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What should you expect on a private helicopter tour?

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You’re sure to be filled with excitement ahead of your first private helicopter tour. Our handy hints and tips will help you prepare before the day of your flight arrives, so you can make the most of your tour.  

private-helicopter

How long will my flight last?

The length of your flight depends on the helicopter tour you choose:

  • Our London Buzz helicopter tour lasts 12 minutes. 1 seat costs £150, whilst the whole aircraft costs £750
  • Our London Sights tour lasts 18 minutes and is our most popular choice. Booking a single seat costs £220, whilst booking the whole helicopter for your exclusive use costs £2,200  
  • Our London Max. tour lasts 30 minutes, at a fixed cost of £1,700 for your sole use of the helicopter  

How many passengers will be on my flight?

Typically you will fly with three or five other passengers, depending on the size of the helicopter. The helicopter will be chosen based on the combined weight of the passengers, for optimum safety and security.

Can I choose who is on my helicopter tour?

Yes you can. If you booked your flight with other people they will fly with you, but bear in mind they may not sit beside you due to the need to balance the helicopter. We will always do our best to ensure your group is seated together. If you do wish to only have yourself and your friends or family on the flight, book a private flight, rather than a public one. If you have any questions or queries regarding your choice of flight, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

How is seating in the helicopter arranged?

Seating in the helicopter is arranged by weight and balance. This is essential for the safety and security of the flight.

Can I choose my seat on the helicopter?

There are multiple seats in each helicopter, each with their own spectacular view. Due to weight and balance restrictions we seat our passengers accordingly to balance the helicopter’s centre of gravity, so your seat will be allocated to you.

Do I have to pass a security check?

We request that you arrive at the heliport no less than 20 minutes before your scheduled flight time in order to complete the secure check in and safety briefing.  If you arrive later than 20 minutes prior to your flight, you will not be able to fly.

What can I take onto the helicopter with me?

You are permitted to bring a camera or smartphone and glasses or sunglasses aboard the helicopter. Handbags, camera bags, keys, scarves, hats and any other loose items of clothing will need to be stored in a secure locker at the heliport.

Will I be able to take pictures or video?

You may take photos or video once aboard the aircraft. Taking pictures on the heliport ramp while walking to the helicopter is strictly prohibited.

What happens if the weather is bad on the day of my flight?  

Weather conditions such as fog, heavy rain, snow, high winds and thunderstorms can prevent a helicopter flight from taking off. We will notify you as soon as possible on the day of your scheduled flight to let you know if it has to be cancelled due to inclement weather.

Are there any other circumstances where my helicopter tour flight would be delayed?

A flight may be delayed due to intermittent weather conditions, a maintenance issue that was unplanned or as a result of some other operational issue beyond our control. We will keep you informed and provide you with updates or the opportunity to reschedule should this be necessary.

Do I need to take out insurance for my flight?

We hold compulsory Public Liability insurance which covers our pilots and passengers for any loss or injury incurred from their flight. There is no insurance provision for you missing your scheduled flight due to late arrival, or any loss associated with a delayed or cancelled flight.

From the time you book your reservation to the time you fly in one of our helicopters, you will have the time of your life. Why not share the sights and memories of your flight with others in our gallery?

What are the best occasions for taking a private helicopter tour?

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The perfect way to celebrate a special occasion in memorable style, you’ll make memories you’ll never forget with a London Helicopter flight.

 

bride and groom helicopter

Public vs. private flights

For a special occasion, it’s worth choosing a private helicopter tour rather than a public one. This will mean that it is only you and your chosen guest (s) onboard. If you choose a public flight, you’re likely to have to share the cabin with others.

Make a special occasion even more unforgettable with our recommendations:

Proposal

What could be more romantic than popping the question in mid-air? Choose your location and surprise your loved one in true style.

Anniversary

Celebrate the date you met, got married, proposed…. Whichever date you mark as your anniversary, what better way to spend it than with a private helicopter tour?

Significant birthday

Invite family and friends and make their 18th, 21st, 30th or 50th birthday one they’ll never forget with a tour on a private helicopter.

Valentine’s Day

Treat your loved one to a ride in a private helicopter for a Valentine’s Day they’ll remember forever. Take a flight over the place you first met or somewhere that holds special memories for you both.

Graduation

Celebrate all their hard work and their newly acquired degree with a private helicopter flight, just the thing after all that revision and exam pressure.

Prom

They’ll be the envy of the friends and the talk of the school with a private helicopter ride to their prom. It’ll beat a standard limousine hands down!

Photography trip

If you love to take photos, capture your most stunning shots yet with a private helicopter tour.  You’re in full control and you can ask the pilot to get you closer to that perfect land or seascape.

Night flight or early morning, add diversity to your portfolio and unique prints to your walls. If you’re shooting somewhere that holds special memories, why not have your photographs turned into a canvas for the perfect gift for a loved one?

Retirement

Begin your retirement in style with a private helicopter tour. Invite family or workmates for a unique send off.

Visiting friends and family

If you have friends or family visiting from abroad and it’s the first time they’ve visited London, why not treat them to a flight over the city’s famous landmarks? It beats the Tube as a way to get around!

