July 3, 2022

The 5 Best Helicopter Tours in New York City | Travel | US News

Note: Some tour providers on this list may have limited or ceased operations due to COVID-19. Check with your tour operator about availability before you book.

New York City has one of the most magnificent skylines in the world and seeing it from the air aboard a helicopter is an experience unlike any other. When it comes to New York City helicopter tours, you can choose from varying flight lengths and departure locations, though many take you over the same key attractions. U.S. News compiled this list of the best helicopter tours in the city, with the help of traveler opinion and expert input.

Helicopter Flight Services – The Ultimate Tour

Get a bird’s-eye view of the skyline on this approximately 20-minute tour with Helicopter Flight Services, which is limited to just six passengers. On the Ultimate Tour – the company’s most popular – the pilot will treat you to views of many top city sights like the Statue of Liberty, Grant’s Tomb, the Empire State Building, the Palisades and more. Reviewers describe seeing “million-dollar” views on this tour and say the crew was highly professional and informative. Tickets cost approximately $250 per person ages 2 and older, not including $35 flight fees per seat. Children younger than 2 can ride for free and may sit in an adult’s lap. Tours depart Monday through Saturday at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. from a heliport in downtown Manhattan. Helicopter Flight Services offers a variety of tours, departing from both Manhattan and New Jersey, including tours that last about 30 minutes.

Helicopter Flight Services – City Skyline Experience

On this New York City helicopter tour, which departs from New Jersey’s Linden Airport and lasts approximately 30 minutes, you’ll soar high above Manhattan to see attractions like Central Park, the Tear of Grief sculpture, the Chrysler Building and One World Trade Center. Tour-goers say the experience is wonderful and they highly praise the staff and pilot. Tickets for this tour cost approximately $230 per person with an additional $15 flight fee per seat. There is no cost for children younger than 2, who may sit on an adult’s lap. Tours, which are limited to six passengers, are available Saturday through Monday in the evenings (exact times depend on time of year).

Zip Aviation – Liberty Harbor Helicopter Tour

If you’re short on time, schedule this tour, which takes only 15 minutes, but flies overtop most of the major Manhattan attractions. On the flight, you’ll see the Statue of Liberty, the National September 11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building and Times Square, among other sights. Reviewers say the views are amazing and that the ride is smooth. Tickets start at $209 per person with an additional $40 heliport fee per person. For children 2 or younger, there is a $40 charge. Tours are available Friday and Saturday approximately every 30 minutes between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and depart from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport. If you’re looking for a slightly longer flight, consider Zip Aviation’s Big City Helicopter Tour or its Grand Island Helicopter Tour.

Zip Aviation – Grand Island Helicopter Tour

Spend a full 30 minutes seeing Manhattan from the air on this outing. Attractions you’ll see from above include key sights like the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and the Empire State Building, as well as Ellis Island, Yankee Stadium, Harlem and the USS Intrepid. Tour-takers describe the staff as courteous and professional, and say the views are outstanding. Tickets start at $349 per person with a $40 additional per person heliport fee. For children 2 or younger, there is a $40 charge. Tours operate Friday and Saturday every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can also choose from two other tours the company offers, including a nighttime flight of the city skyline.

Manhattan Helicopters – Classic Manhattan Helicopter Tour

You’ll take off from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport on this approximately 15-minute tour, which first takes you to see the Statue of Liberty. During the flight, you’ll soar over many other sights like Battery Park, the Chrysler Building, Central Park and Times Square. Reviewers say they experience great service on the flight and that the pilot is very informative, highly recommending the tour. Several say this tour was the best part of their New York City trip. Tickets cost approximately $209 per person with an additional $40 per person heliport fee. There is a $40 charge for children 2 and younger. Tours, which feature prerecorded narration (available in nine languages), operate about every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and can accommodate either four or six passengers. For a longer ride, consider the company’s deluxe or VIP tour.

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