It's fall at the Grand Canyon, which means it's the perfect time to book that helicopter tour you've always dreamt of.
Online PR News – 05-October-2012 – Las Vegas – Cooler weather, fewer travelers and terrific promotions all add up to make fall 2012 one of the best times of the year to book a Grand Canyon helicopter tour.
"Canyon weather is crisp and clear," said Keith Kravitz, owner of Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour Reviews (GCHTR). "If there's ever been a time to hop a chopper and get airborne, it's right now!"
Today's temperate conditions are in stark contrast to this summer's torrid heat.
"The West Rim in particular was scorching," said Kravitz. "I was constantly reminding our readers to pack water, sun block, a hat and sunglasses."
Even the South Rim, which sits at an elevation of 6,000 feet, had its fair share of hot days.
"You'd think the South Rim would be spared from the summer heat," he said. "Just wasn't the case. Hereon, however, expect temperatures at both rims to continue cooling off."
Nearly 5 million people visit Grand Canyon National Park annually. The majority go between May and September. This spike in visitors puts pressure on helicopter tour availability.
"During summer, I tell readers to book their trip no less than a week in advance," said Kravitz. "Any later and you run the risk of not getting a seat.
"The chance of not flying increases with the size of your group. Helicopters can only seat six passengers including the pilot. Considering most people fly in groups, it can get ridiculously tough getting a reservation for three or more people."
This is not the case during fall. Visitor numbers drop off significantly, thereby making it potentially easier to book the seats you need.
"Just because it's fall, avoid being laissez faire about reserving ahead of time," noted Kravitz. "Indeed, the supply of available seats is there, but this offset by the reduced number of flights.
"For example, there will be fewer early bird flights in the morning because the sun is rising later. The limited number of daytime hours also impacts the number of sunset flights being run."
Helicopter tours depart from Las Vegas, NV, and Grand Canyon, AZ. Las Vegas trips go to the West Rim, while Grand Canyon trips do the South Rim. There are no helicopter flights between the rims.
There are two types of helicopter tours: Aerial and landing. Aerial tours are available at the West Rim and the South Rim. Landing tours depart exclusively from Las Vegas and go to the West Rim. These trips go to the bottom of the canyon or the top of the West Rim. They can be upgraded to include a boat ride and/or Grand Canyon Skywalk tickets, among other things.
Fall also brings a plethora of special promotions. Usually, the air-only tour is on sale. However, this is changing and air tour operators are cutting fares on their premium West Rim landing tours from Las Vegas.
"Today's travelers are acutely aware that the best deals are on the Internet," noted Kravitz. "However, I'm discovering that many are struggling to find real bargains. My recommendation is to start the search process at the tour operator's website and work up from there. Taking this tact typically results in success."
Kravitz added,” Travelers need to remember to book the tour online in order to get the Internet rate. Failure to do so often results in paying a price that's close to retail, which defeats the purpose of shopping online in the first place."
For a list of premium helicopter tours featuring special promotional pricing, please visit: