Why Fly


(907) 247-1305

In the past 15 years cruise ship tourism has taken over Southeast Alaska. When the Cruise Companies come into a small town like Ketchikan they start negotiating with the larger floatplane operators for the best deals(30-40%) they (the Cruise Ship Companies) can get. The floatplane operators naturally need to make a profit so they make their tours shorter and shorter using bigger planes with seasonal pilots. Resulting in what is the norm in Ketchikan now, 6 to 10 tourists on a Misty Fjords Tour that last 1hr 10min., a recorded tour message on inferior headsets (without microphones) piloted by non-resident pilots at a cost to you often higher than the independents charge. There are two of these larger operators in town. There are six small ( 1 to 3 plane operations) in Ketchikan and no consensus on how to successfully compete in the tour market, most of the smaller operators have gone to larger airplanes and have shortened their Misty Fjords Tours also.

Family Air has gone a different way.

1. My airplane holds a maximum of 4 passengers and I will take a minimum of two (3-4 minimum is the norm for other companies). All the seats are window seats.

2. Family Air's Deluxe Misty Fjords Tour is 2hrs long and includes a 30 min. shore stop on a wilderness lake or fjord, where you can walk around and enjoy the scenery, breath the fresh air without an airplane surrounding you. (the large companies let you out on the floats, not the shore, for 5mins)

3. Our airplane is quiet in comparison to the DeHavilland Beavers used by the other airtaxis and I use the highest quality, active noise cancelling headsets (with microphones) available. There is no pre-recorded tape playing during the tour and you are able to converse with the pilot and the other passengers during the flight.

4. I have been flying commercially in Alaska since 1990. I fly here year round and am an Alaska resident. I have over 15,000 safe flying hours. I am the only pilot for Family Air and own the company and airplane. My airplane is maintained to better than FAA standards and has a number of mods to make it safer than the stock Cessna 185.

5. Family Air has the best cancellation policy in the business. Tours may be cancelled, for a full refund, up to 24 hrs in advance of flight time. Also a refund will be given if the fault does not lie with you (bad weather, lost cruise ship, etc.) We will cancel (full refund) if the weather is not suitable for a tour. The larger companies will often take you on tours right down to FAA minimums (500 foot ceiling and 2 miles visibility), but, although that may be safe it is not very conductive for an enjoyable tour - after all you are going on a tour to see the beauty of Alaska, not just go on a foggy airplane ride.

(A disclaimer here; the weather in SE Alaska can be vastly different over a short distance and the Misty Fjords are 70 miles from Ketchikan, so just because it looks pretty dismal in town does not necessarily mean it's ugly in the Fjords.)

6. We are a small company that specializes in customer service and quality flights over quantity of passenger numbers. We are able and willing to customize our flights to your needs, be it adding a picnic lunch or choosing a better flight time than our normal ones.

Family Air Tours
Sightseeing, Lake Trips & Air Charter
Dave Rocke
P.O. Box 23514
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901

Site design & photographs by Dave Rocke, Family Air Tour
with assistance from Rainforest Web Design

Copyright © 2001 All rights reserved.
Dave Rockeó Ketchikan, Alaska

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