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“There was good and bad”

Paradise Helicopters - HILO
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Volcanoes and Waterfall Extreme: 45-Minute Open-Door Volcanoes Helicopter Flight
Ranked #5 of 42 Tours in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Paradise Helicopters - Hawaii's Most Unique Helicopter Experience! Enjoy the Hawaii few people ever witness on our one-of-a-kind air adventures departing out of Kona & Hilo on Hawaii Island, Lanai and Oahu. Whether flying Doors-Off over the volcano to feel the heat of the lava, hovering beside a 2000 foot waterfall, landing for stunning views on an epic ridge top, or photographing the remote beauty of Hawaii’s rare rain forest valleys, black and GREEN sand beaches – our Hawaiian helicopter tours offer a diverse set of adventure options to suit every need! This is one flight you will be sure to remember for a lifetime. Please visit our Paradise Helicopters - KONA, Paradise Helicopters - LANAI and Paradise Helicopters - OAHU pages for more information on tours departing across the islands.
Useful Information: Stairs / elevator, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“There was good and bad”
Reviewed May 6, 2013

The Trip can be divided into 2 parts the tour itself which was very good, the other part was the pre flight delay which was bad. We booked the flight to see the lava rows and the falls around Hilo. If you book be aware that you cannot take any bags, purses etc. onboard just your camera. Waited and were told to proceed to the Tarmac with 1other person. So there were 3 of us. We waited on the Tarmac and then a cruise ship group arrived. 1 of them was added to our group. We were then moved around the tarmac from helicopter to helicopter. After a 1 hour wait we were escorted offbthebrarmac. It is hot mid afternoon in Hilo. Eventually, the helicopter lady refused to make eye contact with us and disappeared. We were about to leave when they escorted back to the tarmac and the original helicopter. Once in the air, the tour delivered. Saw lava bright red on the top of the crater, flowing into the sea, the area around Hilo which is beautiful. The tour was 45 minutes long for 200 each person. Not sure what happened in the beginning but staff appeared very disorganized but pilot was great.

Visited May 2013
Thank Joan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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709 reviews from our community

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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“All that we expected & more”
Reviewed May 1, 2013 via mobile

Despite a couple of weather cancellations, this was one of the highlights of our holiday. Doors off meant for very noisy communication despite the supplied headsets, but the view was enhanced considerably for photography, and the kids loved it!
Zac's commentary was comprehensive but often difficult to hear. Middle front seat is tight and possibly allocated to the lightest passenger.

Visited April 2013
Thank howzat_99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwalk, Connecticut
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“big disappointment”
Reviewed April 19, 2013

We took the paradise helicopter tour of the Hilo Fire and falls adventure. We were expecting to see the current Lava activity similar to what is shown on commercials. We also expected to see the waterfalls.and fly over the rim of the volcano. Turned out to be a big disappointment. Before we even took off, it started raining. We were not told that all the above would not be possible in that weather, Instead we flew. Mid-flight we were told that because of the weather we could not see the waterfalls or the rim. We were taken down to the coastline to see current lava flows. But they were a big disappointment. What you are shown in commercials is footage form 2 decades ago. The flows then were 10-15 time more than they are presently. All you see is barely a trickle from above.. On our return we expressed our disappointment. the staff appeared sympathetic, and asked us to fill out feedback forms which we did. Waiting to hear back from their customer-service

Visited April 2013
4 Thank Mahesh J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Mechanical...but no empathy!”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

I am happy to say that, after reading some of the reviews here, we saved $1000 when our doors-off flight on Blue Paradise helicopters was cancelled due to a mechanical problem. I completely understand that these things happen but I would have thought that Paradise would have more empathy. Our two teenage boys were excited for the flight and view of the volcanos. Like many others, we spent half our day driving from the Kona area to Hilo and back. We were called 15 minutes prior to our check-in time and told we were being delayed 3 hours. At the airport, we were told that our tour was cancelled and there was nothing else available. The women at counter tried calling other tour operators but everything was full at that point.

They suggested a boat tour or come back another time. After suggesting they pick us up on a Kona tour the next day so we didn't have to drive to Hilo again, we were told there was one seat available and they would comp that seat. (not a real solution with wife and two kids) The entire thing felt like, "your tour has been cancelled...now move along". I asked that, at a minimum, they reimburse us for our gas for a wasted drive, we were told that "we don't do that".

Bottom line, you can't fault a company when mechanical issues arise. And, maybe Paradise helicopters has more customers than they need in a somewhat captive industry. They just could have made a bad situation better with a little empathy. Even simply offering to pay the $1 airport parking fee as a small token would have made me smile.

Visited April 2013
2 Thank Trent T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The ride of our life”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We did the Volcano & Waterfall Helicopter tour from Hilo today. We orginally booked a flight with doors on. The girls suggested we upgrade to doors off later in the day. I was not so sure but we said why not. Oh my Gosh!!!! It was the most amazing flight I have ever taken. The day was not too cloudy, Perfect. The volcano was behaving and we were actually able to see the lava flowing red hot. We were even able to see the lava at the outflow, spouting red hot into the Pacific. The waterfalls were running quite well, too. So beautiful and spectacular. We could not have asked for a a better experience. Jackets are a must on this trip because it get a little cool. Our pilot was fantastic and great with dubious first timers like us. A big thank you to all the wonderful staff at Paradise. From the front desk to the ground crew to our great pilot nothing but helpful and friendly. We will definately come back and do this again and highly recommend the tour. Next time I shout coffee!!!!!!!

Visited April 2013
Thank Glenda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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