VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 1/23/2011
Smart Las Vegas travelers know that taking an airplane tour to the Skywalk Grand Canyon is the ultimate in speed and comfort. Oh, and to make these trips even more appealing, they're extremely affordable. Flights leave the Las Vegas area and make the 120-mile trip in 20 minutes. There are two types of tours. The air-only one flies past the "glass bridge" and turns back. The other lands at Grand Canyon West, where you deplane and access the Skywalk. Both flights include free shuttle service from all major Las Vegas Strip hotels. The all-inclusive landing trip comes with Skywalk tickets, BBQ lunch, and guided rim-top tour. From start to finish, these air tours are less than half a day - perfect for travelers who want a quick West Rim day trip. Flights are conducted aboard a customized Vistaliner airplane. These large, spacious aircraft seat up to 19 people, and its aerodynamic design makes for a silky smooth ride. Comfortably climate-controlled, the "V-Liner" features plush seats, lots of legroom, and over-sized windows that are perfect for picture taking. These tours are safe. Grand Canyon airspace is strictly controlled by tight FAA guidelines. Two pilots, who must meet FAA requirements, man these aircraft. Moreover, the FAA requires all canyon sightseeing tours to operate under their rigid rules for charter air transportation flights. En route to the Grand Canyon West, these airplane tours fly over Lake Mead, the largest man-made reservoir in the U.S., Hoover Dam, the new Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, a 900-year-old Joshua Tree forest, and the majestic Grand Cliffs Wash. In my opinion, these "bonus" sights make these airplane tours an irresistibly good deal. The Grand Canyon Skywalk, located on 9,000-acres of Hualapai Indian tribal lands, is a spectacular piece of modern engineering. The cantilevered structure extends 70 feet past the edge of the canyon and suspends visitors 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The deck is comprised of 46 glass panels that cost $250,000 each. Cameras and other personal electronics are banned because if dropped they can chip the glass. The total number of people who can be on the Skywalk at one time is 800 but maximum occupancy is 120. Smart travelers know that the best price on Grand Canyon Skywalk airplane deals is on the Internet. I personally have purchased these air tours at up to 35 percent off retail. My most recent price hunt found the air-only package as low as $105 per person and the deluxe Skywalk package at $205. Prices change based on peak travel seasons. However, if you book in advance, which I strongly recommend, you can lock in very low rates. Las Vegas Grand Canyon Skywalk airplane tours are a great way to experience the "glass bridge." Flights are cheap, quick, and flown on one of the most awesome sightseeing aircraft plying the skies today. These all-inclusive tours take between four to six hours to complete and feature everything you need to get to "do" Grand Canyon West. If you are looking for an extraordinary canyon trip, hop a plane. Smart travelers swear by it.
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