What about options that charge per seat, on an hourly basis, based on flight time in the helicopter?

Heli ski trips that advertise, per seat, hourly flight time in the helicopter can be the most difficult to understand and nearly impossible to quantify as a customer... Here is how this heli skiing program works? Buyer beware.

At least one of the operators in Alaska sells their heli skiing packages strictly on  a per seat flight-hour basis. This operator prides itself by having its Heli pad adjacent to the lodge so there are "no transit times" to the helicopter each day. That's fine, but there are transit times to the area where you ski each day all the same, and you will pay alot for that flight time during your stay and find it nearly impossible to calculate and quantify your bill each day.

Say that is takes just 10 minutes by helicopter to get to the first available runs in the operator's heli ski terrain and 10 minutes to get back from the heli skiing terrain, if this only needs to happen once per day, that's 20 minutes per day or two hours over a six day ski week. That's about $1600 (per one operator's advertised rates) just to get to the skiing before you ever click into your boards.

This question is simple. Would you rather pay for what you fly or what you heli ski? 


It is common that operator's that charge by the flight hour as their only option for you to pay, have a base of operations that is poorly positioned to the bulk of their available heliski terrain. This may be hard for them to admit so good questions are important.

Questions to Ask Heli Ski Operators Charging on a "per seat-hour" basis:

Do you have a map available for me to view your terrain and your base?

How far is the bulk of your terrain from your heli base?

How many hours of helicopter flight time can I expect to use to get back and forth to the heli ski zone each day?

Do we ever make this transit more than once in a day? Who pays for this?

How much total heli time can I expect to be charged each day for an average full day of heli skiing (6-8 runs)?

Does that number include transit time to your terrain?

If we go and try to find a place to land the helicopter to ski when there are marginal conditions, and I don't ski, will I still be charged?

Will I get to monitor the helicopter hour (Hobbs) meter to see that I am being charged correctly?

How do you split the hour meter between groups using the same helicopter?

What is the maximum number of groups you will service with a single helicopter?

What are your waiting times between heli ski runs at maximum group per helicopter ratios?

How many hours of flight time can the helicopter fly with a safe average percentage of fuel at max gross weight?

How long do we wait in between fuel runs for the helicopter?

Who pays for fuel runs with the helicopter and how is that calculated amongst the many heli skiers using it?

How does the pilot track all this information and insure he is accurate while flying the aircraft?

How do you track my flight time when I am ferried by different helicopters in a single day?

What happens if I change groups during the day?

Do I deal with more than one pilot or guide to calculate my heli bill?

If the helicopter is not full do I pay more to heli ski?

Can this get anymore complicated?

Is it important to me to be an educated Heli Ski Consumer?

Ok, those last couple were just for you. Happy heli ski researching!

The Alternative?

VHC's all-inclusive heli skiing packages include guaranteed vertical feet of skiing.

You are charged by what you ski, not how long it took you to get there!

If you get more vertical in than the package guarantees, you pay simply $30 per 1000 vertical feet for the additional heli skiing (if you don't achieve your vertical, we credit you at the very same rate!).

No hidden costs

You pay for what you heli ski not what you fly in the helicopter.

What could be better than that?

Well can you believe we include snowcat skiing on reserve for weather days???

For more information on our all-inclusive packages.