PHS also run chopper flights at Kings Canyon. The majority of Kings Canyon visitors would be short stay, maybe 1 or 2 nights, mine was 3 nights. I arrived Saturday 14 April 2012 and noticed the sandwich boards for flights out in both the Kings Canyon carpark and the resort. The board advertises flights from $85 but that is only 5 minutes, apparently the flight over the canyon is $135.
I drove to the chopper LZ and shed. A hand written note said that there was no service until at least Tuesday 17 April 2012 (date I leave) due to aircraft maintenance. I doubt it, in fact I'd say produce the invoices for the work as others said the chopper was flying Friday and I wonder what sort of maintenance is done over weekends. My suspicion is the chopper was operating at Uluru (busier there as I just came from there).
With aircraft I would assume the maintenance schedule would be a precision issue done on hours etc. A forwarning and advising people of no flights could have made not only me but many others change our timing to get a flight. But the advertising sandwich boards remained out.
I tried to solicit others to take a flight from Kings Creek Station instead (about 35km away) but the cost would be in the region of $250 as it was a longer flight. I asked the band lady to make an announcement to see if there were any others as I needed 3 per flight but she asked the GM who was dining there both Saturday and Sunday night, he refused the request so I went table to table asking people. Some had their flights cancelled, too bad for them and were angry and not paying more.
The advertising sandwich boards remained out Sunday. During the day I rang the PHS number and asked when the first flight on Tuesday would be, the response was unbelievable, "well maybe some time in the afternoon and maybe not at all until Wednesday"!!
On Sunday evening a tour bus pulled in, I asked the driver if there were any intended chopper flights, he had 8 to go. So I rang Kim of Kings Creek Station with 9 to go and we did a deal, they even came and picked us up in their shuttle bus. After that I noticed the GM talking with a guy playing pool and then the GM left. I discovered the guy playing pool was the chopper bloke and we had an exchange of "words etc". Monday the advertising sandwich boards were gone as I told him you do not put a board out advertising BBQ chickens for sale when you have none. I found his attitude indifferent and could not care about our holiday, for most people they aren't coming back to Kings Canyon. The others that flew with me were Swede's and Norweigen.
I took video fo the entire debacle and names plus room numbers of those who were stuffed around. Why the resort GM didn't help is also beyond me.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
May 2, 2012
Report response as inappropriate
Thank-you for your feedback in relation to your recent experience with Professional Helicopter Services (PHS).
At PHS we are strong believers in continuous improvement and have taken on board your concerns.
In addition, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify a few of the concerns you have raised.
Contrary to what you have mentioned, all of our flights at Kings Canyon will fly over the Canyon itself including the 8 min $85 flight, the 15 min $135 flight extends from Kings Canyon to take in more of the George Gill range.
You are correct in saying that aircraft maintenance is done on an hourly basis however your allegation that the aircraft was being used at our Uluru base is not correct! Safety is the number one priority at PHS, maintenance is completed when required in a preventative and also re-active maintenance structure regardless of the day of the week or weekend it is. Unfortunately due to the remoteness of our base, acquiring parts can take longer than normal, hence the three days the aircraft was not operating.
We have addressed the procedure for the way communications are handled and I can assure you that there will never be a hand written note again and the ‘sandwich’ boards will be removed at any time the flights are unable to operate.
If you would like to discuss this further please contact me on the below details.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.