Any Helicopter ride is good, but I realized when I was there, other Vendor's were equipped with newer/better Helicopters and the experience can be impacted greatly by this based on comfort and visibility. It was very smooth process, thus It could have been a little bit more luxurious for the price paid. They really wanted a very efficient get in/get out money making machine instead of a true experience. I really liked the folks on the ground, those guys were very friendly. So my tip is check the Vendors before booking, I had limited time, so ended up with Liberty, but would have considered another vendor if I had time to do more research.
This was booked as a gift for my boyfriend for his 40th birthday. He had never been to NYC and so what better way to see it all than from the air! I booked our trip 24 hours in advance, the next day when he called Liberty Helicopter to book our flight time. The woman on the phone was rude and told him that there were no more times available and that same day reservations are not normally accepted. He explained that the reservations had been made the day before through Viator and her response was They don't make reservations, I do! So, reluctantly he made them for a Saturday. We were told to be there 30 min in advance of our flight time 12pm. We arrived and checked-in at the front desk at 11:30:27am our ticket was time stamped and instructed to sit on a wooden bench for our flight group to be called. After an hour of patiently waiting, we asked a Liberty Helicopter employee when we were going to be called for our tour. He asked what time we were scheduled and what time we we checked in and that flight times can vary based upon group sizes and weight distribution of the aircraft. I completely understand this fact and would never want a company to eschew safe operations because it might make some customers unhappy however, effectively communication of delays doesn't impact flight times. By this point the waiting area was packed with other patrons while Liberty Helicopters' safety video played on a constant loop blaring at high volume. We were finally called for our flight and into the helicopter we went. To see the city from the air was amazing, but realize your 18-20 minute flight time includes taking off and landing. So actually site seeing time is roughly 10-12 minutes. My boyfriend loved the city and getting to see it from the air however, we were both thoroughly displeased with Liberty Helicopters and staff. We have since reached out to them and expressed our concerns. Below is the reply from Pam Schaefer of Liberty Helicopters.
Liberty Helicopters take pride in providing our guests with the safest and most enjoyable experience possible, therefore your feedback is very important to us. We ask that customers make their reservation at least 48 hours in advance... same day reservations are not guaranteed this is disclosed on the viator voucher and website as well. All customers are required to fill out paperwork at the heliport as to weight name and age etc regardless of what you submitted to Viator. We err to the side of caution on this as the seating is based on weight and balance and we want to make sure it is accurate plus we need to maintain an exact flight manifest. NYC is a busy place and from time to time we do, unfortunately, experience delays in operation. We disclose this on all written marketing materials and the staff does its best to verbally communicate any delays to our guests. We apologize for any delay and inconvenience this may have caused you.
That said, I have forwarded your email to my heliport manager so that he can further address with the staff and correct any issues he finds.
Thank you for your candid feedback and assessment of our service.
1. Nowhere on Viator's website does it state reservations need to be made 48 hours in advance nor is that stated on my purchase voucher from Viator and lastly nowhere is this information stated in Liberty Helicopters FAQ's on their website.
2. Accurate Manifest consists of handwritten forms with In Case of Emergency contact information
3. When we booked our ticket through Viator the name of the service provider was not revealed until the purchase was complete so there is not way to review any marketing materials produced by the service provider
We paid a lot of money for this tour and while seeing the city from the air was amazing! The service received by Liberty Helicopter was less than stellar and from what we are now coming to learning they are EXTREMELY overpriced. And in all honesty you can get the same view of the city from an airplane window by flying into LaGuardia.