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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Booking A Flight

How far in advance should I book a helicopter flight?

Please make reservations no less than 48 hours in advance to confirm tour availability. Tour departure times, flight durations, route, and viewable sights may vary due to weather, volcanic activity and other uncontrollable events.

Are there other helicopter flight options besides the ones on the website?

We can set up almost any flight you have in mind as a custom charter. If there is something special you want to do (have lunch at a private waterfall, land at a secluded spot, see a particular area of Hawai’i), let us know and we will do our best to make it happen. For more details check out our Custom Charters page.

What is the best time of day to fly in a helicopter?

We do notice that mornings tend to be clearer, often with trade winds blowing in clouds later in the day. However it’s impossible to predict the weather and variations occur regularly. When we fly professional photographers, they  tend to like the morning light. Afternoon flights can offer the option of a sunset, depending on take-off time.

When is the best day to book for good weather for my helicopter tour or charter?

Weather is a natural phenomenon that is largely unpredictable and can change at the last minute. Our pilots consult weather patterns daily and our team monitors weather conditions constantly. If you are worried about the weather, we recommend booking your flight for early in your Hawaiian vacation so if the weather doesn’t cooperate you can reschedule for another day. Rest assured we are actively monitoring the weather, however feel free to keep an eye on the Weather Channel or a similar weather reporting service. We do have a 24 hour cancellation policy so contact us at least a day in advance to make any changes or cancellations.

Flying With Us

Will I see lava from the helicopter?

As of December, 21, 2020, we have red hot flowing lava on the Big Island of Hawai’i. What you need to know about flying over the current Kilauea eruption on the Big Island of Hawai’i. We have adjusted the flight path of our Hilo: Lava & Rainforests Adventure and Hilo: Doors-off Lava & Rainforests Adventure tours from Hilo to enable us to fly right over where the action is!

After over 35 years of actively flowing lava visible on the surface, discover what Kīlauea Volcano has left in the wake of its recent historic eruptive episode on the Big Island. Witness otherworldly landscapes like the incredible 8-mile river of frozen lava from Fissure 8 to the Pacific Ocean, the newest black sand beaches on earth, and enormous craters formed by these recent events!

We have to remember that volcanoes and lava are nature and they are often changing. If there is any activity, your pilot will do their very best to fly wherever it may be.

Nobody can get you closer to some of the world’s most active volcanoes than Paradise. Because these are an unpredictable natural phenomenon, we recommend you call ahead to confirm the activity of specific lava flows.

Often, the only way to see lava activity is from a helicopter.

Check these links for more info on volcanic activity on the Big Island:

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Status Reports
Webcams

How does the Window Seating upgrade work on my helicopter tour?

For an additional $100 per seat on flights departing from Kona, and $50 per seat on flights departing from Hilo and O‘ahu a Window Seat will be reserved for you. 

Note: A Window Seat Upgrade is included in the Capacity Surcharge for guests over 265 lbs. A Window Seat Upgrade will guarantee you a window seat UNLESS aircraft weight and balance guidelines restrict us from doing while determining seat assignments. In the event that we cannot accommodate your Window Seat Upgrade we will refund your Window Seat Upgrade charge.

Pertains to individual seat tours only. Does not pertain to charters, private tours or tour buyouts.

What should we wear for our helicopter flight?

All Flights Flights:

We recommend removing earrings as they can interfere with the seal of your headset causing discomfort and decreased functionality of the earpieces. The tightly fitting headsets may also bend or damage certain styles of earrings. Please wear dark-colored clothing. Lighter clothing will cause a reflection in any windows and show up in your photos as well as the photos of other guests.

