First, you must know the unique but strained partnership between tour operators and the middlemen who sell their products.
Examples of middlemen include travel specialists, hotel concierges, and locally based ticket re-sellers. Tour operators contract these folks in order to get their products in front of more people.
The agreement is straightforward: Brokers get tours at wholesale prices and have to sell them at a suggested retail price. In actuality, the broker is free to sell the ticket at the highest price he can get as long as he doesn't go below retail.
As far as marketing is concerned, brokers can virtually do what they want within reason. For example:
1. Packing the tour with other promotional offers like food, timeshares, and entertainment.
2. Promising special seating (impossible - helicopter seating is determined by weight).
3. Persuading you to purchase a more expensive tour (means more commission).
4. Charging you their "service" fees.
How do you avoid these pitfalls? Purchase your tour direct from the tour company, which has a real financial stake in making sure you are pleased with your flight.
Papillon Helicopters is an excellent example of a tour operator. It is recognized as the largest Grand Canyon sightseeing company on the planet. It is also renowned as offering the highest-quality tours at the lowest price. Here's proof from their website:
1. The North Canyon. Classic South Rim trip. Departs from Grand Canyon Airport, and flies over the canyon to the North Rim and back. Retails for $169. Sells online for $133.
2. The Majestic. This is the upgrade version of the North Canyon. Fly aboard a state-of-the-art EcoStar 130 (stadium seats, Fenestron quiet-flight technology, 25% larger cabin). Retails for $191. Sells online for $158.
3. The Grand Canyon Deluxe with Helicopter. Leaves from Las Vegas. 45-minute flight to Grand Canyon Airport aboard a fixed-wing Vistaliner aircraft. Lists for $458. Web promotional price is $360.
4. The South Rim bus with helicopter tour. Only available to Las Vegas travelers. Bus leaves in the morning and arrives at South Rim before lunch. Lists for $289. Web promotional price is $190.
I've researched the Internet and to date have yet to find a broker that can beat Papillon's prices. Same for Maverick and Sundance, Papillon's main competition. The key thing I learned is that tour operators want your business, and, if you buy direct from them, they'll reward you with huge price cuts.
As you consider which tour is best for you, here are a few things about South Rim helicopter tours you should know:
- Departures leave from Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, AZ, located just south of the National Park's main gates.
- Tours run year round including holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.
- Do your best to secure a flight in the morning as you may have to reschedule due to prevailing weather conditions.
- All South Rim tours take off from the South Rim/Kaibab National Forest and head directly into the Dragoon Corridor, the widest, deepest part of the canyon, before returning.
- Flights last around 30 minutes.
- Charter flights are available.
By reading this far, I can assure you that you know how to find the best promotions on South Rim helicopter flights.
And remember: Buy direct from the tour operator and book it online. Let these basic steps guide you and you'll get a quality helicopter tour at a ridiculously low price.
Article Source: http://www.bharatbhasha.com
Article Url: http://www.bharatbhasha.com/travel.php/359775
Article Added on Sunday, March 25, 2012
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