The one word that defines Papillon Helicopters is "value." In other words, if you are looking for low prices, Papillon is the option for you.
Papillon is the largest Grand Canyon sightseeing company in the U.S. The company flies out of Las Vegas, NV, Boulder City, NV, and South Rim, AZ.
Papillon offers basic and deluxe flights. Basic flights utilize the A-Star and Bell Ranger Helicopter. Deluxe flights use the EcoStar 130, which features a 180-degree wraparound windshield and stadium-style seats.
Basic flights take off from Boulder City and require a 35-minute shuttle ride by van. Deluxe tours take off from The Strip and come with free limousine service to/from all major Vegas resort hotels plus a tour over The Strip.
Papillon offers the largest selection of tours. From Vegas, you can pick from air-only and landing tours (both fly over Lake Mead and Hoover Dam). Please note that tours that land at the bottom are ONLY available form Las Vegas.
Papillon's South Rim flights pretty much follow the same script as Vegas', except they are air only or come with a 3-hour Jeep tour. From my experience, Pap's 50-minute air-only flight is the #1 choice because you get to see up to 75 percent of the National Park.
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NOTICE: Grand Canyon helicopters quickly sell out. To get tickets, purchase 1-2 weeks in advance. Lowest prices are online. Must complete booking online to qualify for Internet discount rate. If you need a tour in the next 72 hours, call Keith direct at 702-530-8687 or see him in Live Chat for immediate assistance.
Papillon is about value. Maverick Helicopters is about quality. Thus if you are looking for 5-star quality flights, Maverick is the #1 option.
Part of Maverick's prestige is the fact that they exclusively use the EcoStar 130, the most superior sightseeing helicopter in the sky today.
Maverick flies out of Las Vegas, NV, and South Rim, AZ. The Vegas terminal is conveniently located across the street from Mandalay Bay Resort. Further, all Vegas flights go over Lake Mead & the Dam.
The company offers air-only and landing tours from its Vegas location. South Rim tours are air-only. Vegas transportation to the executive terminal is by van; contact Keith if you need to arrange limousine service.
Maverick's landing tours are in high-demand, especially the bottom landing with Champagne picnic. This is followed closely by the tour that goes to the top and the bottom. When it comes to the South Rim, I strongly recommend the 50-minute tour.
Maverick is also famous for it's commitment to excellence. Its pilots have received the latest training and are extremely knowledgeable about the Canyon (a big benefit because they accurately tell you what you are flying over). Customer service (before and after the flight) is ridiculously good because they remove the annoying tedium of logistics associated with a tour.
If you're looking for cheap flights, Maverick IS NOT your option. However, if you are stickler for quality and demand the best when it comes to your travel needs, Maverick is the only way to go.
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Grand Canyon Helicopters is one of the smaller operators to offer flights to the National Park. It's a good thing, too, because if Papillon and Maverick are sold out, you MIGHT be able to get seats on GCH.
GCH offers air and landing tours from Las Vegas (includes going over Lake Mead & Hoover) and South Rim. Like Maverick, they ONLY use the EcoStar 130, which means you'll be paying more but it's worth it because this chopper is the best in its class.
The Vegas GCH tour I like the best is the one that lands at the bottom and includes a boat tour and Skywalk tickets. Please note that this tour is very limited and often sold out so reserve it at least 2 weeks prior.
GCH offers 30-minute and 50-minute helicopter rides from South Rim. The 1/2-hour tour goes from South Rim to the North Rim and back and is great for budget travelers. But if you can find the extra money, I STRONGLY recommend the 50-minute flight.
GCH is a well-run company and, like Papillon and Maverick, has an outstanding safety record. Vegas departures leave from The Strip. The South Rim terminal can be tricky to find but keep your eye on the signs and you'll get there just fine.
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