Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a reservation to take a tour? If, so how do I reserve a helicopter tour flight?
To book a helicopter tour, please call our reservations department at 866.ZIP.OVER (866.947.6837). Our customer service representatives speak multiple languages and can assist you with your reservation over the phone. They will then guide you through an online booking process, so please have access to the internet when you call. If you book through a tour operator or hotel concierge, he or she will reserve the time for you and coordinate your confirmation with you.
How do I book a private tour with no other passengers? How do I reserve a large group?
Our reservation agents can also arrange private tours or large groups for you. Please contact us at 866.ZIP.OVER (866.947.6837) to speak with one of our multi-lingual reservation agents. They will then guide you through an online booking process, so please have access to the internet when you call. If you book through a tour operator or hotel concierge, he or she will reserve the time for you and coordinate your confirmation with you.
Why are we charged a heliport fee?
Each passenger is charged a heliport fee of $40. This is a fee that the heliport charges us to land at the heliport. Don’t worry, we don’t like it either.
I have a voucher with my reservation on it. Do I need to print it out or can I show you on my phone?
Please print out all vouchers and bring them to our customer service desk upon check-in. As much as we would love to use your phone, we need to be able to scan the barcode on your printed voucher.
What methods of payment are accepted?
We accept cash in US dollars (USD), all major credit/debit cards, and traveler’s checks.
During what hours are helicopter tour flights conducted?
Helicopter tour operations are conducted from 9am to 7pm on Mondays through Saturdays, and from 9am to 5pm on holidays. Therefore, our latest reserved tour times are 6:30pm and 4:30pm, respectively.
Where are you located? How do I get there?
We are located at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport at Pier 6 on the East River. Our building is located just north of the Staten Island Ferry and just south of the Pier 11 South Street Seaport. Public transportation can be taken from anywhere in Manhattan using the MTA Subway. You will want to take the R train to the Whitehall stop and walk north past the Staten Island Ferry. We are located in the gray two-story building on the right with the large clock on it. If traveling by taxi, please request that your driver take you to the “Downtown Manhattan Heliport” at Pier 6 on the East River. If driving from Manhattan, you will want to take the West Side highway 9A south to the FDR tunnel exit (fork left), then after the tunnel immediately exit South Street. The heliport is on your right. Parking is not available at the heliport, but there is a cash municipal parking lot at the next exit just west of Pier 11.
Will I go through a security check?
Yes. When you approach the heliport, a Zip Helicopters representative will accompany you to a security checkpoint where you will be scanned by a metal detector to ensure safety. Firearms, weapons, sharp objects, lighters, explosives, and chemicals are prohibited at the heliport and aboard aircraft. Once the security check is completed, you will be escorted to the reservation desk by a Zip Helicopters representative. There you will check-in with photo identification, and you will be asked to leave your belongings in a secure, private locker during the flight. You may take only your camera, phone, and glasses with you aboard the aircraft. If you don’t have a camera, photos are available for sale at the kiosk, or you may purchase a USB drive of your photos.
Is flying in a helicopter safe?
Yes! Flying with Zip Aviation in a Bell 407 and Bell 206 helicopter is a very safe experience. The aircraft has a direct lineage to the Bell 206 Series Jet and Long Ranger aircraft of which thousands have been built. The 407 and 206 helicopters leverage years of experience and incorporate lessons learned in those aircraft over the last 40 years. The result is technologically safer aircraft that provide a smooth ride, a more powerful engine, enhanced avionics, and technical flight characteristics that make it a pilot’s dream to operate and fly. Our professional aviators are factory-trained with thousands of hours in helicopters and certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Who else will be flying in the helicopter?
You will either fly with three other passengers or five other passengers, depending on the aircraft dispatched that day. Aircraft are chosen for passengers based on weight and balance to maximize safety and security. If you reserved your seat with other people, they will fly with you but may or may not sit next to you aboard the aircraft. Safety is the first priority when it comes to seating arrangements.
What type of helicopter will I take?
Our fleet includes luxurious six-passenger Bell 407 aircrafts and a lavish six-passenger Agusta-AW 109. Additional aircraft can be dispatched to accommodate large groups. See our Aircraft page to view the helicopters.
How is seating in the helicopter arranged?
Seating in the helicopter is arranged by weight and balance to maximize safety and security. Persons with disabilities will be accommodated accordingly.
May I choose my aircraft or my seat?
There are multiple seats in the helicopters, each with their own spectacular view. Due to weight and balance restrictions, we must seat our passengers accordingly to balance the aircraft. Please advise us of any disabilities prior to departure so we can accommodate you.
What happens if there is bad weather?
Zip will not conduct air tours in bad weather that impacts our safe operation of the helicopter. If you have any weather concerns, please contact our reservations department at 866.ZIP.OVER (866.947.6837) which is in contact with Flight Operations at all times regarding hazardous weather conditions.
Are there any other circumstances where my helicopter tour flight would be delayed?
Our goal is to fly you on time or ahead of schedule. A flight may be delayed due to intermittent weather conditions, a maintenance issue that was unplanned or as a result of some other operational issue beyond our control. Our Operations personnel will keep you informed and provide you with updates or the opportunity to reschedule should you require that option.
Why are we required to show up 45 minutes prior to flight time?
Prior to flight, you will check in with the customer service desk. You will then be asked to place your belongings in a private, secure locker and use the restroom if necessary. Passengers will then be weighed and assigned a flight accordingly. After that, you will watch a safety video and listen to a verbal safety briefing from a member of our aircraft loading crew. The crew member will then outfit each passenger with a life vest. This process takes about 45 minutes, so checking in 45 minutes to departure is required.
What can I bring on the helicopter?
You are permitted to bring a camera, phone, and glasses/sunglasses aboard the aircraft. Purses, bags, handbags, camera bags, scarves, hats, and other loose items of clothing will need to stay at the heliport in a private, secure locker.
Will I be able to take pictures or video?
You may take pictures or video once aboard the aircraft. Taking pictures on the heliport ramp while walking to the helicopter is strictly prohibited.
How is the tour narrated?
We are the only helicopter tour company to offer you guided tour narration in nine languages (two at a time) through a premium aviation headset. The pre-recorded narration allows for your pilot to focus on communicating with air traffic control in busy New York airspace. Don’t worry, our pilots are VERY fun and will chime in often!
Will my helicopter tour experience be fun?
We can promise you from the time you book your reservation to the time you ride in our helicopters to the time you leave the heliport, you will have the most fun of your life flying with Zip Aviation helicopter tours!
What if I want to fly with just my family?
Private helicopter tours are also available. The four-seat helicopter Bell 206B Jet Ranger can be rented for a 30-minute exclusive private tour of New York City. The six-seat helicopter Bell 407 can be rented for a 30-minute exclusive private tour of New York City also. Private helicopter tours are perfect fits for birthdays, wedding proposals, anniversaries, and more! You will see over 30 of New York City’s most historical and breathtaking sights from the comfort of your leather seat looking out your own private window. Please call our reservations department at 866.ZIP.OVER (866.947.6837) to book your private helicopter tour!
What if I just need an airport transfer?
Helicopter airport transfers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We offer airport transfers to and from John F. Kennedy International, Newark International, La Guardia, Teterboro, Long Island/Islip, Westchester County, and other surrounding airports. Please contact our reservations team at 866.ZIP.OVER (866.947.6837) for pricing details.