A helicopter ride over NY It is a highlight of any trip.
We will tell you about our experiences and price of the New York helicopter tour and we will introduce you to the different providers and options.
Before our flight we took a look at the different providers and found that the offers were all quite confusing.
To make things easier for you, we have selected what, in our opinion, are the most interesting helicopter tours and with the best prices.
In this article, we will tell you all the important information, prices and options and of course we will also report on our own helicopter travel experiences.
Comparative price Helicopter Tour New York: Find the best price and the best Experience
Below we present the best options so that you can book the helicopter tour at the best price, selecting the one that best suits your tastes.
Cheapest New York Helicopter Tour:
This is the cheapest New York helicopter tour you will find on the internet
1. Get Your Guide
Overview of providers and prices for a helicopter tour over New York
Let's start right away with the most important question: How much does a helicopter ride over New York cost?
The prices start at about $180 for a short flight with several passengers.
For longer or private flights, you'll pay between $550 and $1,700.
When looking for a helicopter tour over New York, you'll quickly realize that there are countless offers that often look very similar at first glance.
So we have selected three flights from the clutter of many providers that, in our opinion, offer the best value for money:
- A cheap standard flight
- A special flight for photographers
- A private flight at night
You will find the most important information about each of the three helicopter flights in the table below. Detailed information on each of the offers is below the table.
|Cheap||For photographers||At night|
|Duration||15 minutes||60 minutes||25 minutes|
|additional passengers||yes, up to 6 people||No||yes 2 people|
|Special features||None||no doors||At night|
Cheap New York Helicopter Tour
A helicopter ride is, of course, not a cheap thrill. Typically, you will always pay at least $200 for this unique experience. Still, you can save some money by choosing the right provider.
In New York there are relatively many providers of cheap helicopter tours. These flights usually start at the midtown Manhattan heliport on the East River.
Helicopters start there sightseeing tours every three minutes. So there's a lot going on there.
The flights offered here are very similar to each other: they last between 12 and 20 minutes, and you see the most important places in Manhattan and also the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from above.
Important: tourist flights departing from Manhattan never fly directly over Manhattan.
Helicopters fly over Manhattan, either over the Hudson River or over the East River. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, as the view is still magnificent.
However, some people are still disappointed that providers don't always communicate this clearly.
The cheapest tourist flight from the Manhattan Heliport costs about $200 and takes 15 minutes. Opinions about this provider are always good. In our opinion, this excursion offers the best value for money.
Advantages of a cheap helicopter trip over New York:
- The price is unbeatable.
- Starting right in the middle of Manhattan, getting there is quick and hassle-free.
Disadvantages of a cheap helicopter tour over New York:
- You don't fly directly over Manhattan, you fly right in front of Manhattan.
- Normally there are six passengers in the helicopter. The passengers are distributed on the spot by weight, so that the helicopter is well balanced. So it can happen that you are placed in a middle seat. Of course, the view there is not as good as from the window.
Helicopter ride for photographers
On our last trip to New York, we explicitly searched for a tourist flight for photographers and stumbled upon a great deal:a helicopter ride over New York no doors!
It sounds crazy, but it's absolutely amazing for taking photos. After all, taking photos through glass is not so ideal. So why not remove the windows?
Below you will find our detailed flight experience. We definitely recommend it.
Sightseeing flights are offered by Wings Air and begin at a small airport in Westchester, about 50 kilometers north of Manhattan.
The flight takes 60 minutes, within which you will need about 10 minutes each way to fly from Westchester to Manhattan.
The biggest advantage of this tour is that the provider can fly directly over Manhattan. Just above and around Trump Tower is a small restricted area where helicopters are not allowed to fly.
The trip to the airport is, unfortunately, the big drawback of this offer. With public transport, it takes about two hours. So Wings Air offer a shuttle service to and from the hotel, which we also used.
It costs $200 and the trip takes about an hour.
The cheapest price is obtained if you book directly on the Wings Air website. The flight there costs $870 and there is room for up to three passengers in the helicopter.
