Helicopter charters are loads of fun and can provide you with a lot of great memories if you arrange them properly and if you know how to act on board. If this is your first time signing up for one of these cool trips, you should be careful to arrange everything ahead of time and be sure you and the company are on the same page.
Ensure You, Other Passengers, and Your Luggage Don't Exceed the Weight Limits
You know you need to have a helicopter with enough seating for you and your guests -- or you need more than one helicopter to accommodate everyone -- but your luggage is a consideration, too. Many helicopter charter companies allow light luggage, but even a picnic basket on a day trip can create space and weight issues if you don't include it in your reservation. When you arrange for the flight, tell the company who will be there and what you'll be bringing. Maybe you're just bringing a backpack; that shouldn't be a problem. But if you're hoping to charter a helicopter to nearby islands and have luggage with you, you need to talk to the company about how much you're bringing. It could be that a charter plane, and not a helicopter, would be more appropriate for you.
Consider How Your Children Will Act on Board
Very young children might not be allowed on some helicopters, and other companies may reserve the right to keep misbehaving children off the vehicle. A bored preteen is fine, but a crying three-year-old could be so distracting and unruly that the pilot could refuse to let them on board.
Please Do Not Ask for Unauthorized Landings in Fields
OK, maybe this one is a bit unusual, but after the shenanigans at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in March, when a helicopter landed in the middle of poppy fields, let's paraphrase what officials at the park said: it shouldn't have to be said to grown adults, but don't land your helicopter in a field full of flowers. You'll harm the flowers, you'll harm wildlife, and you could get your charter pilot's license revoked and the company fined. And you could get arrested if officials catch up to you.
Your plan for the charter flight should be created before the actual trip, and all landing and takeoff sites should be approved according to local laws. It's very tempting to ask charters -- which can take you pretty much anywhere you want to go as long as there's fuel and no international boundaries are being breached unexpectedly -- to land in social media–worthy scenes, but that can do more harm than good. If you want to get a helicopter charter to someplace like a super-bloom region, look for nearby airports that have helipads and then drive over to the bloom area.