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Seniors and helicopters

Prince Edward...
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Seniors and helicopters

Travelling in Oct with two 80 year young folks. Saw a "deal" for room ,dinner and helicopter tour with Canyon Plaza Resort Grand Canyon. Is this as good a deal as it sounds. They are both keen to keep price down but want to do a heli tour. Any suggestions / help appreciated.

Sedona, AZ
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for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
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1. Re: Seniors and helicopters

The room is outside of the park. the dinner would be unremarkable, since there is no really good dining anywhere near the GCNP and helicopter flights can be booked directly. Sounds like a lousy deal to me, even it it makes the room a dinner a virtual freebie.

Stay inside the park if you can. Eat at El Tovar for the most memorable meal and if your seniors are set on a helicopter flight, just book it.

But the best way to experience the Grand Canyon IMO is from the ground.


Destination Expert
for Phoenix
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2. Re: Seniors and helicopters

Since money is an issue, you need to do a comparison. Find the best deal iside the park for a room plus the price of a helicopter ride and compare it to the "deal" you have before you. Everything is relative. If staying inside the park isn't the main attraction, then all you can do is compare the money.

Evanston, Wyoming
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for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
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3. Re: Seniors and helicopters

Is this the link to the package deal you've found? grandcanyonplaza.com/html/helicopter-grand-c…

I've done some preliminary calculations and it seems OK. By itself, the North Canyon (25-30 minute) helicopter tour is typically advertised from $150/person and up; the Imperial (45-50 minutes) typically goes for ~$220/person, so, based on two people for the North Canyon package, $475 divided by two = $237.50. Subtract $150 and that leaves $87.50 per person for room and dinner. Times 2 people = $175

Here are my concerns right off the bat: both the North Canyon and Imperial tours are conducted by Papillon Helicopters aboard Bell Jet helicopters, which are the older of the two types of helicopters in service at the canyon. The Eco-Star helicopter is the newer and nicer of the two, with larger windows and larger, all-forward facing seats. They're definitely a much more comfortable ride than the Bell, which I think would be important for folks in that age bracket. BUT - upgrading to the Eco-Star runs about $20 more per person. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge16eylChkA

By the way, no helicopter or airplane flying over the canyon is pressurized (they don't fly high enough to require it). Definitely something to keep in mind when considering the needs of seniors or anyone who may have any kind of heart or lung issues.

If you can find a less expensive room somewhere, with the money you save, you could upgrade to the Eco-Star helicopter. Some of the more reasonably priced rooms inside the park are Bright Angel Lodge, Maswik South and Yavapai West. For availability and pricing, visit www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call 888-297-2757 or 303-297-2757.

If unable to find lodging inside the park, you might consider Williams, which is 1 hour South of the park, but the majority of those hotels are Travelodge/Howard Johnson/Fairfield caliber, so you might be able to find a decent deal on your room, which would free up some more $$ for you to utilize toward upgrading to the Eco-Star helicopter. Williams hotels can be booked here on TA or via Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz and the like.

4. Re: Seniors and helicopters

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