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“Great pilots, great planes, need better management”

Air Whitsunday Day Tours
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$227.25*
and up
Whitsundays Seaplane Tours
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$481.46*
and up
Whitsundays Seaplane Tour - Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Air Whitsunday is renowned for their seaplane services that rendezvous with their privately operated glass bottom boat, moored at an exclusive snorkelling location inside the coral suspended lagoon of Hardy Reef. Along with snorkelling tours to this exclusive reef location; they provide private picnics at Whitehaven Beach and the most comprehensive scenic flights on offer in the region - encompassing all the famous Whitsunday sights.
Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

So I booked the reef adventure tour last week. And I was disappointed. They canceled the tour twice at the last minute. Leaving me unable to book any other tours or activities for the day.
And I understand that they cannot control the weather. But they should be able to contact their WELL PAYING customers in advance of cancellations.
So after canceling twice, they said the wind was perfect and we were on for my last day in airlie.
Got on the plane, flew out to the reef. I helped pull in the two other planes to their anchored boat. Meanwhile there was large reef break everywhere and after gathering all the people together they said we wouldn't be snorkeling or going on the glass bottom tour. But they would happily discount our tour from 350 to 300. . .
For me, the plane was only transport to a great snorkeling spot. I didn't want a big plane tour. Anyway, I complained and after an argument they agreed to refund my fare as long as I didn't tell any other customers that I was getting a full refund. It seemed like they knew the weather was crap but wanted to squeeze an extra couple thousand out of the day.
Maybe as an American I am used to the idea that the customer is always right, but I think they lack management and customer service skills. I hope a stronger sea plane company emerges because airlie could use one!!

1  Thank Sean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AirWhitsunday, Operations Manager at Air Whitsunday Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 20, 2014

Good Afternoon Sean B,

Thank you for your recent review.

Due to the nature of our operation our weather call is made on the day of departure to give your tour the best chance of going ahead.

On the day of your tour the weather was suitable to depart but upon reaching the destination (Great Barrier Reef) the wind picked up dramatically and your pilots made the call to return back to base. This was completely outside of our control.

This decision was based on safety. Safety is paramount to our operation.

I am a little perplexed in how else we could have assisted you; I do not recall an argument? But an explanation as to why we returned to base followed by a refund in full.

Our other guests on the day paid the Reef and Whitehaven Scenic rate as this is what was completed; it is the exact same flight pattern. All of the guests onboard were more than happy to pay this rate as they thoroughly enjoyed their scenic flight over The Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach.

Air Whitsunday have been operating in the area for over 40 years and will continue to showcase our guests our beautiful region for years to come.

Again thank you for your review, I do hope your next Air Whitsunday experience is more positive.

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264 - 268 of 437 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2014

Surprisingly got upgrade from a 30 minutes scenic flight into a 3 hours tour package!!!!
LOVED IT!!!! With all the attraction that we've see on the air were actually good enough, following up with campaign, cheese, cookies on the beach....
Our day just couldn't get any better....
Loved the way the sea plane landed on the water, so smooth and amazing!!!
Will definitely recommend it and also go back again and again :)

Thank Fairy0218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AirWhitsunday, Operations Manager at Air Whitsunday Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Good Afternoon Fairy 0218,

Thank you for taking the time to review our Whitehaven Experience.

I am thrilled you enjoyed your water landing and our range of refreshments.

I hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in Airlie Beach and we hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed February 17, 2014 via mobile

Thank you to Air Whitsunday for the best trip! It was perfect. We did the panorama tour. Our pilot Dan was brilliant and was a great guide as well as a hard working pilot! He did everything, along with Paul, to make our trip enjoyable. The views are stunning and the best way to see the reef. He even flew past Whitehaven beach and heart reef twice so we all had a good view. Champagne and snacks were a lovely treat on the beach and boat. We would recommend this trip to everyone.

Thank Phillips31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

Its a bit pricey--( about $500 a couple) but so is everything else in the Whitsundays. The trip is wonderful though, very safe pilot, superb 1552 Beaver floatplane that seems to be built for this type of thing. They take you on a panoramic tour of the islands, banking left and right to give each side of the plane a great view. Lots of photo opps from the windows, then they land on "Runway 02", in the ocean, right beside the worlds most beautiful beach. Our pilot made sure our disembarking into 18 inches of surf was safe, and was very knowledgable and polite. He offered champagne on the beach, packed us a nice picnic of snacks and drinks, and left us for two hours to explore on our own. Then back on another gorgeous return flight through the islands to the Whitsunday airport.

We have travelled to over a hundred locations in the world...this trip, and tour, ranks in the top 3. We'll never forget it.

Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AirWhitsunday, Operations Manager at Air Whitsunday Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 16, 2014

Good Afternoon Andy H,

Thank you for sharing your recent experience, we are delighted you enjoyed your tour to Whitehaven Beach in our de Havilland Beaver.

We will be sure to pass on your kind words to your pilot.

Again thank you for your wonderful review.

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Reviewed February 10, 2014

My boyfriend and I just returned home from this incredible tour, I organised this as an early Valentines gift for him. We took the 3-4 hour trip, taking a sea place over the Great Barrier Reef and then for a 1 hour snorkel, then a bit of champagne and cheese on the boat before heading back to Airlie beach on the plane. Breathtaking views, enthusiastic, helpful and friendly crew made today such an experience for us. It was my first time snorkelling ever and what a great way to start! Air Whitsunday also provide all of the snorkelling equipment and stinger suits, all you need to worry about is bringing your swimmers and camera! Highly recommend this tour for anybody who wishes to view the Reef from above and teaming it with a first rate snorkel spot. We saw a myriad of wonderful fish and wildlife- and the coral was beautiful. Only wish I had enough money to do it all again tomorrow!

Thank amybeesting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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