Wings Over Whales

Wings Over Whales

Reviews

Javier  Mimbrera 's avatar

Javier Mimbrera

Spain

Ranking: 9/10

No luck spoting whales, but the views worth it. Had a great time.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Wings Over Whales responds:

Hello Javier,

We're very sorry that you were unable to see any whales on your flight- unfortunately sometimes nature doesn't play it's part. Thank you very much for your kind review and we're pleased to hear that you had a wonderful time.

Thank you for flying with us!

Best wishes for the remainder of your holiday in New Zealand

Sven Fimne's avatar

Sven Fimne

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

First time in my life that I saw a whale. And I saw two on that flight. Two sperm whales. Nice presentation about whales before the flight.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Wings Over Whales responds:

Dear Sven,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your flight with Wings Over Whales!

Best regards

Alex Ehret's avatar

Alex Ehret

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Captain Edgar gave us some theoretical information about the sperm whales first and afterwards took us on an amazing flight out over the sea. We saw two whales - great!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Wendy van Boom's avatar

Wendy van Boom

Belgium

Ranking: 10/10

We saw a sperm whale lying on the surface taking oxygen for 10 minutes before he went back diving. A great experience and friendly staff.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Wings Over Whales responds:

Wendy- thank you very much for your review. We will be sure to pass on your feedback to our staff.

Best wishes

Olivier Anciaux's avatar

Olivier Anciaux

Belgium

Ranking: 10/10

Great experience in a small plane for me and my wife. A friendly pilot gave us lots of information on the whales. Showed us one from above, as well as hundreds of Dusky Dolphins Thumbs up!!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Wings Over Whales responds:

Hello Oliver,

Thanks so much for taking the time to write a review of your experience with Wings Over Whales.

We're really happy to hear that both you and your wife had a great time!

Best regards,

The Team at Wings Over Whales

Lucy Mulvin's avatar

Lucy Mulvin

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Best experience of our trip - such a great pilot, amazing views of sperm whales and dolphins - amazing!

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Stefan AuRich's avatar

Stefan AuRich

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Nice staff, great briefing, scenic flight over pacific, saw a sperm whale and 100s of dolhpins. RECOMMENDED.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2013

Wings Over Whales responds:

Thank you for taking the time to review us! Great to hear you had a nice time with Wings Over Whales,

Best regards

Philippe Merino's avatar

Philippe Merino

France

Ranking: 9/10

Very good with a baby. Can see the whales very well.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in March 2012

dierikx's avatar

dierikx

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

A great experience! We were lucky to see 2 whales and a lot of dolphins.
You get a short introduction, that's nice for the context and safety.
We booked on the internet and filled in we had a kiwi-card (for discount). However, we had quite a hassle to get the discount back. So if you have a kiwi-card, call them and don't book on the internet!

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Res Kormann's avatar

Res Kormann

Switzerland

Ranking: 10/10

Perfect! Not that cheap, but a really great experience!

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in April 2011

Stefanie's avatar

Stefanie

Austria

Ranking: 9/10

Although it was a little bit expensive for young people it was its moneys worth.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in March 2011

Clemmie Sinclair's avatar

Clemmie Sinclair

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Saw lote of dolphins and a sperm whale! Very expensive though quite short trip.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in March 2011

greenshen's avatar

greenshen

China

Ranking: 10/10

We were very excited we saw 4 whales during the flight. The werther is perfect good, our pilot is very friendly and professional. That's a very impressive experience.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in March 2011

E C  Frans's avatar

E C Frans

Netherlands

Ranking: 10/10

Very exciting - very friendly pilot who knew well the spots to spot whales - no waiting time.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

ozzi's avatar

ozzi

Ranking: 1/10

We booked a flight on the 3rd of March in the morning, weather conditions were just perfect. The flight was ok although there was no communication or whatsoever with the pilot as reviewers mentioned before (ear protection only for the pilot).
The main reason to book a flight was not fulfilled (the flight took exactly 31 minutes). We understand that this is nature and bad luck, however the title is "Wings Over Whales" and not "Wings over Scenery" or "Wings Over Dolphins" or "Nice flight". The 95% success rate is hard to believe, if even on such a day with perfect conditions whales could not be spotted. And no refund at all, just a short "sorry for that" and the pilot was gone, very poor failure management, in my company I would get fired for such a behavior as you are dealing with good paying clients.

