The Scoop: Visiting New York City can involve plenty of looking up at massive buildings — but not when you’re touring the city by helicopter. Zip Aviation offers a romantic and luxurious date option that allows couples to get a bird’s-eye view of the Empire City. The company’s private tours feature a variety of New York City’s most iconic sites, and it has also been a part of many midair proposals. For providing a memorable date experience that makes couples feel like VIPs, Zip Aviation has earned the Editors’ Choice Award.

Visitors walking around New York City may assume that the helicopters they see flying overhead are filled with celebrities and influential business executives. But that’s not always the case.

In the Big Apple, couples on a date can take a helicopter tour with Zip Aviation, and, while they may not be celebrities, Zip Aviation makes them feel like VIPs.

Zip Aviation helicopter tours give people a memorable way to see the city from above. It was one of the first tour companies to launch after regulations made sightseeing by air safer and more accessible.

The Zip Aviation logo
Zip Aviation provides couples with exciting helicopter rides over New York City.

The Federal Aviation Administration started regulating helicopter tours in 1994, and it updated guidelines in 2009 to create a seamless flight path over the Hudson River. The FAA enacted strict rules about how high helicopters can fly,  pilot performance plans, and safety protocols that include the number of skid floats and life jackets onboard to ensure smooth experiences for everyone.

“Zip was founded 17 years ago with a single helicopter and a vision,” said Itai Shoshani, Zip Aviation CEO. “We believed then, as we do today, that the secret to success is being better and giving our customers more than they expected.”

Today, anyone can take a trip along what’s known as the Hudson VFR Corridor, which offers fly-bys of popular sites, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and some of New York’s famous bridges.

It all starts from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport, which became the hub for helicopter tours about six years after Zip Aviation launched. Today, couples from around the country come to Zip Aviation to see the city from a new perspective — or even to propose high above the skyline.

For offering couples exhilarating date experiences and stunning views of New York City, Zip Aviation has earned our Editors’ Choice Award.

A Customer-Oriented Team and Reasonable Rates

The Zip Aviation team has an in-depth understanding of how to create a smooth and memorable experience. That’s because it has a long history of offering sightseeing tours in New York City.

Itai said the team strives to be engaging and flexible to benefit everyone who wants a special day in the air above the city.

“Communication and teamwork are the top skill sets that we bring to the table,” he said. “The majority of us have been working at the company for more than 10 years, making the work environment feel more like family.”

Photo of Zip Aviation helicopter ride
Couples see New York City from a different perspective on affordable Zip Aviation tours.

That’s also important when scheduling such a unique date experience, which could even include a proposal. Zip Aviation caters to a wide range of customers interested in seeing the city and offers private helicopter charters.

Itai said the gender breakdown among local customers is about 69% male and 31% female, and customer age ranges from 25 and 34 years old. The company also frequently works with couples and families traveling from elsewhere in the United States or internationally from countries including Spain, France, and Italy.

A helicopter tour is a popular activity for family vacations and romantic dates, especially when the rates are so reasonable. Zip Aviation’s Liberty Harbor Tour, for example, costs a little over $200 per person.

Couples Can See the Statue of Liberty Face to Face

As anyone who’s visited or lived in New York City knows, there’s plenty to see in The City That Never Sleeps. And everything is more stunning from the sky.

The Liberty Harbor Tour includes a surprisingly long list of places to discover from the air during a date. Guests see the Statue of Liberty face to face while also enjoying a breathtaking view of Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, the 9/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Bridge, and a host of other iconic landmarks.

Photo of Zip Aviation helicopter by the Statue of Liberty
Zip Aviation passengers can get an up-close view of the Statue of Liberty.

The flight path takes the helicopter up and down the island, so couples can see everything twice — just in case they missed something on the first pass.

Other tour options are even longer, including the Grand Island Tour that lasts 30 minutes. It includes all the sights of the shorter flight and goes over Coney Island beach and amusement park. People can also see the Verrazano Bridge, the longest double-decker suspension bridge in New York connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn.

Couples can book tours directly through the Zip Aviation website or call one of its customer service representatives.

“Our customer service representative will provide you with a custom quote for a private helicopter charter or help book a helicopter sightseeing tour that best works for your budget and schedule,” Itai said. “They go above and beyond to ensure each customer enjoys the full experience.”

Zip Aviation Can Take Your Relationship to the Next Level with Memorable Proposal Opportunities

Itai said the best thing about a helicopter tour is that it’s so much more exciting than a regular dinner-and-a-movie date. It’s so romantic that the team has seen many proposals in the air over the years.

“A sure way to get her or him to say yes is by booking a private helicopter charter to go on a weekend getaway or a sightseeing tour and popping the question,” he said.

Recently, they helped organize a proposal in which all the friends and family were waiting back at the heliport to celebrate. He said that when the helicopter landed, the future bride-to-be was shocked when her boyfriend started to kneel. He also had someone capture the moment on video.

“The couple shared the video of their proposal with us. When we watched it, it gave us all goosebumps,” Itai said. “It was a very special moment, and to have been a part of their special moment is very rewarding for us.”

In addition to being part of unique dates or proposals, the team at Zip Aviation also enjoys giving back to the community. Team members are regularly involved in missions including hurricane relief, organ donation flights, and medical supply deliveries in emergency situations. They also have been known to give Santa a ride, and volunteer to provide fun opportunities for disadvantaged youth.

Zip Aviation shares the helicopter experience with couples who don’t have to be celebrities to enjoy a luxurious adventure in the air around New York City.

“Some people are intimidated and think helicopters are only for superstars,” he said. “Yes, many of our customers are celebrities, and the rest are treated as such.”