Doors-off Flights:

Any loose items in the cabin must be left at our base, stowed or removed for all doors-off flights – this includes extra camera lenses, selfie sticks, water bottles, purses, etc. No hats, scarfs, or loose items are allowed in the aircraft cabin. Please wear closed-toe shoes. Flip-flops and shoes with with open backs are not allowed. Sunglasses are OK to wear as our headset will hold them securely to your head. We recommend a light jacket as the cabin can get very windy and chilly. If you have long hair we recommend tying it back. Cell phones and cameras which will be used to take photos during the flight require a wrist or neck strap – please bring your own or you may purchase a lightweight one at our base upon check-in, depending on availability.

Flights With Landings:

Please wear closed-toe shoes and long pants to protect against uneven terrain and brush. Many of our landings are in full sun, so you may want to apply sunblock prior to your flight or wear protective clothing.

What is the seating like in the helicopter?

NOTE: For the ultimate in social distancing, we recommend booking all seats on the aircraft so that the only guests on the helicopter are the individuals in your party. Visit our Health & Safety Protocol page to learn more.

In our McDonnell Douglas 500 (like the helicopter from Magnum P.I.), 3 out of the 4 seats are next to a window. The seat located between the pilot and seat 2, has a view of the spectacular landscape through the windshield. In the diagram below, “P” is for pilot.

MD 500 Seating

MD 500 Seating

In our Bell 407, the seating is executive style (like a limousine). There is one passenger in the front with the pilot and five in the back. Two seats face the other 3 seats allowing you to see and talk to the person(s) you are flying with. In the diagram below, “P” is for pilot.

Bell 407 Seating

Bell 407 Seating

Seating is assigned based on weight and balance following guidelines which have been approved by the FAA. For this reason, we cannot guarantee seats as the weight of guests must be balanced within the aircraft. However, because of the outstanding helicopters we fly, viewing is great from all of the seats.

Click here to view detailed seating charts

We have implemented a modified seating arrangement to allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, follow this link.

Can I go on a helicopter flight after SCUBA diving?

To prevent altitude-related health issues, guests should not go SCUBA diving less than 24 hours before their flight departure time. If you have any questions, check with your dive instructor as sometimes shallow dives do not require any flying restrictions.

Should we take anti-motion sickness pills before my helicopter tour?

If you are prone to motion sickness then I would suggest taking something before you fly. Our helicopters do provide a smooth ride and most people do great!

Where do we go to fly on our helicopter tour? Directions to our bases of operations.

Here are directions to each of our Helicopter Terminals.

Big Island – Kona: Driving Directions

Big Island – Hilo: Driving Directions

Big Island – Waimea-Kohala: Driving Directions

Oahu – Turtle Bay Resort: Driving Directions

Oahu – Kapolei West O’ahu: Driving Directions

Policies

What are your weight restrictions and what is the Capacity Surcharge (CS) policy?

Weight and balance of helicopters is an important part  of our safety program. A Capacity Surcharge (CS) fee is assessed for any guests weighing over 265 lbs at the time of check-in. These fees are as follows:

  • For passengers weighing above 265 lbs when weighed at check-in, additional Capacity Surcharge fees are required, charged during check out or at check-in. The guest will be guaranteed a window seat.
  • All guests weighing between 265 lbs – 300 lbs when weighed at check-in, will be assessed a Capacity Surcharge of $50 on our Hughes/MD 500 helicopter (Hilo and Turtle Bay) or $100 on our Bell 407 helicopter (Kona, Waimea and Kapolei West O‘ahu). They will be guaranteed a window seat.
  • We require that any guests weighing 300 lbs. or more purchase an additional empty seat to safely balance the aircraft. Upon check-in, we will weigh all passengers. They will be guaranteed a window seat.

Weights for all guests are requested at the time of booking, and their accuracy is essential to ensure the comfort and safety of all guests. To ensure safety, we weigh all guests at check-in, and if we are unable to fly a guest due to an inaccurate weight provided at the time of booking, no refund will be made.

By maintaining proper weight and balance in the aircraft, we hope to provide our guests with a safe, smooth and comfortable air adventure with Paradise Helicopters.

The Capacity Surcharge only applies to individual seat tours. Does not apply to charters, private tours, or tour buyouts.

