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Big Toho Airboat Tours
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed December 17, 2013

We saw so many air boat websites and this one was listed as a Group on half off discount. So I called them up and they gave me the discount for 5 people right on the spot. So for 30.00 it was a great deal, and Captain Joe was awesome! Great way to spend the day. Totally happy .
B. Henley

Thank augustinepain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 - 122 of 151 reviews

Reviewed December 4, 2013 via mobile

The Subject Line says it all. If anyone of my friends has mentioned going on an Airboat Tour they found on Groupon my immediate response is "Oh No!" because I fear that they might be making the same mistake I did. I've gone through and read every Review and Response for the business. It seems to me that a large majority of people are unhappy with their experience and every single one of them say the exact same thing. To sum up, meet at a Liquor Store, Sketchy, Hidden Fees "if you miss the super fine print", Hand drawn map, Additional driving, Dirt Roads, Unprofessional service and an Overall Terrible Experience. That was my Airboat Experience and is a Carbon Copy of every other complaint on Trip Advisor. My biggest issue on top of everything was that at times I felt unsafe, on my tour our Captain put us within feet of a large female Alligator who was protecting her nest, great photo opportunity but the reality was we were stuck on the shore along side the Alligator and Airboats do not have a reverse. If the nesting mother had saw us as a threat to her children we would have had no chance and someone on board could have been seriously injured or worse. Don't be the accident waiting to happen. I actually catch myself laughing at how the business handles the criticism, complete denial of any responsibility or fault. It's like they want people to go out and drive their business into the ground. As a business owner it is clear this business does not care about their customers. If you think of choosing Big Toho remember Big "Oh No!" and go somewhere else.

11  Thank Derek W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

You will have to meet a person in a liquor store, he'll inform you that you have to pay extra for a parking and to hold an alligator (and if you're using a Groupon, he'll have print out that says "1 Groupon per group" and will argue that even if the one on your phone says "1 Groupon per person" he won't accept yours even if you explain that you just drove there with your friend and her husband but you are actually 2 separate families - not to mention people) so you'll pay him all the additional things AND....HE WILL GIVE A MAP FOR YOU TO DRIVE 30 MORE MILES TO THE FINAL LOCATION! Terrible experience! Whatever deal you're getting, is NOT WORTH IT! There's plenty of other friendly and transparent airboat providers in Florida.

13  Thank JazminLL23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 31, 2013

As a native Floridian, I grew up going on airboat rides. I would not fault Toho Airboat Tours for things out of their control such as weather, amount of wildlife in sight, or the loud engine. What I do feel that they need huge improvement with is: 1. If you decide to run a special on Groupon, include all fees (parking, state park fees, holding the gator fee, tshirt, etc) and do not treat your groupon patrons as inferior and with disrespect. They should be offered the same hours of service as your other patrons as well. No once forced you to run the ad on Groupon and you did it to increase your customer base, so do not treat them poorly. 2. Airboat rides are exhilarating because you get to glide through the water. I do not enjoy going through every four foot plant and getting covered with debris, water, and bugs (grasshoppers, spiders, dragonflies, frogs, etc). 3. Set the expectations correctly that when we are driving 45 min to a liqour stop, that we will be following you for another 40 min just one way partly on a dirt road so that we can decide if we want to put those miles on our car, have enough gas to not be stuck in the middle of nowhere, and not wash our car since it will be covered in dirt. 4. Stick to the scheduled times so that if we have other plans, we don't miss them. Our appt was at 12:15p. We didnt get in the water until 1:23p and we didnt get back home until 4:30p. 5. Take safety seriously. Captain Joe is a little too laid back with it and put us in a situation where the "the largest female gator he had ever seen" was practically in our boat and we were stuck on a tree. His lack of professionalism showed in that moment and if that gator would have decided that we were a threat to its nest, you would have a law suit on your hands and no business. It only takes one time.

I will not be returning because it was by far the worst experience i ever had and i won't be recommending this place to anyone.

