Alaska Helicopter Tours FAQs

Frequently asked questions

Why should I choose Alaska Helicopter Tours?

For a number of reasons!

  • Convenience. Just one phone call or email takes care of it all just sit back and relax, we’ll make sure you have a wonderful trip. We offer complete packages including transfers, helicopter tours, glacier dogsledding and lots of other adventures.
  • Great value-for-money. Because we are so close to the glaciers you don’t need to pay for a lot of airtime to get to your destination.
  • Location. We are the only tour option with glacier landings and dogsledding right out of Anchorage. Our proximity to Anchorage means you have more time to explore the rest of our beautiful state.
  • Experience. Our pilots have flown in the area for a long time, they know every little hill and valley and can share some great stories with you.

Do you have a shuttle service to Anchorage?

Yes. Tours departing from the Knik River Valley base have transfers available from select Anchorage locations for $59 per person round trip for select departure times MAY - SEPTEMBER and $79 per person round trip for all winter tour times. (2 person minimum) Pickup hotels are: Dimond Center Hotel, The Lakefront Hotel (airport area), Hyatt House (mid-town area), plus the following downtown hotels: Quality Suites, Clarion Suites, Comfort Inn Ship Creek, Hilton, Westmark, Captain Cook, Marriott, Sheraton hotels, plus the log cabin visitor center on 4th Avenue in downtown. We cannot pick up from other hotels, B&B’s or Air B&B’s, but you should never be more than a few minutes away from any of our available pickup locations. Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you need help.

What should I wear? What gear should I bring?

Layered clothing is the key to comfort. Wear a long sleeved shirt and bring a sweater. Make sure you wear sturdy shoes that offer some protection like sneakers or hiking shoes. Please, no high-heeled shoes or sandals. We will outfit you with overboots for the dogsled tours. We supply crampons for the tours where you land on the ice. Bring gloves, a hat (to protect you from the sometimes intense sunlight), waterproof jacket/pants and sunglasses. Don’t forget a camera that is ready for lots of pictures!

What are the chances of seeing wildlife from the helicopter?

Excellent! We often see moose, bear, mountain goats and Dall sheep. This is one of the very few areas where mountain goats and Dall sheep can be seen together. It is not uncommon to see dozen of either variety. We have both black and grizzly bears, though the latter are not seen form the air too often. Moose prefer the lower slopes and the river bed where we often see them feeding on dwarf fireweed and new alder leafs.

What is your cancelation policy?

If you need to cancel you will receive a full refund on tours cancelled 72 hours or more prior to departure date. Bookings cancelled 72 hours or less are non-refundable but you have the option to reschedule for any future date. If you do not show up or are late for your tour without notifying us 24 hours prior to departure you will forfeit any payments. If we need to cancel due to weather or other safety related matters we will refund you 100%

Are your helicopter pilots safe to fly with?

Yes, we fly in them ourselves and trust our lives to the pilots and helicopters daily. In all the years of flying we have never had a single accident. Our parent company Alpha Aviation is meticulous about maintenance and safety. All helicopters are FAA inspected, certified and fully insured. So yes, flying with us is very safe.

Is the weather usually nice?

The Knik Valley is sheltered from most low pressure fronts by the Chugach Mountains. So we have more sunshine and less rain than other popular flightseeing areas. The precipitation in the valley is actually less than in most area’s in Arizona and we are considered a sub-arctic dessert. Unfortunately we do have bad weather days too and there is no way to tell far ahead of time when that is going to be. In Talkeetna we have more of a land climate with many warm and sunny summer days. But if bad weather moves in, it tends to hang around a bit longer. But with helicopters we can go where the bush planes cannot, so we typically find great places to land with incredible views, even if the top of Denali is in the clouds. We do have weather-cams pointed towards most of our landing spots so we can see what the weather is up there. We also check the forecast and the radar continuously to make sure we only fly when the conditions are safe. You can improve your chances of a great trip by being flexible. If we have to cancel a flight because of weather we will gladly reschedule you to another day / time. If your schedule does not allow that we will refund 100% of your trip.

Should I choose the morning or afternoon tour?

It’s really your preference that matters most here. Typically the mornings have a slightly less wind. During the afternoon tours the temperatures tend to be a bit higher. During the winter we only operate during the limited daylight hours, so early morning or late afternoon departures are not available.

Can I take pictures during the flight?

Yes, you can take great pictures from the helicopter! There are lots of big windows all around you and no wings to get in the way!

Who sits where?

Our ground crew and pilots balance the helicopter based on the weight and number of passengers. We cannot make any promises for specific seat because safety cannot be compromised. If you have a preference ask us and when it’s safe we will try to accommodate you. If you want you can book a private tour to ensure there are no other people in the helicopter – that way you have more control over who sits where.

Can I get airsick?

It can happen but it’s very uncommon. Most people that are sensitive to motion sickness do just fine in a helicopter. If you have experienced motion sickness in planes, boats or vehicles, you could consider taking Dramamine or a similar motion sickness prevention medicine at least one hour before your departure.

Do you offer daily departures?

Yes, we are open 7 days a week, year round.

Do you offer flights to Denali Park?

Yes we do. We are the only helicopter company with permission to land right at the Historic Sheldon Mountain House in the middle of Denali National Park; a very exclusive and unique experience! If you prefer to fly from Anchorage we would be happy to create a custom package for you.

Do you offer tours in Juneau?

Yes we do. We work with a great company in Juneau that offers summer glacier dogsled tour and guided glacier hikes. They offer transfers from the cruise ships as well, so it's very convenient if your travels do not allow you to take our glacier dogsled tour in the Anchorage area.

How can I pay for my tour?

We accept all major credit cards and debit cards: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. If you do not have a credit card we can send you bank wire transfer information upon request.

Do you have age or physical ability limits?

No we don’t. Climbing in and out of the helicopter requires some agility, but if you can walk up a short flight of stairs you should be ok. Children have to be supervised at all times, this is why we require 2 adults to accompany children. Most tours are not physically challenging though the glacier landing involves glacier walking. While we will equip you with crampons you need a decent balance to enjoy this activity, but if you prefer you can stay around the helicopter. Call us for wheelchair or limited mobility access: we especially enjoy taking people out that think they can't do anything like this. There are several great options including the dogsled tours and glacier tours and we'll go the extra mile to get you out there!

What if my tour is canceled due to weather?

We check the weather all the time to make sure we only fly when the conditions are safe. If we think it’s not safe we don’t fly. In that case we can try to change the departure time if the weather improves during the day so it’s good to be flexible in your plans. If we cannot wait or reschedule and have to cancel a flight because of weather we will gladly refund 100% of your trip. If you have booked through a travel agent we will refund the agent who will in turn refund you.

Are service animals permitted?

There are no service animals permitted on any helicopter flights. Title 14 of The Code of Federal Regulations, Part 382.117, states that animals cannot fly if “the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed to facilitate an emergency evacuation.” Every exit and aisle on a helicopter is an emergency exit. Additionally, as no one can be certain of how an animal will react when highly stressed or traumatized, their access to the flight controls is a major safety concern to all aboard the helicopter, especially in the event of an emergency.