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“If you have been to Hawaii many times and not done this you should” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iolani Air Tour Co.

Iolani Air Tour Co.
73-300 U'u Street, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaii, HI 96740
+1 800-538-7590
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Now Really See Hawaii! Big Island. Lava. Waterfalls. Rain Forest. Iolani Air Tour Co. provides a safe, smooth, geographic showcase with personal window seats for better viewing. Nice to know this "once-in-a-lifetime" experience won't take a life time to pay for either. Our airplane sight seeing tours provide tremendous value in the sense that on any given flight we're up in the air 30% longer for 30% less in cost than the helicopters. That's right. Overfly untouched Hawaii without overspending. Contact us today and ask about availability for either the special Exclusive Tour for Two or value priced Lava Plane. Now departing daily from Hilo and Kona Airports on the Big Island of Hawaii. Mahalo.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“If you have been to Hawaii many times and not done this you should”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

If you want a short review my parents love the big island of Hawaii and having visited around 10 times over 35 years they initially weren't sure what this flight would add. Having done it, they would rate it as the best experience they have had in Hawaii and maybe anywhere. If you are travelling with family who are extremely widely travelled with very high standards then arrange for them to do this trip - it is a complete view of the island with incredible lava views over the volcanoes but a chance to get a new perspective on the outstanding beauty of the whole island especially the wonderful valleys of green side and for the frequent visitor a new window to review your experience. Not in anyway similar to buzzing the volcano in a helicopter.
Detail
Summer 2012, 7 of us had the family trip of a lifetime to Hawaii in honour of my mother's 80th birthday. My parents love the islands and as great travellers have been fortunate to visit many times so were not sure a plane trip was for them. I arranged to fly with my brothers family including his teenaged kids to introduce them to Hawaii's big island on our first day - see my review last August 2013.
When my parents saw our photos they were very keen to go and we booked although we were not certain my Mum who has bad knees would be able to get in the plane. We found a step
- practiced for a couple if days and I took my parents to the air field. Iolani air and Rhonda could not have done more to make my parents feel special. They loved the experience and really enjoyed sharing their experiences of Hawaii and hearing Rhonda's expert information. she made them feel welcome and unique.
Extras that iolani air provided: They got permission for me to come onto the airfield area at take off and landing in case my mother wanted help from me to get in the plane- I didn't ask for this, they contacted the traffic control tower and did it for us. They had brought a new sesna for its first flight with the company - a real treat and easier to get in and out of than the plane the rest of our family went in earlier in the week. Because it was a 2 passenger airplane my parents had a private trip which made their time with Rhonda on the plane entirely personal and tailored to their interests ( we had not paid the private trip rate ). When my parents returned I was waiting for them on the Tarmac and iolani air gave my mother a lei for her birthday and treated her like the most special lady in the world ( which of course she is for our family) .

Visited August 2012
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Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
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English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Air tour over the big island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

This was amazing! The crew was professional! Because we were in a small plane we got to see everything, the lava tubes flowing into the ocean, the lava vents, many waterfalls! They even circled these siting so both sides of the plane could take pictures! I recommend this company!! You won't be disappointed!

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Kona/Hilo flight”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

After trying to get a flight on a sold out helicopter tour the concierge suggested we try a flight on Iolani. Our experience was nothing short of amazing. Our pilot Tim was funny, had great stories and really went the extra mile. They picked us up from our hotel (four seasons), gave us a three hour flight and even gave us a ride for dinner!!! I can say these guys REALLY go out of their way to show you a great time, and would give them the highest of recommendations.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adel, Iowa
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Excellent view of the whole island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We went out in the morning, the sky was clear and the weather awesome. Rhonda our pilot was well informed about the island and was really nice. Since we were in a small airplane we got to see things and go places that the helicopter tours cannot go. The flight was smooth and uneventful. The guys in the office were very helpful, nice, and gave excellent directions. We got to see the entire island of Hawaii sometimes referred to as the Big Island. Lava flows, coffee plantations, tree groves, fields, waterfalls, and volcanoes. The staff and pilots are well informed and the equipment is top notch. Safety procedures were gone over. Got lots of photos and some video. Also got a framed photo of my mom and I for only $20.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
46 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
178 helpful votes 178 helpful votes
“Very disappointing let down”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

We were due to go for a island circle tour. This was to be the highlight of our cruise to the Hawaiian islands and I had detailed communication with June to agree our tour as this was complicated by the short time our ship was due to stay at Kona. To our delight a 10am flight was agreed a few weeks in advance. To our horror when we managed to access our email in Honolulu 2 days before our flight we had a message changing the flight time to 11am. The company knew that this time would not get us back to the ship in time so we then had no option but to cancel. We were extremely disappointed and cannot believe they would have done this when we had discussed this in detail. We can only assume they had a better financial offer.

I have booked port tours many times before and have never been let down this was very unprofessional of Iolaniair. Be warned if you are also booking in advance, they cannot be relied upon.

Visited February 2013
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mvhawaii, Owner at Iolani Air Tour Co., responded to this review, March 12, 2013
Did We Miss the Boat?
A disappointment indeed! Iolani Air puts people's safety and Hawaii time as critical. We missed a once in a life time chance to share the majesty of Hawaii's Big Island.
Scenario: Visitors scheduled to arrive via cruise ship, which means they had just one shore day to experience the air tour. Tight. We had to push the flight one hour from ten to eleven. As is policy when suffering a schedule change, we immediately attempted to contact the party and inform them. In this case we were successful doing so two days before departure. But we simply failed to convince the customers that leaving one hour later would not cause them to miss their boat. So they cancelled and never flew. And just today we flew four wonderful golden girls from the cruise ship, departed at noon, flew the whole island, and safely returned them to the pier with enough time for them to go shopping, let alone make the ship.
Note to folks arriving by ship. We are very aware of cruise ship logistics and have yet to make anyone watch that vessel leave with out them. Argh.
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