In two hours you will see spectacular places on the Big Island that you can't see any other way - it's just not possible even if you're a serious hiker with several weeks to crawl through incredibly rugged terrain.
This is the trip that will blow away those with whom you travel. All the superlatives in the other reviews are correct, such as 'experience of a lifetime.'
We had Greg as our pilot and flew in an A-Star aircraft. Greg was an excellent pilot, a personable host making everyone feel part of the adventure, and the 'mature ladies' on our flight referred to him as sexy [what do I know?].
Here's a few recommendations:
- book online and get the online discount.
- if you have the extra money go with the Eco-Star; but, the A-Star gives you the same tour over the same sights - you won't miss anything.
- go for the two-hour Big Island Spectacular flight. Yes, it's the most expensive; but, are you going to come this far and go to all of this trouble and miss some of the amazing sights to save a few bucks? Come on, you'll only do this once.
- buy the $25 DVD after your flight; it's a relatively inexpensive souvenir you can use to bore your friends and family for years to come showing the scenes you saw and including the audio of you talking with the pilot about what you're seeing.
- schedule this flight early in your stay for two reasons: 1) weather can postpone flights for more than one day; and, 2) it helps put your time on Hawai'i in context - everything else you see and experience during your stay will be from the perspective of what you saw while flying.
- take your camera, even if you plan to buy the souvenir DVD. You'll get incredible shots to upload to Facebook [and, Tripadvisor], and you can pose for a picture before/after your flight with your group and pilot that otherwise wouldn't be on your DVD.
Finally, while I wouldn't force anyone to go who might have strong fears of such activities, I would suggest you strongly encourage those who are just tentative. My adult daughter was uncomfortable, if not nervous, both before and during the flight; but, felt afterwards that everything else we would do during our island visit would be anticlimactic - she really thought it was great.
Enjoy your stay on the Big Island.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.