18  Thank lizzysplace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bigtoho1, Owner at Big Toho Airboat Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

Another person who did not read what you purchased. It is spelled out on the groupon $5.00 for parking and to hold the alligator another $5 per person groupon says that I the business owner can have any other fee that I see fit .you got a reduced price so you have to pay overage or you can pay regular rates and have everything included.oh bye the way sorry we took you to a swamp and gave you real airboat ride.

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Reviewed October 2, 2013

I bought two Groupon discount vouchers, one for me and my wife, and one as a gift for friends so we could all go together on this airboat ride. When I tried to book a day and time the man on the phone said I was not observing the rules and could only use one Groupon voucher per day. I pointed out that I was using one voucher and my friend was using one and I couldn’t understand his problem because he would get paid by Groupon whenever they were used and he then said he only got paid about half the value of the voucher and it wasn’t worth his time.

He told me to phone Groupon and get a refund and then he would let me go with my friend for the same price as long as I paid cash. When I said that it was against Groupon rules he said that if I continued “using that tone of voice” he would hang up on me! He said he would honor both vouchers but not together so we would have to go on separate rides!

I booked my friend on the 11am ride and phoned Groupon for a refund and they confirmed that what he was proposing was against the rules and refused. I then got my wife to phone the man and try to book for the 11am ride which he said he would do until she said it was a Groupon voucher and he obviously realised it was for me and suddenly changed his mind and said we’d have to go on the next one at 1pm. This guy is completely barking mad and quite vindictive as well.

On the day of the ride we took our friends to the meeting point at 10.15am as requested. This was outside a liquor store on US192 and all seemed a bit odd. The boat driver, calling himself Captain Joe, turned up about 15 minutes later in a pickup truck pulling a small airboat which would seat about 8-10 people.

My friend asked Joe if there was room for 2 more as his friends (me and my wife) wanted to go, He said yes until my friend said it would be paid for by a Groupon voucher at which point he said no because we would be a “group” and we would have to go on the next ride at 1pm. How any sane person can make sense of that I do not know. Clearly it was more vindictiveness because I had challenged him on the phone about Groupon rules.

Another car then turned up with 4 people who checked in with Joe and paid with 2 Groupon vouchers. My friend then challenged him as to why he was letting them travel as a “group” and he said that he wasn’t prepared to discuss it with him.

We were then told to follow his pickup in our cars. We had no idea where we were going but clearly it wasn’t Lake Toho because 35 miles and 55 minutes later at 11.40am we arrived at Lake Jackson where the ride was to take place. The journey was over a number of back roads and when the ride was over we had trouble finding our way home because no instructions were provided.

My wife and I waited in our car while our friends went on the airboat ride, 45 minutes late at 11.45am, despite the fact that there were spare seats on the boat which we could have sat on!
The ride finished 50 minutes later (despite being advertised as an hour ride) presumably because he was running late. We then drove home having driven a total of 70 miles more than we expected running low on gas and unable to find a gas station on the back roads. The whole unpleasant experience door to door from our house took 4 hours.

I have a vacation home in Florida and have personally been on many airboat rides and in all cases we arrived at the boat to start the ride and were not asked to follow a pickup truck without any idea where we were going. We also recommend various activities to our guests and this will not be one of them.

These people are clearly very unprofessional and my advice is to stay well clear of them.

Postscript… I subsequently reported this incident to Groupon who refunded my money without question.

19  Thank Geoffers1817
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bigtoho1, Owner at Big Toho Airboat Tours, responded to this reviewResponded November 18, 2013

Really this person has a problem following directions. The only people who complain come from groupon all the directions on using groupon is written it says 1 voucher per day not per person. You did not follow the rules as of now we have more than 3000 satisfied customers from groupon . Everything was explained the phone the meeting place is inside the liquor stop I have a desk inside nothing sketchy . As our phone conversation we are located in a wildlife management refuge we can't have a store there.

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