Arrive in style

Heading to Glastonbury, V or Reading this summer? Why not travel in style and arrive in a helicopter?

Think outside the box when it comes to your wedding a hire a helicopter rather than a classic car.

Racing, football or tennis? Whichever is your sport of choice, head to the event in a helicopter and make the day that bit more special. The British Grand Prix, the FA Cup final or Wimbledon, the choice is yours.

Looking to impress a key client or close a deal? A private flight will ensure they’re left with a lasting impression!

How much?

The price you pay for your private flight will vary depending on the aircraft, but, as a guideline, the hourly rate in the UK ranges from £180 plus VAT to around £350 plus VAT for a smaller helicopter, to £500 per hour plus VAT for larger aircraft.  

Typically, you can expect to pay around £800 plus VAT for a short distance fight between two points. This should be sufficient for an event such as a wedding.

Maximise your experience

A bespoke charter package allows you to combine your private helicopter flight with a hotel, restaurant, spa or golf booking to make the experience even more memorable.

  • Fly and dine – arrange to land in driving – or walking! – distance of your favourite restaurant   
  • Fly and stay – end your private flight in the grounds of a luxury hotel or spa
  • Fly and play – take a private tour to the golf course of your choice

Whether the weather…

When you are thinking about booking a private helicopter tour, consider the effect of the weather on your plans. Inclement conditions such as fog, heavy rain, strong winds, snow and thunderstorms can prevent a scheduled flight from taking place and whilst we all know how unpredictable the great British weather can be, it is worth planning your flight for the spring or summer months when the weather should – hopefully! – be on your side.

 

Should you do a private helicopter tour if you’re afraid of flying or heights?

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A private helicopter tour can be an incredible experience, with the opportunity to see astounding sights and famous landmarks from the perfect vantage point in the air. You’ll make lifetime memories with a London Helicopter flight.

However, if you have a fear of heights or a fear of flying, the thought of a helicopter flight could fill you with dread, rather than enjoyment.

Helicopter flight

Should you do a private helicopter tour if you’re afraid of flying?

While some people believe taking a flight on a private helicopter may help to cure their fear of flying, others could think of nothing more terrifying.

‘Flying’ on a flight simulator may help to assuage any fears, as you can get used to the experience without going on a ‘real’ flight.  Once you have experienced a flight simulator, you may feel ready to move on to a ‘real’ flight in a private helicopter.

If you do choose to experience a tour, some key points to be aware of include:

  • Space – the cabin of a helicopter is a lot smaller than standard planes, so bear this in mind if feeling constricted contributes to your fear of flying
  • Seating – the front seat of the helicopter is the most ‘exposed’, as you have the widest field of vision. Consider sitting further back in the cockpit if it is your first flight and gradually build your confidence
  • Noise – a helicopter flight can get quite noisy with the air drag and the sound of the rotor blades. Wearing the headphones provided – or a pair of earplugs – may make you feel more comfortable
  • View/visibility – you will be able to see much more from a helicopter than you can from a plane
  • Bumpy/swooping feeling – helicopter flights are often not as smooth as those in an aeroplane, due to the smaller size of the aircraft

If you do have a fear of flying, choosing a private helicopter tour rather than a public one is a good idea, as this will mean that it is only you and your chosen guest (s) onboard. If you choose a public flight, you’re likely to have to share the cabin with others, which may not be advisable if you are particularly nervous.

Always advise your helicopter flight operator ahead of time if you or any of your group are afraid of flying, as they can ensure the pilot is aware. They can then ensure that they explain all aspects of the flight and the take off and landing process to you, which may help to alleviate your fears.

Should you do a private helicopter tour if you’re afraid of heights?

A fear of heights and a fear of flying are different things. For many, a fear of heights is not really to do with being up high, rather they fear falling from a height. Understanding the physics of what keeps an aeroplane or helicopter in the air can help with rationalising the fear, so it may help to learn the basics of how aircraft take off, fly and land.

It has been suggested that vertigo tends to occur primarily when you can actually see what’s attaching you to (or separating you from) the ground, such as when you’re walking over a high bridge, or climbing a mountain, as you can instantly see how far it is to ‘fall’. Based on this thought, many who are afraid of heights are not afraid of flying at all, as there is no visible ‘attachment’.

If your fear of heights is particularly prevalent when you are in an open space, such as climbing a ladder or a tall building, you may be perfectly fine in a helicopter – the only way to know for sure is to take that flight.

Also remember that many pilots are afraid of heights!  They are often more likely than average to have this fear, as their sharp visual imagination – essential to becoming a skilled pilot – can actually exacerbate a fear of heights.  

The pre-flight safety briefing is also the ideal time to ask any questions or discuss any particular concerns you may have with regards to your flight, prior to take off.

If you have any concerns or queries, please contact us prior to your flight.

Support London’s Air Ambulance

We are delighted to support London’s Air Ambulance, helping to extend the reach of their lifesaving missions across London. The London Helicopter will match your donation to double its impact.

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