You could say that travelers who are able to take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour are privileged. Not because they are better than anyone else, but because they are privileged to get to participate such an amazing experience.
While everyone is welcome on these fun tours, if you happen to exceed the established weight limit, you can expect to pay more for a seat. That's because the seating is limited to six people and the pilot, plus the cost of fuel.
This is how such a policy works:
#1. Maverick Helicopters, which flies out of Vegas, has a passenger weight limit of 300 pounds. Any passenger who weighs more than that will be required to buy an extra seat.
#2. Papillon Helicopters, which is a leading tour operator in Vegas also has a weight policy, but it is set at 275 pounds. Passengers weighing more will need to pay $100 more for a seat.
The rising cost of fuel and the limited seats have forced tour companies to come up with these policies.
Since weight is such an important factor when flying a helicopter, you will actually be weighed during the check-in process. Lots of people ask me how the tour companies weigh their passengers. Don't worry, it's all very discreet because the scales are embedded into the floor. But in the end, the tour operator will know your true weight and charge you extra if you exceed their limit.
Some tour operators also charge extra if you want to reserve a front seat. You might have to pay as much as $100 more for your tour. Even so, the seat is not guaranteed. Seats are determined by weight and assigned at check-in.
Buy Seats Early
Don't wait until you get to Vegas to buy your tour seats. By then your choices will be fewer and you'll have to pay more for last minute tours too. You probably wouldn't buy a last-minute airline ticket unless you absolutely had to - we all know how expensive THOSE can be! Helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon work the same way. So be sure to buy your seats in advance.
You'll get the best price on your helicopter tour if you buy it online. But a lot of different travel sites claim they have the "lowest prices." There is an easy way to know who has the lowest prices.
Go right to the tour operator's website and buy your tour directly through them. While you want to read all the details so you understand what you're buying, you can almost always get the lowest price by using the internet rate offered by the tour operator rather than booking through Viator, Expedia, or Travelocity.
Booking your tour over the internet doesn't mean you'll get the best price. The only way to get the lowest price directly from the tour company is to go to their website and pay for your tour using their online form. You'll actually pay more if you pay for your tour over the phone instead. If you really need to deal with the company's customer support, wait until after you've paid for your tickets online and you've received the email confirmation number. That way calling the company won't cause you to lose out on the internet deal.