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“What a great first helicopter trip!”

Island Express Helicopters
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Orange County Helicopter Tour from Long Beach
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Catalina Island Helicopter Tour
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Hollywood and Los Angeles Helicopter Tour from Long Beach
Ranked #7 of 33 Tours in Long Beach
Attraction details
Williamsburg, VA
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“What a great first helicopter trip!”
Reviewed 23 July 2012

Never having ridden in a helicopter, my husband and I decided to try this for a fast and totally different way to get to Catalina Island. I called early in the week for a Saturday trip and surprised my brother, with whom we were staying, with the trip. The weather was beautiful, the dolphins were entertaining, and the trip was as smooth as glass! Island Express is a very professional and safety conscious organization and I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to try something different. Yes, it is expensive compared to the ferry, but the quality of the experience is worth it.

Visited July 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

32 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lake Elsinore, California
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Way over priced on Catalina Island Tours.”
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Online it said one price for a tour of the island. We were going on a 4 day cruise where the 2 stops were in Catalina and Ensenada. My husband and dad wanted to take a helicopter tour so I thought this would be the ideal place. Once I tried for an online request it was 10 days before I finally called to ask I can get some information. They had my information right in front of them but they said they never emailed or called me back like they should have.

Then the price I received over the phone was completely outrageous for a 20 minute flight. Over $400 pp if you aren't booking 4 or 6 people together. I've seen better and longer helicopter tours for half the price.

What I hate, is that they are the only ones I can find that do helicopter tours of Catalina that is out of Catalina. We decided to do a tour out of Long Beach before the cruise which was the same amount of flight time but 1/3 of the cost.

This place may be ideal if you want to fly to Catalina which what we plan to do on our next trip out there. For tours, it's a big disapointment!

Visited April 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Amazing, accommodating, professional helicopter service”
Reviewed 14 October 2011

We booked our helicopter transfer from Long Beach to Catalina Island two months earlier. On our departure from Toronto to Los Angeles, there was a work to rule action by the security screeners. It delayed our Toronto departure by 2.5 hours. I managed to contact Island Express as I was sitting at the gate. Normally you can not change your flight time with Island Express, but under the circumstances they agreed to let us fly on the 3:00 PM flight and cancelled our 1:00 PM flight. We were to arrive at LAX at 10:40 but only touched down at 1:15 PM. After a terrible Dollar Rent a Car pick, we ended up stuck in traffic to Long Beach delaying us even more.
During this time we were in contact with Island Express and kept them up-to-date on our status. We arrived at 3:15, missing our 3:00 flight. With all other flights to Catalina booked we were almost stranded. I noticed an aircraft sitting on the tarmac. The staff member suggested we could charter the complete aircraft if we really need to get to Catalina, which we did since we were attending a concert that night.
After paying a little more than our normal transfer cost, we had the helicopter to ourselves with a fantastic pilot named Matt.
Matt spotted full-grown blue whales and circled them both each time allowing us to take pictures. Later, we swooped down and circled around a pod of dolphins. Matt contacted the hotel we were staying at to arrange our shuttle. What fantastic service!

Visited October 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 253 helpful votes
“The best way to get to Catalina Island”
Reviewed 15 September 2011

We have used Island Express a couple of times to get to Catalina Island and then usually take the Catalina Express for the trip home. The helicopter is a great way to get to the island in only about 15 mins. The pilots and helicopters are top notch. We felt very safe and comfortable. We even managed to spot some dolphins jumping out of the water on one of our flights over to the island. This is the best way to get to the island hands down!

Visited May 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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