How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City Copy

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When it comes to exploring NYC, taking the city in from a bird’s eye view pretty much takes the cake. Sure, you can enjoy stellar views from one of the many rooftop bars; however, nothing captures the city’s impressive skyline like a helicopter ride! For tourists and locals alike, it’s an adrenaline pumping experience that can’t be topped. Literally. After all, when else will you be able to come eye-to-eye with the Statue of Liberty?

Truth be told, it’s an experience worth every penny and it’s quite likely your exhilarating air time will turn out to be some of the most thrilling minutes you ever spend in the city. 

In fact – the incredible panoramic views had such an impact on one young man, that they inspired him to create an intricate, 18ft drawing of New York’s skyline – entirely from his memory! Stephen Wiltshire’s masterpiece is a living relic of how powerful a single experience can be. 

So how do you pick the right tour? How can you be sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck? From hacks to getting the best helicopter ride for two, to which tour is best for large groups, we’ve laid it all out for you.

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: 123hdwallpapers.com

 

First, some things to consider

When is the best time of year to go?
Generally speaking, spring and summer offer the most reliable tours, with guaranteed good views and nice weather. Fall is also a good choice. Gorgeous autumn scenery makes for beautiful and unique photo ops, especially when you fly over the Hudson! But you do run the risk of unforeseen thunderstorms that can result in a need to reschedule. Winter weather is even more unpredictable; if you plan to take a tour during this season, give yourself a couple days of cushion to work with, just in case. With that being said – helicopter tours are a year-round activity.  

Morning or afternoon?
For those looking forward to photographing the experience, book a tour around 2-3pm in order to avoid shooting directly into front sun exposure. (It can be especially harsh around the Statue of Liberty.) Mornings run the risk of fog. Have a look at the weather forecast before scheduling.

Is this child-friendly?
Yes! Absolutely.

Private vs. Normal tours.
One of the major benefits of a private tour is that you’re guaranteed a window seat. Helicopters seat 5-6 people and in order to ensure a smooth ride, weight must be evenly distributed. This means that in a full chopper, a couple passengers will inevitably have to take the middle seats. This doesn’t necessarily set you up for a negative experience, but some people are especially keen on having the window seat. If you’re one of those people, a private tour is the safest bet you won’t get stuck sticking your neck out past the person seated next to you.

How do you find the cheapest deals?
Like any other high-demand activity, there are dozens of companies and agencies eager to book your ride. The tours in this article reflect the best prices on the market and are backed by a Best Price Guarantee policy.    

Time flies.
And as the expression suggests, fast. Definitely consider paying a bit extra for more time. Most likely, you won’t do something like this again and you should make the most of it, as it’s an experience you’ll never forget. (With that being said, don’t be discouraged if a shorter ride is your only option. After all, 15 minutes is still better than 0.)

Other fees?
There is an additional heliport fee of $25-$40 per person. This is typical for all rides, regardless of what tour company you book through. While some companies include this fee in their tour price, others do not and you will have to pay separately at the heliport. Be sure to check with each vendor when weighing out the cost for various tours.

Safety
All of the helicopter pilots go through a long and rigorous flight training process to meet FAA and company standards and have thousands of hours of flying experience.

Ok, now that you’re aware of the above, let’s find out which tour experience is the best for you.

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: wingsair.net

 

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City



1.  Big Apple Helicopter Tour of NYC – 15 min

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: timecardexpress.com


Perks of choosing this tour

Number 1 Best Seller
– NYC’s most popular helicopter tour, this ride gives you an incredible bang for your buck. 
– Best option for those who’d like to experience the thrill of a heli tour, at a pocket-friendly price.  

What you’ll see
Governors and Ellis Islands, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, Wall Street/Financial District, Empire State Building, The Chrysler, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, USS Intrepid and Central Park

best helicopter ride new york

Original Price
$209 per person

Headout Price
$199 per person (8% off)
Get up to 15% cashback when you book this tour

*Prices above do not include the $40 per person heliport fee.

best helicopter ride nyc

 

2. New York City Helicopter Tour – 20 min

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: youtube.com


Perks of choosing this tour

Best Option for a 20 Minute Ride
– In just five extra minutes, you can extend your tour all the way out to Washington Bridge.
-If you’re a group of five or more people – it’s worth considering the private plane 20-minute tour (below). While it’ll cost you a bit more, it guarantees the best seats will be yours. When sharing, it’s possible you might have to sit in the middle. 

What you’ll see
In addition to the same sights included in the 15-minute helicopter tour, (Governors and Ellis Islands, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, Wall Street/Financial District, Empire State Building, The Chrysler, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, USS Intrepid, Central Park), you’ll also see: Columbia University, Grant’s Tomb, George Washington Bridge, Harlem and Harlem River, Bronx and Yankee Stadium, Palisades Cliffs, and Spuyten Bridge. 

best helicopter tour new york

Original Price
$279 per person

Headout Price
$266 per person
12% off 
Get up to 15% cashback when you book this tour

*Prices above do not include the $40 per person heliport fee.

best helicopter ride nyc

 

3. NYC Helicopter Tour – 30 min

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: touristmeetstraveller.com


Perks of choosing this tour

Maximize Your Time in the Sky
– This tour is the best option in terms of fly time and price. 
– Tack on an entire additional borough, Staten Island, with this heli ride!