My main point: Why is there no refund offered, if the success rate is really 95%?

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Wings Over Whales responds:

Hi Ozzi from Germany
Sorry you were dissapointed in the flight, you were very unlucky not to see whales on your flight as only two of the 9 flights that day were unsuccessful.
You said you understood that you are dealing with Nature but this has not been reflected in your review. I have spoken to the pilot who assures me he was sensitive to the needs of his passengers. This company has been operating for 20 years and yes we do have some dissapointed passengers but we are not able to guarantee any sightings or offer a refund and this is explained well before we take any money for the flight. Hearing protectors are not required on the aircraft but we can provide them if requested prior to the flight. The pilot has to wear headphones to be able to communicate with other aircraft in the area. Management are presently working on a German translation of our refund policy to avoid future misunderstandings. We apprecate all reviews good and bad.
Regards
John Macphail
Managing Director

syahreena's avatar

syahreena

Singapore

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome experience! We saw the whale right up until it dives. The pilot flew us over a wonderful pod of dolphins playfully swim out to sea. We really love the experience.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

avanice's avatar

avanice

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

This was a wonderful event from start to finish. Ear protection was provided although communication with the pilot was by raised voices and pointing! We felt very safe in their hands and were very professional. The depth of knowledge of whales and their actions by the pilot was unexpected and I felt he could have talked about their migratory patterns and feeding habits for even longer.
The pilot made a good and thorough search but if the whales aren't there he can't magic them to the surface. Then he saw something we didn't and went straight to where a whale was surfacing, well before the boats were even heading in that direction. Brilliant. He stayed circling until the whale dived and went over to a pod of dolphins he had noted whilst circling. Our 30 mins was well overdue but he still took time out to have an overview flight of the area before landing.
A brilliant and memorable good experience. Very impressive.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

sheilamilly's avatar

sheilamilly

Austria

Ranking: 10/10

The most fantastic experience of my life.
Originally we had planned to do the sea trip. We fully understand that they are wild creatures and don't appear on demand. .
We decided to go with Wings Over Whales and felt that even if unsuccessful in sightings the experience was worth it. The company did very well. We arrived to fly on Monday, We got airborne for a few moments but the pilot being very skilled, with safety in mind decided it was unsafe with a low cloud base. However we did manage to sight many dolphins and the folk who were swimming with the dolphins.
They were kind enough to offer us a refund as we were not up long or the opportunity to try again the next day. This is the option we went for as we were fortunate and had time on our side.
The company had been in contact with other providers and knew of a sighting. they had even timed the dive of a whale and knew when to expect it to surface! That was going the extra mile in my book. Up we went and sure enough two whales were sighted. We stayed with them, circling, coming in as low as possible. The camera and video shots are unreal. We felt completely safe and felt the pilot knew what he was looking for and where to find it. They made it very clear they could not guarantee a sighting. If they could they would be geniuses. Whales are the most majestic of animals and their size, shape and length can be fully appreciated from the air. We got to see a dive and watched in awe this wild creature moving through the ocean.
Once the sighting was over the pilot took us over the peninsula, we saw the coastline clearly and he brought us in to a smooth landing.
They were all kind enough to pose for photos and gave us an informative leaflet about whales
Thank you "Wings Over Whales" for an experience I shall never forget. It has been a lifelong ambition to see whales.
Our deepest thanks
Ron and Sheila Millington
Melbourne
Australia.

Reviewed about 10 years ago

ljwright22's avatar

ljwright22

United States

Ranking: 10/10

It was fantastic!! We saw two whales!!! I consider this experience to be an investment in wonderful memories of whales and beautiful panoramic scenery of the coast in Kaikoura, my first time in NZ. Wings Over Whales provided the means of transportation, expertise, and extraordinary and brilliant service, while God/Mother Nature allowed me to witness and take in the spectacular aerial views of whales in the wild. Needless to say, this was an occurrence of a lifetime that I would recommend to anyone and everyone!!! When I return with my family in the future, Wings Over Whales will be one of my first stops for another astonishing experience!!! I must do it again. Thanks for your exceptional services, and relentless and sincere efforts!!!

My Sincerest Regards,
Leslie (Washington, D.C.)