What is the Extra Seat policy?

Guests weighing above 300 lbs. at check-in, will be charged for an extra seat, for weight and balance purposes. The rate of the extra seat will be determined by the specific tour that they are booked on. This cost is calculated by adding an additional seat to the one that has already been purchased.

Pertains to individual seat tours only. Does not pertain to charters, private tours or tour buyouts.

How old do you have to be to fly on a helicopter? Do you have any policies that apply only to children?

Children under the age of two (2) fly free when seated in the lap of a paying adult – proof of age required for lap children under two (2). Children 24 months and over require an individual full-fare seat.

Children must be at least 12 years old to sit next to an open door while aircraft is in flight.

What is your cancellation policy?

Charters:

Customers who book a private charter are able to cancel up to 24 hours prior to their flight without penalty. Penalties for cancellations inside the 24 hour period will consist of any expenses or costs already incurred on behalf of the guest.

Tours:

Cancellation fees may be assessed based on how far in advance from the flight the cancellation occurs – see list below. Currently, our reservations call center is open 7 days a week, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

  • Cancelled 1 or more business days in advance of flight: Full refund
  • Less than 1 full business day in advance: 50% refund
  • Less than 3 hours before flight: No refund

This cancellation policy will be reviewed monthly and is subject to change.

Why don't you offer a specific departure time for helicopter tours listed online?

For most tours, we offer guests the option to request a morning or afternoon departure. We don’t offer specific times because flight traffic can be affected by other tours and flights running that day as well as seasonal conditions across the islands. After a booking is made, our reservations team will contact you at the email or phone number you provided to coordinate on a specific departure time, typically by noon the day following when the booking was made. If you booked less than 24 hours before your selected departure time, we will be in touch as soon as possible but we do invite you to please contact us if you have any questions.

Will my helicopter tour still fly if it’s raining? What if weather is bad?

We will not cancel a flight due to weather unless it is unsafe to fly. We have multiple professional teams who monitor the weather, but the pilot scheduled to fly your tour is the final authority on making this judgement. Weather can change quickly so our pilots are checking weather continuously for safety and visibility concerns, and any decision to cancel due to weather is not made until right before a flight departs. We will fly if it is raining, but not if the visibility is poor.

What is Paradise Helicopters' Privacy Policy?

Paradise Helicopters is concerned about your right to privacy. When you visit the Paradise Helicopters website, you can be assured that any information you provide to us will be handled carefully. We will never sell or rent your information to any third party.

Your credit card information, date of birth, physical address, e-mail address, and phone number(s) will not be shared with any third parties except:

  • Under legal subpoena
  • To verify billing information with the Customer’s financial institution
  • For credit card fraud detection
  • To complete a transaction when a Customer purchases service from a travel service provider (i.e. hotel, show, ground tour, etc.) that is accessible through Paradisecopters.com.

This site contains links to other sites. Paradisecopters.com is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such web sites.

Our website utilizes cookies. This enables our system to recognize your browser and keep track of your reservation information. We also utilize cookies to track the effectiveness of our online advertising. The information carried by the cookies:

  • Will be treated as confidential by Paradise Helicopters
  • Will only be used to make informed decisions regarding the performance of our online advertising initiatives.

In short, these efforts help us to provide you, our customer, with the best value on all of our spectacular air tours.

Paradise Helicopters (www.paradisecopters.com) reserve the right to modify our Privacy Policy at any time. In the event that we make a material change to our policy we will post a notice of the change on this page.

Wherever we collect sensitive information online (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a closed lock icon at the bottom of your web browser, or looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the web page. While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

If you have any questions about this privacy policy or the practices of this site please contact:

Internet Sales and Marketing
Paradise Helicopters
PO Box 5371
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

General Information

Is Paradise Helicopters open and doing business?

Yes! To learn more about our adjusted operations to allow for social distancing, you can find our enhanced health & safety protocol here.

What is Paradise Helicopters doing to increase their safety measures due to COVID-19?