What you’ll see
In addition to the sights included in the 20-minute helicopter tour, (Governors and Ellis Islands, Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge, Battery Park, Wall Street/Financial District, Empire State Building, The Chrysler, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, USS Intrepid, Central Park, Columbia University, Grant’s Tomb, George Washington Bridge, Harlem and Harlem River, Bronx and Yankee Stadium, Palisades Cliffs, and Spuyten Bridge), you’ll also see: Verrazano Bridge, Staten Island, and Coney Island Beach and Amusement Park. 

best helicopter ride

Original Price
$369 per person

Headout Price
$325 per person
14% off
Get up to 15% cashback when you book this tour

*Prices above do not include the $40 per person heliport fee.

best helicopter ride nyc

 

4. Private New York Helicopter Tour – 20 min

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: touristdeck.com


Perks of choosing this tour

Guaranteed Best Views!
– A private helicopter tour ensures you get the window seats, and thus, the best views! When you join a shared heli tour, you run the risk of getting sat in the middle. 
– For groups of four or five, it’s worth considering the extra cost for this tour. In addition to seat priority, a private tour also promises a more intimate experience. 
– A complimentary group photo is included. 

What you’ll see
The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Yankee Stadium, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Columbia University, Hudson Palisades, Cathedral of St. John the Divine and other NYC skyscrapers. 

Original Price
$390 per person

Headout Price
$374 per person
4% off

*Headout’s price includes the $40 per person/seat heliport fee.
*All seats must be paid for, even if your party is less than 6 people.

best helicopter ride nyc

 

5. Helicopter 1-on-1 Flying Lesson – 30 min

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: wingsair.net


Perks of choosing this tour

Be Your Own Pilot!
– This might be the most affordable (and maybe even only) opportunity you have to operate and fly a plane. For adrenaline junkies and adventure enthusiast’s, this tour is perfect for you!
– All helicopters are equipped with GoPro cameras. Re-live every moment of your flight with your film package, available for $35.

What this tour includes
Before take off, you’ll get a 30-minute ground briefing that includes a basic lesson on flying. Afterward, let the fun begin! Test out your new skills as the pilot hands over the controls of the Robinson Helicopter. You’ll be able to fly over Westchester County, the New York/Connecticut coastline, and the Hudson River. (No prior training or flying experience is necessary.) 

Original Price
$400 per person

Headout Price
$359 per person
10% off

*This tour is meant for two. If you wish to ride alone, you will have to pay the price for the second seat.
*An additional heliport fee of $95 per person/seat is payable in cash at the heliport.  

best helicopter ride nyc

 

6. Couple’s Private Helicopter Tour – 30 or 45 min

How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: wingsair.net


Perks of choosing this tour

Take Romance To A New Height
– Date night doesn’t better than this! Pop open a bottle of champagne with your significant other and enjoy a 30-minute ride in the sky.
– All helicopters are equipped with GoPro cameras. Re-live every moment of your flight with your film package, available for $35. 

What you’ll see
On the 30 minute tour, take in aerial views of Central Park, Yankee Stadium, Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Columbia University, East River Bridges, Tappan Zee Bridge, Hudson Palisades, Tarrytown Castles, Yonkers Waterfront, Cathedral of St. John the Divine and other NYC skyscrapers.

Original Price
$337.50 per person for 30min

Headout Price
$304.50 per person for 30min
9% off

*An additional heliport fee of $25 per person is payable in cash at the heliport.  

best helicopter ride nyc

 

7. VIP Air and Sea Tour – 15 min

best helicopter tour new york

Perks of choosing this tour

Get the best of both worlds
This incredible package deal includes:
– 15-minute helicopter tour
– 1-hour cruise
– Complimentary glass of champagne  

What you’ll see
Central Park, Hudson River, Rockefeller Center, Yankee Stadium, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, World Financial Center and more.

Original Price
$330 per person

Headout Price
$309 per person
8% off

*Prices include the $35 heliport fee

best helicopter ride nyc

 

Tips and FAQ


How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City
Photo Source: wingsair.net


How does the weather affect my ride?

In cases of extreme fog, low clouds, poor visibility, lightning, extremely gusty winds, heavy rain, or snowstorms, flights may be canceled. In these instances, you can reschedule your flight for another time or receive a full refund. Keep in mind, the temperature outside has no effect on flight conditions. 

Parking Hack

There is no parking at the heliport, but there is a parking garage at the intersection of South Street and Whitehall Street or at the South Street Seaport (Pier 17).

Flying with children

Children 0-1 can ride free of charge but will need to be seated on an adult’s lap. Children 2 and above are full price and will be given their own seat.

Plan your tour for any day except Sunday

Keep in mind that almost all helicopter companies do not fly on Sundays.

best helicopter tour new york

Have you already been on a Helicopter Tour? How was it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

 

The post How to Pick the Best Helicopter Tour in New York City Copy appeared first on Headout Blog.

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