Reviewed about 10 years ago

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Michel's avatar

Michel

Germany

Ranking: 1/10

We found the flight very disappointing and the service provided by Wings over Whales very poor.
In fact that means that we booked as a family a flight with Wings over Whales.
Originally have we planned to book a tour with Whale Watch Kaikoura by Ship. But unfortunately is it not allowed for our daughter with 2,5 years to participate.
This activity is recommended in the up to date Lonely Planet. Here you can read for example “Spotting success rate: 95%”.

The problems in detail:

1. My little daughter and my wife and me have not received any ear protection for the flight. Even after we asked for it.
Due to missing ear protection (only our pilot had one) there was no conversation possible in the plane and we received non information
In the plane.

2. Obviously we spotted no whales. There is also no refund, discount for the next tour or anything offered to us after the flight. If the spotting rate would really be 95% as mentioned I would suggest a refund system as available elsewhere to avoid disappointed customers. (The only memories we kept are still singing ears)
I can not understand why the pilot has not done more effort or invested more than the minimum time to catch some whales?

3. The pilot played in the air a lot with his GPS and strictly after 30 minutes in the air we landed again.
He kept seating in the plane and kicked us out of the plane in front of the airport building. I have not seen him again later!

So overall I feel like a totaly cheated customer. We paid good money for a waste of time and money.

I would stricty recomment to all other tourists not to book with Wings over Whales and I don´t believe the spotting rate of 95% at all. (So the next 50 persons should spot at least Whales - haha) We experienced beside the non spotting of whales also a very poor service around the flight with Wings over Whales.

We have not received any writen feedback on our Complain via email to Wings over Whales.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Wings Over Whales responds:

This response was sent to you immediately upon receipt of your compliant on 21st October 2010.

Hi Michael.

Thanks for your feedback on your experience yesterday with Wings over Whales.

We value your comments and will make every effort to improve the experience for future visitors.

Unfortunately as was explained to you prior to take off we are not able to guarantee whale sightings as we are dealing with nature. The weather conditions on the day did not allow us to extend the flight further than the 36 minutes already undertaken.

My pilots use G.P.S to assist them to locate the whales as this is a very valuable asset in keeping track of the whales movements.

You will recall as soon as you landed the pilot had to rush back to the aircraft to tie it down as a squall struck the airport. The lightning, heavy rain, and strong gusty winds would have been a dangerous situation for the aircraft to be in especially if it was still airborne.

I regret the company did not have one of our other duty pilots explain this to you.

You should understand that no whales were seen yesterday by operators including helicopter or boats as the whales were not able to be found. This does not mean that we don’t keep trying as the whales are very mobile and can appear in the usual areas with no warming.

We stand by our claim of 95% success rate as we can go for months and not miss a whale but you were unlucky to not see anything.

You will agree this area is very spectacular from the air and I’m sure once you return to Germany your many photos taken on the flight will be a good memory of the trip to our spectacular area.

Thanks again for your feedback.
Regards
John Macphail
Managing Director
Wings over Whales Kaikoura Ltd

Marco's avatar

Marco

France

Ranking: 10/10

Everything was perfect

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

stevnba's avatar

stevnba

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Professional company, pleasant staff. We booked a 30 min flight to see the whales. The pilot stayed out longer than that so we could see one. Good alternate to the boat as all were cancelled that day.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

LesleyR's avatar

LesleyR

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent commentary. We saw 4 whales.

Reviewed over 11 years ago and experienced in March 2009

VenesJ's avatar

VenesJ

Norway

Ranking: 9/10

Very good pilot. Very good communication.

Reviewed over 11 years ago and experienced in March 2009

Steven's avatar

Steven

United Kingdom

Ranking: 5/10

Although we got to see 2 whales. The flight was only 20 minutes instead of 30.

Reviewed over 11 years ago

Terry's avatar

Terry

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Polite & helpful staff. Well maintained buildings & aircarft. Pilot knew his stuff & found us whales.

Reviewed almost 12 years ago

Leidner's avatar

Leidner

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Very flexible, but we would choose a boat tour next time.

Reviewed about 12 years ago

John Woodrow's avatar

John Woodrow

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Excellent.

Reviewed almost 13 years ago

paulonline's avatar

paulonline

Ranking: 7/10

We had to fly about 1000 ft up, saw about 3 whales but from a long way away.

Reviewed almost 13 years ago