Paradise Helicopters has implemented an enhanced Health & Safety Protocol in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find our procedures here.

What are Paradise Helicopters hours of operation?

Our hours of operation are typically 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM (HST) 7 days a week. Our Reservations Office is open from 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM (HST) 7 days a week and can be reached at (866) 876-7422

Does Paradise Helicopters offer videos of the flight?

We want our pilots to give the best possible tour by narrating and sharing knowledge with the passengers, and not having to focus on making a video. So, we have chosen to have professional videos of Hawai’i available to view on our Experience page, YouTube, and Vimeo, as well as available for purchase on DVD.

Where can I find updates on conditions across the Hawaiian islands?

Please be assured that our pilots will do their best to navigate all conditions to deliver to you the safest and best viewing experience possible. Links: Lava Update  |  Tourism Authority  |  County Alerts  |  GIS

Why are Paradise Helicopters pilots the best in the world?

Our pilots provide you with the best tour, excellent narration and knowledge of the island. We conduct training annually and all pilots must pass an FAA. flight check. We also bring outside professional instructors into our company every year to evaluate and train our pilots in the latest techniques and information. Most of our pilots are veterans.

How long has Paradise Helicopters been in business?

Our company was started in 1997. Paradise Helicopters is dedicated to providing a personalized and friendly helicopter flight service to all of our customers. From the first phone call to the end of the flight our staff is trained to serve the client and give a personal touch to make everyone feel special. Paradise Helicopters is located on the Island of Hawaii with desks located at both of the major airports on the Island, Kona International Airport, Hilo International Airport and Waimea-Kohala Airport. We are also located on the Island of O’ahu in Kapolei West O’ahu and Turtle Bay Resort. 

Our service minded staff has been providing personalized service with aloha for many years.

Paradise Helicopters can provide the personalized service and amenities other helicopter companies do not offer!

Why are more people taking helicopter nature tours?

Paradise Helicopters are the experts in offering exciting, well-planned, and safe nature tours. Much of Hawaii’s fauna and flora are found nowhere else in the world. You can experience it all from the comfort of our helicopter tours, accompanied with experienced guides to answer all your questions.

See More From a Helicopter

Hawaiian helicopter tours are among the most breathtaking adventures available on earth. Although the natural landscape of the Hawaiian Islands is breathtaking from any angle, helicopter tours give you and your guests access to some of the most untouched and wild beauty in the world.

For the eco-conscious, helicopter tours offer a way to view the environment without disturbing the natural flora and fauna of the area. For the adventure-lover, there is no better way to get within 500 feet of hot, molten lava or to view a 2000-foot waterfall from a hovering vantage point so close you can almost feel the spray. For those simply looking to create an unforgettable vacation experience, the sights and sounds of Hawaii from the air allow you to experience as much of this island paradise as possible.

No matter what you’re looking for, our helicopter tours provides the perfect opportunity to go places and see sites that only exist in most people’s imaginations.

See Active Volcanoes

Nobody can get you closer to some of the world’s most active volcanoes than Paradise. Because these are an unpredictable natural phenomenon, we recommend you call ahead to confirm the activity of specific lava flows.

A Once-in-a-lifetime Experience for Everyone

Helicopter tours used to require a personally charted helicopter, hiring a pilot, and significant legal hassles. Paradise Helicopters takes care of the hard work for you, allowing you to enjoy a premium tour at a fraction of the price of a personal chartered flight. However, for families and groups, as well as custom itineraries, we do offer hourly charter services to fit your needs.

What are some common Hawaiian words?

Aloha – hello, goodbye, love
Pau – finished, done
Mahalo – thank you
Puka – hole
Ono – delicious
Mauka – mountain side (used a lot when referring to directions. Example – on the mauka side of the road)
Makai – ocean side (used a lot when referring to directions)
Paniolo – cowboy
Honu – green sea turtle

Don’t see your question here? Call us at +1 (808) 969-7392.

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