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“Losing their once stellar reputation” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Jack Harter Helicopters - Private Tours

Jack Harter Helicopters - Private Tours
4231 Ahukini Rd., Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766
808-245-3774
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Ranked #6 of 46 Activities in Lihue
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Owner description: Jack Harter is the Originator of Helicopter Tours on Kauai. Coming to Kauai in 1962, Jack began offering helicopter tours and charter flights with a focus on safety and quality. Jack's dedication to these important qualities is carried on by the company's hand-picked pilots and ground crew staff that are dedicated to continuing Jack's founding principles. The company offers scenic tours in two types of helicopters: Jack Harter Helicopters' luxurious 6-passenger Eurocopter AStar helicopter features huge floor-to-ceiling windows, BOSE noise-cancelling headsets, air-conditioning, and a cabin layout that has no physical obstructions to viewing the scenery outside. For the more adventurous, their 4-passenger Hughes 500s are flown with the doors removed. There is no luxury in the Hughes 500, but the doors-off flight is very cool! (Double meaning intended!) We ask you to be aware that there are WEIGHT LIMITATIONS for all helicopter tours. The 2 front passenger seats in BOTH helicopter types have more restrictive weight limits, so the SMALLEST PASSENGERS ON ANY GIVEN TOUR ARE USUALLY SEATED IN THE FRONT SEATS. Please look at the company's website to view the aircraft seating diagrams. The company's 60 and 90-minute tours feature Kauai's beautiful Na Pali Coast, the spectacular Waimea Canyon, numerous waterfall-filled valleys including the Hanalei Valley, and Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest places on earth.
Bethesda, Maryland
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Losing their once stellar reputation”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

I flew with Jack Harter a few months back and was going to just let my poor experience fall by the wayside, until I read another, recent review on tripadvisor. I normally do not partake in the online review process, however I can't help but agree with another post about how Jack Harter is only concerned about stellar reviews via tripadvisor and not about the customers overall satisfaction. Every interaction with with an employee was, "write a comment in this book, take this advertisement card and go online a rave about how good we are, etc., etc..

I booked with Jack Harter because a family member had flown with the company many, many years ago and said they embraced the "spirit of aloha!" Apparently times have changed drastically. The office personnel were grumpy and condescending, the van driver seemed to be all over the place with his brief, the pilot was dull and uninterested and apparently he was the chief trainer or chief pilot. The scenery was the only saving grace. And trust me, it's not cheap... AT ALL!!! Should have stuck with my gut and went with a more professional and respected company such as blue hawaiian. I guess the old cliche of "Buyer Beware" is still very much true.

A very surprising shame... Choose another company, no use in shelling out well over $500 for two people when there are several other companies on island that express Aloha.

Visited November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kapaa
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Best view of Kauai”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014

I, my lady friend, my aunt and uncle took a 60 minute tour on the Hughes 500 with doors removed. This was an awesome tour. The staff at the office were very kind and professional. Our briefing was informative and thorough without getting boring (bits of comic relief peppered this presentation). Our pilot (Miles) was awesome. Even though he had only been on island for about 6 months, he had excellent knowledge about this destinations and was very personable. If you come to Kauai, be sure to check out this insane view of the Garden Island. Thanks JH and staff.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Kansas
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great Adventure - lack of gratitude”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

Really enjoyed the experience and our pilot. Hard to give a bad rating to such an incredible view of God's creation! WOW!!

Was disappointed at the conclusion that rather than receiving gratitude and thanks for choosing their company, we only received a business card asking us to "rate them" and tell all our friends on all the social networks. OK...you're welcome.

Dropped nearly $500 and not so much as a thank you. Additionally, didn't get the 90 minute experience we had requested (only available if enough others selected it simultaneously - why even offer it?).

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
helicopters-kauai, General Manager at Jack Harter Helicopters - Private Tours, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
Thank you for your review. This is not a typical response from our customers. Most customers have great things to say about all aspects of their experience with our company so your comments really got our attention.

Your review has been a part of our inter-company discussions today at all levels. We do appreciate your business and want you to know that your review will be a reminder to all of our employees to express the gratitude we feel towards all of our customers.

Sincerely, Casey Riemer
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swampscott, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Buyer beware”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014 via mobile

The reason why we chose the doors off ride was for the experience of having an unobstructed view of the island. What they don't tell you when you book this trip is that there is a middle front seat where you get to be squished between the pilot and the front seat passenger. They really should be more customer oriented and let you know beforehand.... We never would have agreed to taking this flight if we had known this. I have great pictures of the pilot's knees, the instruments and the straps on the sides of the helicopter.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
helicopters-kauai, General Manager at Jack Harter Helicopters - Private Tours, responded to this review, January 31, 2014
We are sorry to hear that your flight in our helicopter did not meet your expectations. We do not know your identity from your posting on TripAdvisor, so we did some investigating and believe we have determined who you are and how your reservation was made. It appears that a local agency/activity sales company made your reservation. We do not have control over what such agencies discuss with the customers they book with us. The agencies we deal with are usually very good about explaining our flights and policies to their customers. We will contact the agency that booked your flight with us to make them aware of your concerns and ask them to make sure that their employees explain the seating situation in our Hughes 500s in greater detail.

We advise potential customers that book directly with us about our seating arrangements and we explain the front middle seat in our Hughes 500s to any customer who may be seated there.

For other customers viewing this response; please visit our website which has a seating diagram for each of our helicopters on the “aircraft” page. We have posted a video of a portion of a helicopter tour in our Hughes 500 on our Facebook site. The view from the front center seat is clearly shown. We urge all potential customers to look at this information to learn more about our aircraft and our services.

Aloha!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Unbelievable Kauai”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

We were in Kauai from January 11 to 17, 2014, and this was a must do tour. It took 5 tries to get our helicopter ride in, due to weather issues, but it was worth every effort to do it. The staff were amazing in accommodating the rebookings necessary, delivery of service, and the ride itself. Our pilot took the time to take us where he could and provide the details of the island and some of the history. Yes, this was unbelievable. I got some great photos since we did the doors off tour. Remember that a good part of the island is inaccessible by vehicle. The helicopter gives you what you are missing from the ground! Dress warm...it gets cold up at close to 6000 ft! This was our first visit to Kauai. There will be many more. We will definitely do this tour again when we return! Thanks Jack Harter Helicopters for the great friendly service and showing us an amazing island.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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