Grand Canyon Airlines just might be the oldest aerial tour company in continuous operation in the world—dating back to 1927! You wouldn’t know if from their aircraft, though: they operate brand-new, whisper-quiet, sightseeing-optimized Vistaliner planes. Each seat has its own enormous flat window as well as an adapter jack outlet: plug in your videocamera to receive clear audio of your tour’s narration with no background noise! Grand Canyon Airlines is affiliated with multiple Canyon touring groups, allowing you to pick and choose from different tours with multiple add-ons available from partner companies—from motorcycle tours to boating/rafting tours to jeep tours to hiking and more‚ perfect for the more adventurous, thrill-seeking groups of friends and families. And of course, if you prefer to experience the awe-inspiring vistas of the Canyon without leaving your luxury seat, there are perfect tours for that as well!
Grand Canyon Airlines operates out of three different terminals—their original terminal inside the Grand Canyon National Park in Northern AZ, their Las Vegas terminal just off the Strip, and a terminal in Page, AZ—so you can pick the adventure that’s most convenient for you. No matter which tour you choose, all GCA pilots are highly trained and FAA certified, so you can feel confident in their capable hands. And finally, for the antique-lovers among Grand Canyon tourists, GCA’s private terminal at Grand Canyon Airport boasts an authentic Ford Tri-Motor (5-AT-74) “Tin Goose” aircraft from 1925—just two years before GCA started flying delighted passengers to the Canyon. You can’t ride in it, but you can buy a replica for your desk directly through the Airlines!
Grand Canyon Airlines Features and Amenities:
- Complimentary pickup and drop-off between your Las Vegas hotel and Grand Canyon Airlines’ terminal just off the Vegas Strip (for Las Vegas departures only)
- Vistaliner aircrafts with high wings and panorama windows for ultimate sightseeing and picture-taking opportunities, plus climate-controlled cabin
- Choreographed narration with personal headphones and outside noise-reduction
- Tour narration available in Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian, French, Dutch, Korean, and English
- Meal or light snacks included (*on landing flights)
- Grand Canyon Airlines is open and operational year-round (weather-permitting)!
Notes and Things to Improve:
- Since Grand Canyon Airlines is partnered with multiple other companies, you may end up on a Scenic Airlines or Air Grand Canyon flight instead—note, though, that you’ll receive the same tour and will never need additional payment
- GCA is almost always fully booked: to ensure you keep your spot, call in and confirm your booking 24 hours prior to departure and make sure you’ve checked in and received your boarding pass at least 60 minutes before departure
- Due to weather conditions, no-shows in other parties, etc., flights may be canceled; however, in these situations, GCA’s cancelation policy ensures that you’ll either be on another trip or receive a refund, depending on your needs
- GCA’s airplanes have restricted weight and fuel capacities; as a result, passengers weighing over 274lbs must pay an additional 50% of their base fee
- The FAA requires that all passengers carry valid photo ID
Sample of Popular Grand Canyon Airlines Tours
This 7-hour round-trip tour includes 90 minutes of spectacular, narrated airborne vistas as you soar over the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Colorado River, and into the incomparable Grand Canyon itself, where you’ll land on the West Rim. It also includes 3.5 hours of leisure/exploration time at some of the West Rim’s most impressive landmarks: Eagle Point, an incredible eagle-shaped rock formation, and Guano Point, known for its unparalleled panoramas of the Canyon. On the West Rim, you can walk and/or take a shuttle between stops; you can even enjoy a free meal at either location.
For sightseers looking to experience incredible views of both famous Las Vegas surrounds and the Grand Canyon’s West Rim without leaving the comfort of their luxurious Vistaliner aircraft, this air-only tour is the perfect choice! Fly over Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, the Colorado River, and below the rim of the Grand Canyon—all the while taking perfect pictures through the plane’s sightseeing- and photography-designed panorama windows. Papillon sells this exact same tour under a different name, The Highlights Tour.
Grand Discovery Tour:
This incredible adventure is perfect for the tourist looking to experience everything the Canyon has to offer. After a 45-minute narrated tour across some of the region’s most scenic and memorable locales, you’ll land at the West Rim and board a helicopter, descending a breathtaking 4,000 ft into the Canyon’s heart. Next, cruise up the mighty Colorado River in a relaxing 15-20-minute pontoon tour. Finally, fly back up to the West Rim along a different path for new sights and experiences before enjoying a meal at Guano Point surrounded by 360º Canyon views.