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Air Maui Helicopter Tours


 

Air Maui Rates
List Price
Our Price
45 min. Hana / Haleakala
$210
$180
45 min. West Maui / Molokai
$205
$180
60 min. Complete Island
$270
$230
60 min. West Maui / Molokai (our favorite)
 
$265
$230

All Air Maui prices quoted here are our discounted "per person" rates and include state tax but not the Air Maui fuel surcharge which is now 25% of the list price of your flight (it peaked at 25% in 2008, dropped to 18% in 2009, and returned to 25% on 3/15/2011 due to recent jet fuel price increases).

Book early in advance to get morning flight times.

Maui … the Valley Isle … there is no place like it on Earth, and most of the island is remote and completely inaccessible. The only way to really see the island is from a helicopter. If you've never seen Maui from the air, you've never really seen the island! Air Maui offers four flight options summarized below. While exact routes and sights that you see will vary from flight to flight, we do recommend morning flight times ... morning is typically the clearest time of the day and clouds are less of a factor. In order to guarantee one of these morning flight times your reservation should be made well in advance of your arrival in Hawaii!

(see note on Weight for passengers over 240 pounds or couples with a combined weight over 420 pounds)

AMH / V


Cruise Ship Clients

NCL cruise ship passengers are able to fly with Air Maui on either day when they are in port in Kahului. This requires a very short cab ride of 5 minutes or less. Lahaina cruise ship passengers can also fly, but they will need a rental car as the drive to the Kahului Airport takes an hour. We can arrange car rentals for $39 per day. Be sure to see our Kauai Helicopter Tour page also. For rental cars with cruise ship shuttle pick-up see our rental car page.


Hana Heli-van Tour

 

$353.95 per passenger ($180.24 for infants under 2). Rate includes tax and fuel surcharge

The ultimate East Maui adventure, this sky trek combines a one-way 37 minute helicopter tour of Haleakala and the Hana rainforest with a 3 1/2 hour luxury limo-van tour of the famous "Road to Hana" on the return. The trip includes a delicious beachside picnic lunch served on white linen and crystalline plates, expert narration, a waterfall swim, tropical gardens tour, and many picture stops along the way. Why drive to Hana when you can fly and ride? … you can concentrate on the beauty instead of worrying about the winding road. 

This tour is offered at twice daily. The morning tour meets at the heliport at 7am; you do the van tour to Hana first, then eat lunch, followed by the helicopter tour which returns you to the airport in Kahului. The afternoon tour meets at the heliport at 11am; you do the helicopter tour to Hana first, then eat lunch, followed by the van tour on the return to the airport.

NOTE: This tour typically uses Blue Hawaiian for the helicopter company; sometimes it is flown with Air Maui. The helicopters used for this tour are A-stars (the Eco-star is not available for this tour). Cancellation for parties of 6 or more require a minimum of 72 hours notice. Weight restrictions apply; individuals over 240 pounds or couples with a combined weight over 420 pounds may need to purchase an additional seat. Call for details.

TT / V


Cruise Ship Clients

NCL cruise ship passengers are able to do the Hana Heli-Van Tour on the afternoon of the first day or the morning of the second day while in port in Kahului. This requires a very short cab ride of 5 minutes or less. Lahaina cruise ship passengers can only do this tour on the morning of their second dayin port (assuming the ship is there two days). They will need a rental car as the drive to the Kahului Airport takes an hour. We can arrange car rentals for $39 per day. Be sure to see our Kauai Helicopter Tour page also. For rental cars with cruise ship shuttle pick-up see our rental car page.


ACTIVITY TIPS

Kevin at Falls

It never ceases to amaze me that people spend thousands of dollars to come to Hawaii, but think it is too expensive to spend another $200-$250 to REALLY see the islands from a helicopter. There is so much beauty that you cannot see any other way. Do yourself a favor and SPLURGE! You will thank me.

