Excellent plane and skilled pilot. Went on a Big Island tour from Kapalua and got all what had been promised!
Yes, I am a nervous flier, but our Pilot (can't remember his name, sorry) made me feel safe and reassured. Each time we were about to hit bumpy air, he warned us ahead of time and told us exactly how long (not very) it would last. I would say at least 95% of the time, it was a very smooth flight. For the little bit that it wasn't, our Pilot made us feel safe and at ease.
Each person has a window seat in a very comfortable chair. We all wore headsets for the noise, as well as to hear the Pilot's narration about the sights and his amusing commentaries and stories.
Even though there was cloud cover, for most of the trip we stayed below the clouds, so we still had great views of the island. Toward the end of our flight, around sunset, we went above the clouds to see the beautiful colors of sunset.
Our pilot was good about circling around at some of the more interesting sights so that both sides of the plane would get good views. Apparently we got very, very lucky and saw some great views of magma glowing red - one reason to take the sunset flight. This was a beautiful way to see the island. Again, I want to thank our Pilot for a wonderful experience.
We booked Big Island Air at the last minute after Sunshine Helicopters cancelled out on us. Sunshine claimed they had to cancel because the weather was bad, but after checking with other helicopter companies, we found out that this was not the case, and since other helicopter companies were fully-booked, we found Big Island Air by accident. It was a good thing we did because our flight was the most enjoyable part of our trip, and it was also less expensive than the helicopter tours. The staff was very accommodating when I called. The plane we rode was one of those single propeller ones (not a helicopter) and it was based in the commuter part of the Kona airport. We booked the Sunset tour which was the only one available. Our pilot Daryl was very knowlegeable and took us over lava falling into the ocean, as well as over the city of Hilo, Waipio Valley and the numerous waterfalls. He gave us a thorough safety orientation before the flight and his enthusiasm was contagious. I was able to take a lot of pictures and videos. I would highly recommend this company.
This was probably the highlight of our Honeymoon. We took the VIP Air Adventure on Sept 29, 2016, it was alittle pricey but well worth it. I am a bit scared of small planes and turbulence but the pilot (who was also the tour guide), made me feel at ease and kept the turbulence to a minimal. He was funny and very knowledgeable. I felt very comfortable and safe throughout the plane ride. We saw such beautiful landscapes including amazing waterfalls and up the coast, beautiful beaches. He took us to the active volcano and over the lava that was flowing into the ocean. We also had the chance to fly over the volcano and see a lake of lava which was the most amazing thing I ever saw. He stayed over it for a quite a while. Definitely a once in a life time experience and something I always wanted to see in person. Breathtaking and would recommend it to anyone!!!
We did the sunset. Went around the entire island. The waterfalls... Hundreds.. Was spectacular. Volcano was nice. Cauldron had no fly zone as it is very active but got to see lava flowing and entering ocean. Second time we did this tour. First in 2008. Cheapest to book through their website I found
This is the only way to see the island. Darryl our pilot was great! Don't hesitate in booking this tour it is well worth the money. We saw some fabulous views of the volcano and lava flow to the water along with wonderful views of the waterfalls in hidden valley. I will say it again -- this is the only way to see the island. A fantastic flight. Applause to Big Island Air.
Our pilot, Darryl, made our flight fantastic. He narrated with history details and personal family experiences. Don't miss this experience!!!! It was awesome. Thanks Big Island Air.
We stayed on Maui but wanted to see Kilauea so we booked a 3 hour flight with Big Island Air through Expedia at our hotel. The helicopter tours are only 45 - 60 minutes so we went for this instead. We met the pilot at Kapalua, which was only 10 minutes from our hotel in Ka'anapali.
Our plane was a 9 seater Cessna Caravan, which was great because everyone got a window seat. The seats were really comfortable and there was plenty of room. First we flew down Maui, including Haleakala, then over to Big Island. We touched down in Kona for a 10 minute comfort break, where we were given drinks and snacks.
Then we went up the coast of the island to Kilauea, which was quite cloudy but we managed to see lave entering the ocean. The scenery is spectacular, sea cliffs, waterfalls and many different landscapes. Our pilot was fantastic, he gave us a full commentary and also turned the plane so that everyone had the same photo opportunities on both sides, he also told us when it was going to get a bit bumpy!
Quite a few times we dipped down to 500 feet to take photos. I was a bit apprehensive about the small plane - especially when told we had to wear life jackets on our waist at all times! - but it was fantastic and we loved every minute. It is a shame there was quite a bit of cloud on the high ground because I think we would have seen more of the crater - but we still saw the lava so we were happy. We would definitely recommend this trip to anyone.
Very afraid to get on a small plane that holds 9 people plus the pilot, but I was determined to do it . Our pilot Daryl was super kind and put us at ease. I sat next to him in the co pilot's seat as I was the chicken of the group! We did have to wear our life vests during the flight as you fly low. Daryl had a wonderful sense of humour and a very calm demeanour. Off we went and once I opened my eyes, it was absolutely gorgeous! We toured the Island for two hours with Daryl explaining where we were and adding his own personal stories. We saw magnificent water falls, the lush valleys, the volcano that was erupting into the ocean was a real sight to see!
The flight was a little bumpy more so at the back of the plane where two of my kids were , but all in all it was an incredible trip to take and one that I am glad I did despite my initial hesitations.Highly recommend this plane ride with comfortable seats for every passenger!
This was a perfect way to see the entire island. We had driven around it a couple years ago, but this was a phenomenal way to see it all. Captain Rex is a wonderful pilot - made sure everyone on board had an opportunity to see the sights. The Cessna Caravan is extremely comfortable.
We saw the lava flows at the southern end of the island, the Black Sand Beach (which we had visited 2 days before), the Macadamia & Coffee plantations, Hilo, up around the northern tip and back to Kona for a majestic sunset. Capt Rex is very knowledgable about the island - great tour and I highly recommend it.
We took a sunset flight around the big island out of Kona. It was fantastic. In addition to seeing the beauty of this island, we flew right over an active volcano flow, glowing red in the twilight. Everyone in the family thought this was a highlight of our 2 week vacation. The commentary was great and our pilot was friendly and fun.
Amazing tour of the big island; the crew was very friendly and knowledgeable,treated us like family. The airplane is very new, comfortable and all seats are window seats; the airplane is not as "choppy" as a helicopter. Flew with Steve, who had a wealth of knowledge about the whole island; saw the volcanic craters with active lava and waterfalls of Hilo; would highly recommend this tour company over any others on the big island; definitely a once in a lifetime experience!!! Thanks so much Big Island Tour
What can I say except the way to see the whole island is THIS way. a 2 hour tour of the island made me feel like I saw pretty much everything without having to drive. It was FANTASTIC. Captain Colin was awesome. He was humorous, knowledgeable, made you feel comfortable and safe. Such a wonderful way to see the island and then some! DO not eat before you go though if you tend to get air sick ---it can get a bit turbulent for those of us with weak stomachs - but you will rally! It is totally worth doing. A HUGE highlight to my trip.
Flew with Colin, a wealth of knowledge. An amazing nearly 2 hr flight with 9 passengers. Excellent commentary and some wonderful background information esp about lava flows, history of island. Scenery was spectacular. Colin made sure both sides of plane saw everything, turning and circling to catch all views. Thanks Colin.