You always hire the entire helicopter, it doesn't matter if you come alone, as a couple or in a group of three people. The price is always the same.
If you prefer to book with a German-speaking travel provider, you can also find the flight at getyourguide. It is a little more expensive there, but you have the possibility to cancel up to one day before departure.
Advantages of a helicopter tour for photographers:
- There are no annoying windows or doors.
- You fly right over Manhattan and you can share your wishes with the pilot.
- You have much more time to take photos with peace of mind.
Disadvantages of a helicopter tour for photographers:
- The price is higher than that of a short tourist flight.
- Long drive to Westchester.
- Directly to the supplier
Helicopter ride at night
Almost all helicopter flights over New York take place during the day. But the city is especially charming also at night.
We have found a helicopter tour where you can also fly at night. Departures can be booked here until 7:30 p.m.
The flight costs $250 per person and the duration of the flight is about 25 minutes. Departs from Linden Airport in New Jersey.
Advantages of a helicopter tour at night:
- Unique panorama at night.
- You fly directly over Manhattan.
Disadvantages of a helicopter ride at night:
- Long drive to New Jersey.
Our experience of a helicopter ride over New York
And what is it like to fly in a helicopter over New York? Good question. So here is our little experience report on our helicopter tour over New York.
As time on a trip to New York is usually very limited, after all you want to see as much as possible, we decided to take off at 7:00 in the morning.
That way, we were back at our Manhattan hotel by 9:45 and didn't waste much time despite the long drive.
A private driver picked us up at 5:30 at the hotel and then we went straight to Westchester.
The airport is mainly used for private and charter flights by business people and by Wings Air for their helicopter tours.
Our pilot arrived around 6:40 and after a brief introduction we crossed the airfield to a small orange helicopter. We were surprised at how small the helicopter was.
Our pilot quickly removed the doors and we received a brief safety briefing.
To be honest, there's not much to pay attention to. Seat belts were like in a car, and they also gave us life jackets. Packed in some kind of fanny pack, we put our vests around our waists.
We could store our bags under the seats and then everything started. We got some headphones that muffled the noise a bit and that we could use to talk to each other during the flight.
It took a few minutes for the rotors to reach full capacity and then slowly but surely climbed up. The initial feeling of unease at flying without doors quickly gave way to excitement at the great view.
It takes us about 10 minutes to get to the northern tip of Manhattan. Among other things, we drove past Yankee Stadium and then Central Park was the first highlight. This view from above is absolutely insane.
Then we got amazingly close to the Empire State Building and got a great view of Times Square and the Flatiron Building from above.
From there we continue to the southern tip of Manhattan, passing One World Trade Center, Governors Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
So we had a really amazing view of the city skyline. From there, we flew over the East River back towards Westchester.
In total, we flew over Manhattan for about 40 minutes and together we took more than 1,000 photos.
The return flight again took about 10 minutes and shortly after 8:00 we landed safely in Westchester.
Tips for taking photos from the helicopter
When taking photos from the helicopter, there are a few things to keep in mind so that your photos turn out really well. It would be a real shame if you later found that all your photos are blurry or out of focus.
The correct focal length
Of course, we both carried our cameras, but each had a different goal. On one camera there was a 24-70mm focal length zoom lens, and the other camera had a 70-200mm telephoto lens.
The telephoto lens is of course great for taking photos of individual buildings up close or, for example, for taking a close-up of the Statue of Liberty.
However, the telephoto zoom was too great for big panoramic shots of Manhattan or really tall buildings like the Empire State Building or One World Trade Center, so we couldn't fully capture the buildings with the telephoto lens.
The zoom lens is the best overall option if you can only carry one camera. However, if you carry two cameras or are in a group of two, the telephoto lens is a nice addition.
the right settings
Since the helicopter is of course moving and vibrates a lot, the shutter speed should be as fast as possible. This will ensure that the photos do not come out blurry.
