We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Sometimes a bad apple ruins it!” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Makani Kai Helicopters

Makani Kai Helicopters
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Open-Door Helicopter Tour over Oahu
Ranked #14 of 316 Tours in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Don’t settle for second best. Makani Kai Helicopters is Oahu’s oldest, largest and best aerial tour company. Our pilots are the most experienced flying these skies, period. They’ll show you the very best sights and help create memories to last a lifetime.
McKinney, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Sometimes a bad apple ruins it!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

We loves visiting Hawaii. We had a wonderful time and we enjoyed our helicopter tour. The service via email and over the phone was great. It was quick and friendly. We had a large group of 9 people so we were split into two groups, back to back. That was fine by us. I asked at the time of reservation how we should handle payment since we had 4 couples and 1 single, we needed to split it up. I asked via email if I should just direct everyone to the website to pay for their fees. I was told it was no problem, the payments could all be made separately at the airport. I thought this was very nice, since the agent still gave us the online price. Our driver was right on time, I think his name was Randy (older gentleman with a mustache). Anyway, he was polite until we got to the airport. When I told him we needed to split up the payment he became very frustrated. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was basically a rude comment about what a pain it was and then he would go get a calculator. Then when he calculated the charges, he just divided by 5 since we had 5 parties paying. Well, we have had 4 couples and 1 single, so that's not really fair for the single person. Anyway when I explained that he barked at me and said "WELL YOU DIDN'T TELL ME THAT" then stormed into a back office. I was so embarrassed as I had arranged the outing for the group and we all felt uncomfortable. We would have been happy to pay ahead of time through the website, but were told that it was fine to pay at the airport. Honestly, everyone in Hawaii was so nice to us, it was a total shock. This was the only time during our entire trip that we got bad service. The flight was fine and everyone else there was nice and helpful. Our driver said he was a pilot too, he wasn't our pilot that day thankfully. Overall, the helicopter tour was good, but I didn't appreciate being yelled out after spending $1350 on a service.

Visited October 2012
Thank jmcfadin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

575 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Canton, Georgia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Girl Adventure”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2012

My girlfriend wanted to go on a helicopter ride and I was reluctant because I don't like heights. We booked with this company after listening to the many other choices. When we boarded the helicopter my girlfriend and I were seated in the front seats. Jeff, our pilot, introduced himself as being a previous pilot for the Army. In my mind I was thinking, please don't be a hotdog flying this aircraft. I was so impressed with Jeff's skills. He always explained what was going to happen before it happened. A little bump here, a little bump there. He really put you at ease with his flying skills and his ability to navigate through areas helping you enjoy the beauty without throwing up. :)

Visited October 2012
1 Thank JLO3675
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Timbuktu, Mali
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great Ending to a Great Family Vacation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2012

This review is late in being written, but the memories will last a lifetime!!!! I took the Family to Oahu cashing in all my business miles and hotel miles to afford the 6 day trip. The last thing we did before flying back to NJ was take a 1hr (Sacred Falls) Helicopter tour around Oahu with Makani Kai. We were picked up with all our bags from the hotel exactly when they said they would be there, we were given a safety briefing in the bus on our way to the Makani Kai office. Once we got to the office, we used the facilities, signed some forms, were given another safety briefing, took some photos (see attached) and away we went with Jeff as our Pilot, we were the last group of the day so we had the helicopter to ourselves!
Jeff was a great guide and great pilot, very knowledgeable of the Island of Oahu, and pointed out all the things we should be paying attention to (there were so many!!!) Between myself & my daughter we probably took around 500 pictures in that hour flight and I still don't have them all properly cataloged!
At the end of our flight, we bought the DVD of our flight (they mail it to yo within 6 days) and it is your entire flight, shots of you in the helicopter, shots of the scenery, very well done and worth the expense....then after we bought the tee shirt, our driver (sorry I can't remember his name?) took us straight to the airport and dropped us off, no extra charge. If I ever find myself back in Oahu, you can bet I'm taking another ride with Makani Kai!

Visited August 2012
1 Thank WBernieMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
106 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery... Disappointing Agent Service!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

There were originally 4 of us to be on the "Hidden Oahu" helicopter tour in September 2012. The reservations were booked at the same time for the 2 couples to be together on this tour. We were looking forward to this trip. The evening before the tour the office called and said we would have to be split up into two different tours, because the weight of the 4 people would not allow them to be able to take the 5 or 6 persons they would normally take on a tour. This tour was booked several months in advance and nothing was said at that time. The wifes chose to stay behind to let the husbands enjoy the tour on the same helicopter. We were very disappointed that this company did not stand behind what we reserved and was told there would be no problem with the 4 of us touring together. They said they would refund the money asap for the two reservations that had to be cancelled. After 2 and 1/2 weeks of the run around of trying to get the refunds we were finally told by the man in charge that he had no control over how or when the refunds would take place. After further questioning he said the refunds were put in 2 days ago, but he had no idea when they would come through, because they use a 3rd party credit card company. When the reservations were made the money was taken from us immediately, but the refunds take weeks.. :-( Very disappointing and irritating! Would not use this company again. There are other helicopter tours in Oahu that we would take on our next visit.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Anita W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PJ O, Guest Relations Manager at Makani Kai Helicopters, responded to this review, October 16, 2012
We apologize for the disappointment experienced by this guest. Likewise, it is disappointing that this reviewer was not more forthcoming with the facts of the matter. Initially, it was unclear that the two separate parties wanted to fly together as the reservations were booked at different times under different names. One party of two was contacted the day prior and asked if they would be okay with moving their flight back an hour due to the original flight being overweight. When the guest informed us that they were flying with another couple, the reservationist said, “Oh, okay then. You can stay together and we’ll make other adjustments.” At that time, the woman decided that she and the other woman in the party would prefer not to fly. So, in fact, the party could have flown together if they wanted.

This guest paid through PayPal, which sometimes takes a little longer to process refunds. The refund request was submitted to PayPal within two weeks of the cancelled tour.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Breathtaking Tour of Oahu”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

Arrived early for the flight, made comfortable and very welcome at their Heliport. We sat and watched a safety video before then being taken on our flight. Up into the air for a breathtaking ride
over Honolulu, Waikiki, Diamond Head, slight detour up the east coast as Military Air Show was on, before flying over North Shore, back down through the centre of Oahu over the pineapple fields, over Pearl Harbour and the Arizona Memorial then back to Base. Total flying time was about 45 mins and our pilot gave us a full informative commentary throughout. We had been made exceptionally welcome throughout, and would highly recommend this tour !!

Visited June 2012
1 Thank mike o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Makani Kai Helicopters also viewed


Been to Makani Kai Helicopters? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing