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Talkeetna Air Taxi or K2 Aviation?

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Does anybody have an opinion concerning these two flightseeing companies. Does one have a better reputation than the other. I'm comparing the K2 Aviation McKinley Experience for $265 per person (1 1/2 Hour with Glacier landing) and the Talkeetna Air Taxi South Face McKinley Tour for $255 per person (also 1 1/2 Hour with Glacier landing). Is one tour better than the other? The maps on their web sites look similar.

 

Also, it looks like it will take about two hours to drive to Talkeetna from Anchorage. We'll be there in early July. Am I correct?

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Does anybody have an opinion concerning these two flightseeing companies. Does one have a better reputation than the other. I'm comparing the K2 Aviation McKinley Experience for $265 per person (1 1/2 Hour with Glacier landing) and the Talkeetna Air Taxi South Face McKinley Tour for $255 per person (also 1 1/2 Hour with Glacier landing). Is one tour better than the other? The maps on their web sites look similar.

 

Also, it looks like it will take about two hours to drive to Talkeetna from Anchorage. We'll be there in early July. Am I correct?

 

If you don't make any stops, it should take approx. 2 hours, 15 minutes from Anchorage to Talkeetna.

 

Can't speak to K2, although I know they have a good reputation. But we took the Grand Denali Tour with glacier landing with Talkeetna Air Taxi and thought they were very professional. It was the #1 highlight of our entire trip!

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We used Talkeetna Air and they made it the best excursion we did our 1st

time. Have not used the other mention. But in my IMHO you can not go wrong

with Talkeetna Air.

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Looks like Talkeetna Air wins out.

 

Stired, Do you think the Grand Denali Tour at $340 pp for the extra half hour is worth the extra price (as compared to $265 pp)?

 

Thanks,

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Looks like Talkeetna Air wins out.

 

Stired, Do you think the Grand Denali Tour at $340 pp for the extra half hour is worth the extra price (as compared to $265 pp)?

 

Thanks,

 

I have to say that this trip was so incredibly awesome that I think the extra time up there is worth it. I mean, how often will you be in Alaska in a plane flying around Mt. Denali? ;)

 

By the way, you might look into using a Toursaver 2 for 1 coupon. Last year it was good for their 7:00 p.m. flight.

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I chose the company that offered the discount, so I booked the McKinley Base Camp Tour plus glacier landing with Talkeetna Air Taxi for next August. I definitely want to see the base camp where the climbers begin their ascent, but it's not a high priority to spend the extra time and money to see the north face of Mt. McKinley - especially since one member of our party will be waiting for us while another friend and I fly. However, the glacier landing in early August is by no means a guarantee, so perhaps if we can't do the glacier landing, we can do the 15-minute longer flight of the Grand Denali Tour and still spend less time and money.

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Looks like the Talkeetna Air Taxi toursaver coupon is only good for the 7pm departure in 2008 again. Is there a reason that departures at other times would be better?

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Looks like the Talkeetna Air Taxi toursaver coupon is only good for the 7pm departure in 2008 again. Is there a reason that departures at other times would be better?

 

It isn't very convenient to go on a 7 p.m. flight from Talkeetna unless you plan on spending the night there. And from what I've read, the clouds tend to roll in as the day wears on - so the mountain may be more visible in the morning.

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Well, I do plan to spend a night in Talkeetna, so the 7pm is an option...

 

I know this is a matter of personal opinion and personal budgets, but would you say that it's worth spending the extra money (not use the coupon) and take an earlier tour?

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Well, I do plan to spend a night in Talkeetna, so the 7pm is an option...

 

I know this is a matter of personal opinion and personal budgets, but would you say that it's worth spending the extra money (not use the coupon) and take an earlier tour?

 

The only reason might be if the weather is good earlier that day but poor weather is forecast for later and you could rebook to the earlier one (i.e. book the later one and try to change it the day of arrival). I see no reason to book the earlier flight if you can pay half by going later and the later one is convenient for you. I was planning on taking the 7pm flightseeing then driving to Anchorage afterward but our flight got canceled due to weather.

 

John

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I have flown with both companies. And definately both run great tours.

 

However, flying in a ski plane is great, but in my experience, a helicopter glacier landing is FAR superior since you get on ice. The ski plane will be all snow- I have plenty of that right now in New York. :)

 

As for seeing "base camp", a low priority for me, since it is only good when they are climbing. More important- again only my opinion is to see the entire area and all the scenic flying that is available, reason why my always preference are the summit flights.

 

The ski plane flys low, and you just do not get any idea of the depth and hights of McKinley that you get from flying over it.

 

The 7pm tours are more available since cruisetours contract usually for all the earlier flights.

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However, flying in a ski plane is great, but in my experience, a helicopter glacier landing is FAR superior since you get on ice. The ski plane will be all snow- I have plenty of that right now in New York. :)

 

 

I haven't done a helicopter landing on a glacier (although I hiked on one) or a Mt. McKinley flight. But it seems to me that a ski plane landing surrounded by Mt. McKinley and the nearby mountains would be a more awesome experience than a helicopter landing on Mendenhall Glacier - or any other glacier in the Juneau Icefield.

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I haven't done a helicopter landing on a glacier (although I hiked on one) or a Mt. McKinley flight. But it seems to me that a ski plane landing surrounded by Mt. McKinley and the nearby mountains would be a more awesome experience than a helicopter landing on Mendenhall Glacier - or any other glacier in the Juneau Icefield.

 

Having done both, and my opinion only, sorry no, not in my experience.

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We did the glacier landing with Talkeetna Air Taxi and thought it was wonderful. We originally booked the 7:00 p.m. trip with the toursaver coupon because we were staying in Talkeetna that night. As it turned out, there were high winds all that day and evening, so we had to rebook for the following morning (which is why it is good to stay there and leave open the possibility of a 2nd time). Talkeetna Air Taxi was wonderful and even though we didn't end up going on the 7:00 p.m. flight, still gave the 4 of us 20% off all 4 tickets because we originally booked with the toursaver.

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We did the glacier landing with Talkeetna Air Taxi and thought it was wonderful. We originally booked the 7:00 p.m. trip with the toursaver coupon because we were staying in Talkeetna that night. As it turned out, there were high winds all that day and evening, so we had to rebook for the following morning (which is why it is good to stay there and leave open the possibility of a 2nd time). Talkeetna Air Taxi was wonderful and even though we didn't end up going on the 7:00 p.m. flight, still gave the 4 of us 20% off all 4 tickets because we originally booked with the toursaver.

 

Are you saying with the rebooking, unless you booked another 7pm tour, they would not give you the toursaver discount??? Or that they gave you an additional 20% off??

 

I ended up with 4 rebookings with them in 2005, over 3 different days and only the orginal being the 7pm timeframe. The coupon would have been accepted by them for any rebooking. The weather never did get favorable, however and I did not end up going.

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Are there specific companies or locations that use helicopters vs ski planes? Most of the trips I've read about seem to have planes. If it's called "flightseeing" should I assume it's a ski plane and not a helicopter?

 

 

Also, is it correct that Talkeetna and Juneau are the most desirable places to take flightseeing tours?

 

thanks!

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Are there specific companies or locations that use helicopters vs ski planes? Most of the trips I've read about seem to have planes. If it's called "flightseeing" should I assume it's a ski plane and not a helicopter?

 

 

Also, is it correct that Talkeetna and Juneau are the most desirable places to take flightseeing tours?

 

thanks!

 

As far as I know, there is no helicopter flightseeing over the Alaska range to Mt. Denali, only small plane trips. Maybe BQ can correct me if I'm wrong.

 

There are helicopter glacier trips in Seward with Godwin Glacier Tours http://www.alaskadogsled.com/ that include dogsledding.

 

There are floatplane tours in Juneau which fly over the glaciers, as well as helicopter tours with glacier landings and/or dogsledding.

 

I would not assume that all flightseeing trips are by small plane. You should check out the company websites.

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Are there specific companies or locations that use helicopters vs ski planes? Most of the trips I've read about seem to have planes. If it's called "flightseeing" should I assume it's a ski plane and not a helicopter?

 

 

Also, is it correct that Talkeetna and Juneau are the most desirable places to take flightseeing tours?

 

thanks!

 

http://www.flightseeingtours.com/denali.asp There are helicopter flightseeing of Denali Park available with ERA, but not out of Talkeetna. No, you can not assume "flightseeing" is a ski plane, the only ski planes you are going to go on is a tour with a glacier landing. And no, not correct- there are plenty of excellent flightseeing areas besides Talkeetna and Juneau. By far for me, with probably at least 30 flights in Alaska- Anaktuvuk Pass surpassed all others. :)

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Looks like the Talkeetna Air Taxi toursaver coupon is only good for the 7pm departure in 2008 again. Is there a reason that departures at other times would be better?

 

The Northern Lights coupon for Talkeetna Air taxi says Morning and Evening flights.....it is 25% off.

 

I noticed they advertise 3 flights. Would one be superior over the others?

 

South Face McKinley

Base camp McKinley

Grand Denali

 

with Glacier Landing Add On

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The Northern Lights coupon for Talkeetna Air taxi says Morning and Evening flights.....it is 25% off.

 

I noticed they advertise 3 flights. Would one be superior over the others?

 

South Face McKinley

Base camp McKinley

Grand Denali

 

with Glacier Landing Add On

 

 

If you scroll up to near the top of this thread you'll see a couple of recommendations concerning these tours. Stired has been on the Grand Denali with Glacier Landing and NancyIL is going to be doing the Base Camp Tour. We decided on the Grand Denali with Glacier Landing to get the extra flying time. However, I'm sure other experienced travelers will be able to give you some more concrete suggestions.

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The Northern Lights coupon for Talkeetna Air taxi says Morning and Evening flights.....it is 25% off.

 

I noticed they advertise 3 flights. Would one be superior over the others?

 

South Face McKinley

Base camp McKinley

Grand Denali

 

with Glacier Landing Add On

 

You MUST have 4 people to use the Northern Lights coupon for Talkeetna Air Taxi. This is what the e-mail from the company said: "You must have 4 people to receive the 25% discount and the flight times are 8:30am to 1pm and 6pm to 7pm blackout is from 1pm to 5pm. You are correct our summit flight is done by Talkeetna Aero."

 

Presumably the longer the flight, the better.

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Longer is always better in my opinion. :)

 

And it has been posted for years that Talkeetna Aero does all the summit flights, when booked with Talkeenta Air Taxi. K2 also does summit flights. The best of the best in my opinion, having done all that is listed above- probably 10-12 McKinley flights over close to 10 years.

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Longer is always better in my opinion. :)

 

And it has been posted for years that Talkeetna Aero does all the summit flights, when booked with Talkeenta Air Taxi. K2 also does summit flights. The best of the best in my opinion, having done all that is listed above- probably 10-12 McKinley flights over close to 10 years.

K2 is the best of the best or just the summit flights in general are the best of the best?

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K2 is the best of the best or just the summit flights in general are the best of the best?

 

My preference is for the summit flights. I have gone with Talkeetna Aero the most.

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I heard from a tour operator that the summit flights are longer and the distance up can be troubling if you have ear pressure problems because the planes aren't pressurized. Please comment. Hubby will take medication, but I don't want the experience to be bad.

 

Also, isn't Talkeetna a good place to fly from because you can get to Denali cheaper?

 

Also, if you book with Talkeetna Air Taxi, Talkeetna Aero runs only the summit flight? (That's the only substitution?)

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I heard from a tour operator that the summit flights are longer and the distance up can be troubling if you have ear pressure problems because the planes aren't pressurized. Please comment. Hubby will take medication' date=' but I don't want the experience to be bad.

 

Also, isn't Talkeetna a good place to fly from because you can get to Denali cheaper?

 

Also, if you book with Talkeetna Air Taxi, Talkeetna Aero runs [u']only[/u] the summit flight? (That's the only substitution?)

 

I can't comment on the ear pressure problems, because we didn't take the summit flight (took the grand denali tour w/glacier landing instead). However, I do know that the summit flights require the passengers to wear oxygen masks at the higher elevation. I know that is why one of the people I was traveling with did not want to do it (for some reason the idea of an oxygen mask bothered her).

 

Yes, Talkeetna does offer cheaper flights to the mountain that from other locations.

 

And, yes, Talkeetna Aero runs only the summit flight substitution for Talkeetna Air Taxi because TAT does not have the planes necessary for the over-the-summit flight.

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12 hours ago, Hitchens97 said:

It's 10 years on.... Any thoughts on which one to go with or the pros/cons of each?

I went with K2 a few years ago and had a great trip.

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12 hours ago, AKStafford said:

I went with K2 a few years ago and had a great trip.

 

I went with K2 this summer and it was an incredible experience 

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We chose Talkeetna Air Taxi when we were there last year. We did the Grand Denali Tour with Glacier Landing. The glacier our pilot chose to land on was base camp for climbers attempting to summit Denali. Standing at base camp, surrounded by the mountains was the most awe inspiring thing I have ever experienced in my life.

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Both companys offer 3 different flights (i tell them small, medium, large). Which one should we chose (probably the large one, i suppose)?

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The coolest experience I believe I've had in my travels to date was landing on a glacier way up in the air on a small plane on skis--that was Talkeetna Taxi.  Awesome.

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I haven’t used K2 so I can’t comment on them, but I have used Talkeetna Air.  We were supposed to go up for a glacier landing but the weather was not cooperative, so they told us to come back early the next morning. It was glorious soaring over the mountains and glaciers and then landing in the middle of it all and everyone was great.  I strongly recommend that no matter who you use, stay in Talkeetna overnight so you will have more than one crack at it as the weather is unpredictable. 

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3 hours ago, stired said:

I strongly recommend that no matter who you use, stay in Talkeetna overnight so you will have more than one crack at it as the weather is unpredictable. 

Thats the plan - overnight with glacier landing.

 

But is the "Southside Explorer" enough or should we do the "Mountain Voyager" or even the "Grand Denali"?

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I honestly don’t remember which we did. Perhaps someone else can chime in. But the glacier landing is a thrill and should be included IMHO.  You’re probably never going to do this again so go for it!!

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We booked the Grand Denali w/glacier landing but have alternative info for K2Aviation, N2Alaska, and Sheldon Air Services on our spreadsheet. We've done this because you can never know when to expect some sort of mechanical issue to cause a flight to cancel. I would not want to go all the way to Alaska for a 16 day vacation (cruise & DIY land tour) without backup plans.

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