further, you’ll want to do the West Rim if you are into thrills and excitement. Specifically, I’m referring to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, which is hosted here. Then there’s the opportunity to take a helicopter to the bottom.

South Rim

As for the South Rim, you’ll want that if you want natural scenic beauty. Moreover, the South Rim is accessible from Las Vegas, Tusayan, Phoenix and Sedona. There are no connecting flights between the rims.

My next point is whether to do the canyon in a helicopter or airplane. The benefit of a helicopter is that if flies at a lower altitude than a plane. Further, as noted earlier, helicopters can fly to the bottom (West Rim only). Airplanes, on the other hand, get you to the Canyon faster. And they are the only way to go by air from Vegas to the South Rim.

Which brings me to my third point: During summer and holidays, helicopter tours regularly sell out. To beat the rush, book at least a week or two ahead of time. If you can’t do that, there’s a good chance that you won’t get airborne. If that’s the case, take a plane ride because they seat up to 19 people and usually have seats.


Next is price. Helicopters are more expensive than airplane rides. This is because seating is limited to six people. On this note, please be aware that if you’re group is bigger than six, you will be split up. Airplanes, on the other hand, can accommodate groups up to 19 people, so be mindful of your booking size.

The final point I want to raise regards window seats. I get asked all the time for them. Here’s the deal. Yes, you can get them, but you’ll pay extra. In the case of helicopters, it’s an extra $50. For airplanes, it’s an extra $10. Prices are subject to change but in general these are going rates.

And here’s a bonus tip: If you weigh more than 300 pounds you’ll be charged extra. In the case of helicopters, you’ll be required to purchase a second seat. As for planes, expect to pay between $100 – $200. These surcharges are usually due at check in wherein all passengers are discreetly weighed. I’m not a big fan of the “weight tax” but I do understand it because aircraft have a maximum payload.


I hope this article included five things that will help you pick the helicopter or airplane tour of your dreams. Grand Canyon National Park is an incredible place and I can’t think of a better way to experience it than by flying over it (or flying into it if you are going to the West Rim). But do make sure you book your flight early. These air tours are very popular and are especially prone to selling out.

Travel writer Keith Kravitz recommends stopping here for the best Grand Canyon tours: here for a complete selection of the best helicopter and airplane tours:

Travel writer Keith Kravitz recommends stopping here for the best Grand Canyon tours: here for a complete selection of the best helicopter and airplane tours:

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