Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. How can I book a tour?

    Choose the tour you are interested in, click the “Book Now” button adjacent to the tour information, and complete the booking form. You can also call us toll free at 1.800.745-2583. For more information to help you choose a tour or answer questions you may utilize our online chat feature. However, we will need to collect information to make your reservation through a secure format of either the “Book Now” button on the website or via a call to our reservations department. We are available to discuss your schedule and options during our normal business hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm Hawaii Standard Time.

  • 2. What is your cancellation policy? 

    A 24-hour notice is required for any changes or cancellations by calling 1.800.745.2583 between the hours of 7am and 7pm daily. No shows and changes within 24 hours will be charged the full amount.

  • 3. What is your weather policy? 

    Weather in Hawaii is unlike weather in other parts of the world. We have isolated, passing showers over our windward side of each island throughout the entire day. Weather forecasters usually give a daily report of rain; this is normal Hawaii weather—what creates our beautiful waterfalls and rainbows—and should not adversely effect your tour.  Our pilots, who have access to the latest updates on the local weather conditions, make all flight decisions. BHH pilots use the latest technology to ensure a safe and beautiful tour. If we have to cancel your tour due to weather, we will only do so on the day of the tour, typically very near to your flight time when the forecast is most accurate. If that happens we would love to reschedule your flight, but if you are unable to there is absolutely no penalty to you and you will receive a 100% refund. 

  • 4. Do you make a video of our actual tour? How long is it?

    Every flight is captured in high-quality video. Each helicopter is equipped with four cameras; three external and one in the cabin. The video recording begins during the boarding process. On the video, you'll most likely first see yourself as you approach the aircraft for boarding. To orchestrate the most interesting video, the pilot chooses between the forward, side or internal camera as the flight progresses. The cabin camera, for example, usually shows you right after lift-off as it is so much fun to capture our guests’ expressions of amazement. The recording is continuous until landing and includes digital quality music chosen to complement the changing scenery, plus all the pilot's narration. The video is available for purchase right after you return from your flight.

  • 5. Are we guaranteed to see all of the sights mentioned in your tour descriptions?

    The points of interest mentioned in our tour descriptions are highlights of the tour, which we always do our best to show you depending on wind and weather. On the Big Island, areas of volcanic activity are constantly shifting, as are the areas of waterfalls on every island. Each tour is unique in that we'll show you the best currently available scenery while also trying to accommodate all of your special requests within the generally allotted time.

  • 6. What can I do to make sure I have a comfortable and enjoyable experience?

    Wear solid dark-colored clothing. Our helicopters are temperature controlled so dress comfortably but wear dark clothing. This will cause less reflection in the windows to allow a clear view of all the sights. It will also allow you to take better photos and video without clothing items or light-colored logos or patterns from your clothing reflecting in the photos that you and other guests would like to take of the magnificent scenery. Hats are not allowed to be worn around the helicopters as they can fly up into the rotors and damage the aircraft. We will be happy to hold any hats for you until you return from your tour.

    If your tour includes a landing, we recommend closed-toed shoes such as athletic shoes. The ground at our remote landing sites can be uneven and sometimes a bit wet. At some landing sites there is a chance to walk around and get the best angle for your photos and videos so closed-toed shoes are best in these remote locations. Also, remember to bring a sweater in case it's chilly.

    Do not go SCUBA diving within 24 hours or SNUBA 12 hours prior to your tour. You may snorkel or swim prior to your tour and there is no risk in SCUBA or SNUBA after your helicopter tour

    Bring your camera or cell phone (on airplane mode) to take photos and video of your tour. Even if you plan to purchase our inflight video, you will not want to miss an opportunity to save these memories.

    Arrive on time to check in. This will make your whole tour experience go more smoothly as we do need to complete a required safety briefing and prepare each passenger prior to the tour. Even if you are rescheduled due to weather you will need to check in 45 minutes prior to your tour. If you are not sure of the drive time to the heliport where your tour is scheduled to depart please call 1.800.745.2583 and we will be happy to help.

    Allow adequate time for the full experience. Weather and other factors can sometimes effect the tour take off and return times so you will not want to schedule another activity immediately following your tour or too close to your departing flight. Allow a little cushion. Also, most guests like to spend a few minutes taking a photo with the pilot in front of the helicopter, checking out the gift store and purchasing their inflight video so you won’t want to rush off. Relax and enjoy your total experience.

  • 7. Do you recommend taking anti-motion sickness medication?

    If you are particularly prone to motion sickness, taking a precautionary anti-motion sickness medication is a good idea. However, our flights are very smooth and turns are slow and gentle. This is a professional scenic tour, not a thrill ride. Most people do not experience motion sickness and do not need an anti-motion sickness medication.

  • 8. When is the best time to fly?

    We suggest that you book your helicopter flight prior to arrival in Hawaii. This assures you of a tour time that fits into your vacation plans. It’s also wise to book your tour for the early part of your stay. That way if your pilot determines that weather conditions on a particular day are not optimal for a tour, you will have some options for re-scheduling. As far as the best time of day for a helicopter tour, you should primarily consider your personal schedule. Most of the time we are blessed with beautiful weather in Hawaii and the time of day, whether it be morning or afternoon, will make no difference. If we happen to have a rainy weather pattern the pilot will consult weather reports and other pilots who have been flying to determine if we can operate a good tour. Blue Hawaiian does not want to take our guests on a flight unless we are reasonably certain we can give you an excellent experience.

  • 9. How much experience do your pilots have?

