Q: What happens if I can’t fly due to bad weather?
A: If your flight is postponed or cancelled due to weather you will not be charged a cancellation fee. There is also no need for a refund as no payments are taken until the time of a confirmed flight. We will do our best to work with you to reschedule your flight to suit your travel plans. Typically, during our main season from Oct – April, we fly on up to 85% of the days however this can vary a bit from month to month depending on weather patterns.
Q: What time do I need to check in for my flight?
A: We ask that you check in at our airport in Lake Tekapo, or our office in Franz Josef village, at least 15 minutes before your scheduled flight time.
Q: What should I take with me on my flight?
A: It is wise to take a sweater or jacket, sunglasses and of course your camera. Large bags can be left with our ground staff. For our helicopter alpine landing flights, suitable covered footwear will be required during winter months, as well as warmer clothing you feel appropriate such as gloves and a hat.
Q: Is it cold in the aircraft?
A: All aircraft are fitted with heaters which the pilot will use during our colder days. Fresh air vents are available above all seats for your use as required.
Q: What is the best time of the day to fly?
A: As our weather can be so changeable, we advise that you fly at the first available opportunity so as not to be disappointed if the weather changes while you are here. The lighting at different times of the day can have different effects allowing for some great photo opportunities. However, as our flights encompass a large area and we make lots of gentle turns, great photo opportunities will present themselves to everyone who flies with us at any time of the day.
Q: Can a passenger with mobility issues still fly?
A: Absolutely! We have various type of aircraft with different design features to suit all requirements. Our large mobile stairs have shallow steps with sturdy handrails for all of our larger aircraft, and when required for our smaller aircraft.
Q: Do you fly all year round?
A: We fly 364 days of the year, depending on the weather. We are only closed on Christmas Day, 25th of December, of each year.
Q: Is there snow all year round?
A: Yes! There is always snow on the larger mountains around the Southern Alps, and of course Mt Cook and Mt Tasman, and all of the larger mountains in the area above 9000 feet above sea level. During the cooler and winter months, snow can be all the way down to the MacKenzie basin around Lake Tekapo, and near the foothills on the west coast.
Q: If I arrive into town by coach/bus, how can I get to the airport?
A: It is always best for your convenience and independence to use your own vehicle, if available, for the short 3 minute drive to our Tekapo airport. Franz Josef Staff will advise on best options there. For those who do not have their own transport while staying in Tekapo or Franz Josef, we are able to assist with complimentary transport to and from the airport. Please just make your way to the office 20 minutes before your flight time and make your situation known to our staff. If you have your own vehicle, directions to our airport can be found here for Lake Tekapo, and here for Franz Josef.
Q: How many seats do your aircraft have?
A: Our modern fleet of various sized aircraft range from 7 to 15 passengers. Choice of aircraft is based on group sizes and flight requirements. Our Gippsland Airvans take maximum 7 passengers; our Cessna Grand Caravan maximum 13 passengers; and our GAF Nomads maximum 15 passengers. All seats on all our aircraft are individual window seats for optimum comfort and viewing. More information on our fleet can be found here.
Q: Can I choose my own seat?
A: Your pilot will direct you to the most suitable seat for each passenger based on the loading requirements for each aircraft. Rest assured that all seats have their own window for great viewing no matter where you are in the aircraft.
Q: Is the flight suitable for infants?
A: Depending on the number of adults, children, and infants in your group, there will normally be no problem catering for an infant. Very young infants will sit on an adults lap with a separate lap restraint provided by your pilot. Your pilot will advise on suitability of flight conditions, and which children will need to occupy a seat.
Q: Is the flight suitable for expectant mothers?
A: We advise you follow professional advice from a doctor where appropriate; however this has not been an issue for us in the past.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: We ask that you advise us in the timeliest manner possible for any cancellations. Generally, any cancellations greater than 24 hours prior to flight time will incur no charge and for cancellation within 24 hrs we will take in to account circumstances with a maximum 50% charge. For no-shows there will be a 100% charge. If a flight is cancelled by Air Safaris due to weather or operational requirements, there is no charge.