Las Vegas Grand Canyon Tour: “Waitin’ for the Bus” or “Gimme a Ticket for an Aeroplane?”

Good morning travelers. Las Vegas Grand Canyon tours seem to be the “Topic of the Week” on the Grand Canyon travel forums and our friends from “Down Under” are heading up the herd. Today’s TripAdvisor forum thread debates whether to tour from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon South Rim by bus or plane. PinkStarz77 from Melbourne writes:

We are coming to Las Vegas for the first time in September. We would like to do a one day Las Vegas Grand Canyon tour to the South Rim as we are limited for time. We can’t decide if we should do a plane or bus tour though. I’m thinking 5+ hours there and back in a bus might be too long, but then again I would also be a bit unsure about going on a small plane there and it seems we don’t get any longer in the Grand Canyon if we go by plane.  I thought catching a plane there would give us more time at the canyon but it seems we still only get 2 – 3 hours once we are there and they just arrive back earlier? Are these small planes safe? I have never been on one before!

Forum contributor ‘Bryan S’ immediately addressed the safety issue and suggested a well-established Las Vegas Grand Canyon tour company these folks might travel with:

If you choose a Las Vegas Grand Canyon tour by airplane, Scenic Airlines has been in business for awhile offering tours to Grand Canyon. As far as safety of small planes I can assure you that they are very safe. I have a commercial pilot license with hundreds of hours flying small aircraft. There is a big misconception about small planes being more dangerous than airliners when really the airplanes are just as safe. Operations like Scenic Airlines have strict safety and maintenance standards they must follow in order to keep their FAA certificate.  So statiscally you’re safer flying to the Grand Canyon than driving yourself or taking a bus tour.

Right on ‘Bryan S!’ However, the majority of TripAdvisor contributors would like to see these folks do their Las Vegas Grand Canyon tour as a self-drive. ‘pepperwhitemini’ suggests:

Rent a car, drive there.  Leave at 4.00am. Spend as long as you can. You should be able to manage about 6 hours at the Grand Canyon hopefully. However, this is still nowhere near enough. All you will be able to say is that you saw the place albeit briefly. When you get there you will see why many recommend spending at least one night there. You can look at all the high definition photos and videos of this great chasm but none will give you the feeling of awe that you get when you see it with your own eyes. A few of us who are not locals have been there many many times and the Grand Canyon never ceases to amaze. If you like this sort of thing it is well worth trading a day in Las Vegas for.

In my own response, I attempted to, as Don Henley said, “get down to the heart of the matter:”

Once you arrive at Grand Canyon South Rim, whether you get there by bus oe plane, it’s a case of “6 of one, half a dozen of the other” as far as your experience.  You get about the same amount of time at the Grand Canyon, and see and do the same things.  Something that might help regarding the “plane vs. bus” debate: the Las Vegas Grand Canyon South Rim bus tour may be priced right certainly, but it is a LLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOONNNNGGGGGGGGG day. Typical pickup time at Las Vegas hotels is between 5.45-6.15 AM and typical return time is about 11 PM. I’m actually in the tourism industry myself and of all the Las Vegas Grand Canyon tours I sell, that one tends to get the most complaints back after the fact, most having to do with the length of the trip, but we also hear about surly drivers who’ve made the run too many times for it to be fun anymore. Traveling to Grand Canyon by airplane gives you the option to still get an early start to the day, yet get back to Las Vegas by a semi-decent hour.

The Las Vegas Grand Canyon Deluxe Tour to Grand Canyon South Rim typically has 2-3 daily departures. By choosing the earliest one, you not only get better light and less wind for your Las Vegas Grand Canyon flight, but you might even make it back to Las Vegas by early afternoon – enough time to freshen up and make it to dinner before the show crowds.

If the Las Vegas Grand Canyon Deluxe plane tour is still somewhat cost-prohibitive, yet you still wince at the idea of riding on a bus with 40+ other people, perhaps a good compromise is to upgrade to the “Platinum” Service for your Las Vegas Grand Canyon ground tour. For a few dollars more, you can enjoy your Las Vegas Grand Canyon South Rim tour in a van or mini-coach with a group of 9-13 people. Your touring vehicle will have such features as in-trip entertainment, and padded seats with more legroom. Plus with a much smaller group to “wrangle,” your driver/guide will have more time and inclination to answer your particular questions on a one-on-one basis. Platinum Service upgrade is also available on Las Vegas Grand Canyon West tours. For more information on Platinum Service upgrades click here.

Watch this video to learn more about all of your options for Las Vegas Grand Canyon tours:

Make this day “grand” friends and we hope to talk to you soon!

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