    All pilots for Blue Hawaiian Helicopters are highly experienced. In fact, we believe that this is the most experienced group of helicopter tour pilots anywhere in the world, and each of them is required to obtain certification as a State of Hawaii Tour Guide. Furthermore, Blue Hawaiian is the only helicopter tour company in Hawaii with its own state-of-the-art Flight Simulator, and the only one that puts its pilots through annual factory and FAA recurrent training.

  • 10. How long has Blue Hawaiian been in business?

    The company began on the island of Kauai in 1982, with the name South Sea Helicopters. When South Sea's Maui branch was sold in 1985, the company's name was changed to Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. Over the years, Blue has grown to the largest, most successful, and most honored helicopter tour company in Hawaii, and the only one that serves the entire state—with bases on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and in both Hilo and Waikoloa on the Big Island.

    Blue Hawaiian Helicopters recently joined Sundance Helicopters in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of Air Methods Corporation's tourism division, making Air Methods the largest provider of helicopter tours in the world. Both Blue Hawaiian and Sundance are designated as subsidiaries to Air Methods, which is the global leader in air medical transportation.

  • 11. Does Blue Hawaiian offer flights that are not primarily for scenic viewing?

    Yes. We are a charter company, and we also offer transportation to golfers, hikers, and travelers who may have limited time or who want to visit lesser-traveled areas. We will fly you where you want to go, at whatever time you prefer, provided our equipment and personnel are available. We are a Department of Defense, Office of Aviation-certified air carrier and can provide services to the United States Government. We also provide utility services, such as external load, firefighting, search and rescue and powerline patrol.

  • 12. What are your hours of operation?

    We open for business at 7:00 am each day and close at 7:00 pm, Hawaii Standard Time. (Note that Hawaii time does not change with Daylight Savings Time.) We are 2 hours earlier than Pacific Standard Time—for example, 9:00am in California is 7:00am in Hawaii. However, Hawaii is 3 hours earlier than Pacific Daylight Savings Time—for example, 9:00am in California is 6:00am in Hawaii.

  • 13. Are we going to see lava?

    The location and magnitude of lava activity is ever changing. The only chance of seeing flowing lava is on the Big Island of Hawaii during the portion of your tour that is over Volcanoes National Park. Not all Big Island tours overfly the park. Even if your tour does overfly the park, sight of lava cannot be guaranteed. Routes and times vary with wind and weather, and volcanic activity changes hourly.

  • 14. How do I view my High-Definition inflight video on my computer with the USB I purchased?

    We strongly recommend the VLC Media Player version 2.0.8 to view your HD inflight video. Version 2.0.8 can be downloaded here:

    VLC Media Player Download and Install Instructions: VLC_Instructions.pdf

    Download for Windows 32bit, Windows 64bit, or MacOS: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/

  • 15. Will we be the only ones in the helicopter? How is seating arranged?

    Unless you charter the complete helicopter you will be sharing the flight with other guests. We try to seat couples and families side-by-side as much as possible. We cannot guarantee particular seating as it is often dictated by our FAA approved “weight and balance” program. However, visibility from every seat is excellent in both our A-Stars and Eco-Stars, since there are no cabin partitions that would block part of the view as is the case on other types of helicopters.  Please note: tours from Maui, Waikoloa and Hilo operate with both A-Stars and Eco-Stars; tours from Kauai and Oahu utilize the Eco-Star exclusively. There is a comparison seating diagram for these aircraft available on each individual island page.

  • 16. How low do you fly?

    A Federal Aviation Administration altitude restriction of 1500 feet has been in effect since 1994 with deviations to 500 ft. on each major Hawaiian Island. Virtually all helicopter operators in Hawaii share the same deviation authority from the FAA to fly as low as 500 feet in the tour areas.

  • 17. What should we consider about travelling to a different island to take an air tour?

    Always keep in mind that air tour flights are highly subject to changing weather conditions. You take considerable expense of your time and airfare to travel to a different island and your tour could get cancelled due to weather or a mechanical issue with our aircraft. We strongly urge you to consider this risk when making the commitment to travel to a different island for an air tour.

  • 18. Can I take a tour if I use a wheelchair?

    All of our bases are wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant. Each base also has a custom built chair lift to assist passengers into the helicopter safely and comfortably. Our chair lifts are able to accommodate passengers up to 250 lbs.

  • 19. Can I reserve front row seats?

    Based on availability and a few passenger requirements, front row seats may be reserved at a fee. Combined front row seat weight must be under 319 lbs for A-Star tours and 470 lbs for Eco-Star tours and individual passenger weights must be under 250 lbs for A-Star and 260 lbs for Eco Star. Should actual weights during check-in exceed any of these limits guests will be accommodated in other seats and a refund will be made for the premium upgrade fee. Front row passengers must occupy their own seats and must be able to refrain from interfering with the pilot and instrumentation. At least one of the front seat occupants must be 15 years of age or older and capable of performing emergency aircraft egress procedures. Lap children cannot be accommodated in the front row. In the event of an emergency front row passengers must be able to receive instructions in English and be physically capable of operating exit doors. Our chair lifts are only able to access the rear row of seats therefore guests requiring a chair lift to board the helicopter cannot be accommodated in the front row.

  • 20. 14 CFR § 382.45, Passenger information – Where can I find more information regarding this regulation?

    Customers may obtain a copy of this part in an accessible format from the Department of Transportation by any of the following means:

    (1) For calls made from within the United States, by telephone via the Toll-Free Hotline for Air Travelers with Disabilities at 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY),

    (2) By telephone to the Aviation Consumer Protection Division at 202-366-2220 (voice) or 202-366-0511 (TTY),

    (3) By mail to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., West Building, Room W96-432, Washington, DC 20590, and

    (4) On the Department of Transportation’s Web site (https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/382short_1.pdf).