We took our photos with a shutter speed of 1/500 to 1/1000 second and it turned out great. Depending on the light conditions, you'll need to adjust the aperture or ISO value accordingly so your photos don't come out too dark.
It is best if you put your camera in S mode, so you can change the shutter speed at any time and the camera adjusts the F-stop accordingly. If you already know your camera well, we recommend that you use manual mode.
It would not hurt to activate continuous shooting. In this way, it is enough to hold down the shutter button to take several consecutive photos. You'll be surprised how different individual shots are from one another even if only a few milliseconds have passed.
The right accessories
A polarizing filter is highly recommended. Not only will you avoid reflections, but you will also reduce the haze that hangs over the city. So your photos will have a higher color saturation.
Especially if you're flying in a regular helicopter with doors and windows, a polarizing filter can help you minimize reflections from the windows.
In order for your camera to be able to quickly process the photos taken, you should get a "fast" SD card with enough storage space, for example this one here 64 GB SD card.
What you should also not forget is to charge the battery and ideally put an extra battery in your jacket pocket. It's better to prevent than to cure.
Questions and answers price helicopter tour New York
We have received quite a few questions about our helicopter tour over New York. Here we have again summarized the most important questions and answers for you:
What about the fear of heights in the helicopter?
This is a question Basti asked himself in particular, since he hasn't always been so comfortable with heights. The answer: It's not really a big problem.
The helicopter flies very smoothly and hardly wobbles. The real fear never came. It may have gotten a bit in your stomach when the pilot took a turn and you looked down.
If you don't have a great fear of heights, a helicopter ride is definitely not a problem.
Was it cold on the flight?
In the photos you can see that we were both wearing jackets even though it was the middle of summer. However, it was not very cold, just a little windy. Especially on the approach to Manhattan, when the pilot put his foot down on the throttle, it was really blowing.
But it was not cold, a windbreaker is definitely enough. However, things are always a little different depending on the time of year. If you are flying during the fall or spring, you should dress a little warmer.
Can you take bags on the helicopter?
In our helicopter, you could open the seats and store the bags inside. Our backpack and camera bag fit in there with no problem.
On standard multi-passenger flights, bags are generally not allowed, but you can leave them on the ground.
We did not feel unsafe at any time. Our pilot gave us a feeling of absolute security and flew very smooth and safe.
Of course, accidents can always happen, like when you fly in an airplane. But it is not very likely.
What happens when the weather is bad?
Helicopter flights are of course dependent on the weather. When conditions are not ideal, the flight is cancelled. Security is the top priority for all providers.
You will receive an alternative date from all providers if the flight cannot take place due to weather conditions.
So we suggest you book your flight as close as possible to the start of your trip to New York. Thus, there is still enough leeway to find an alternative date.
It would really be a shame if you had planned the flight for the last day and then it couldn't take place.
The helicopter sightseeing flight over New York was our highlight. It had been on our wish list for a long time and we are glad we finally did.
It was even better than we had imagined and now we are definitely hooked. It probably won't be our last tourist flight.
Have you also done a tourist helicopter flight? How was it for you? Or do you still have questions about sightseeing flights over New York? We look forward to your comments!
I hope this post about New York helicopter tour price helps you decide on the best option.
On our website you can find different guides and opinions on specific activities such as:
finally you can read this post about the best websites to book excursions and tours.
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I am a passionate traveler with an innate desire to discover the world. To date, I have had the privilege of visiting 31 countries and most of them have left an indelible mark.
During my travels, I have gained valuable knowledge on how to travel efficiently. I have perfected itinerary planning, accommodation selection, and making the most of each experience. I am proud to share my tips and tricks with you so that you can enjoy hassle-free and unforgettable trips.
On this blog, you'll find a carefully curated selection of destinations, practical tips, and honest reviews of hotels and tourist attractions. My goal is to inspire you and provide you with useful resources so that you can plan your own adventures with confidence and peace of mind.
May travel fill you with joy and open you up to new possibilities!