Flying in a helicopter is like riding a magic carpet. They are much more stable than twin engine planes ... motion sickness is seldom an issue for anyone. They cut through the wind like a knife. Thrill seekers may wish for a more roller coaster-like experience, but the pilots fly a very gentle pattern. Don't expect plunging drops and steeply banked turns. 

The best time for helicopter tours (as a rule) is in the morning hours, as cloud cover tends to get thicker throughout the afternoon. Don't feel badly if it looks cloudy just before your flight though ... helicopters can fly just under the cloud ceiling, which typically is around 4,000 feet. These clouds can add an element of mystery and beauty all their own. Check out some of the waterfall photos for an example.

All helicopter tours leave from the Kahului Airport. Plan on a 45 minute drive from Lahaina / Kaanapali Resorts, 60 minutes from Kapalua, 30 minutes from Kihei and 45 minutes from Wailea. Save yourself some driving ... consider planning the helicopter tour for early morning on the day that you drive to Hana. 

Wear dark clothing for your helicopter flight. A light colored shirt will cause a reflection on the windows ... you won't notice it during your flight, but it shows up like crazy in any pictures you take. A polarizing filter on the front of your camera will also help remove window glare (and greatly improve pictures that you take of the ocean too).

A note about weight restrictions. Almost all companies in Hawaii charge extra for heavier passengers. This is not a matter of discrimination toward larger guests ... it is a business reality due to the spatial limitations of the passenger compartment. The cost and profit margins of the helicopter companies is based upon their helicopters flying with every seat occupied. If the helicopter holds 6 passengers and the size of a guest means that they can only comfortably seat 5, they are losing money. The "comfort seat" is exactly that ... it really does make everyone more comfortable. It also ensures that the helicopter's overall weight capacity is not exceeded, which makes this a SAFETY CONCERN as well. For each company's exact "comfort seat" policy and charges, see the weight restriction link under each company's description.

Most tour helicopters on Maui are Eurocopter A-STAR's ... the seating configuration in each is the same. Two passengers sit up front with the pilot and four sit in the second row. People often say to me,  "But two people in the back seat don't get a window seat." True, but visibility from these helicopters is excellent ... you really get a 180 degree view no matter where you sit. Yes, yes, it is cool to sit up front. But I like to describe the experience as sitting in a flying theatre. By the way, you don't get to decide where you sit, or pay extra for a front seat. FAA requirements dictate who sits where based upon body weight. (I once had a couple that was so adamant about sitting up front that they paid for all six seats. If you are made of money, go for it!!! I'll be glad to set you up ... haha)

Air Maui produces a live DVD video of your flight which is available for purchase after your flight. A five-camera system allows the pilot to edit a video "on the fly" including shots inside the cabin so your relatives back home can see you during your flight. The quality of these videos is not as high as professionally shot stock videos, but it makes a great souvenir.

My favorite flight is the West Maui / Molokai flight, which is available in a 45 minute and a 60 minute version with Air Maui. I am less crazy about the 45 minute Hana / Haleakala flight. It takes a lot of time to climb to 10,000 feet and take a peak into the crater, which is restricted air space. You get a similar view as if you drove to the top yourself. Then the rest of the flight seems to rush by. 

What about the active volcano? Lots of people ask about a helicopter ride from Maui over Kilauea on the Big Island. There used to be a very expensive tour ($420) but it isn't available any longer. It's just too far to fly there in a helicopter. We used to book day trips where you would fly over to Hilo for the day on Hawaiian Airlines, have a rental car for the day, and then fly back later that evening. Unfortunately flight schedule cuts make this unfeasible. All flights from Maui to Hilo connect in Honolulu and you spend most of the day just flying there and back. 

>The best way to see Kilauea is to plan an overnight stay in Hilo. You can fly to Hilo on Hawaiian Airlines, have a rental car, do a helicopter flight, spend the night, then fly back the next day. This entire package runs around $450 per person (about $260 without the helicopter flight). The advantage of this itinerary is that when you spend the night there, you can drive to the volcano and do a little hiking and view the lava at night when it is far more spectacular!

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Infants under the age of 2 are free in lap. Ages 2 and up are paying passengers.


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