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Frequently Asked Questions

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The Service Back to top

What routes do you operate?

Penzance Helicopters flies from Penzance in west Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly, flying to the islands of Tresco and St Mary’s.

We provide the only direct flight to Tresco, and from there and St Mary’s, you can easily reach the other islands of St Martin’s, Bryher and St Agnes.

Do you offer daytrip flights to the Isles of Scilly?

We offer daytrip flights throughout the year, subject to availability.

Flying to the Isles of Scilly for a daytrip by helicopter means more time to explore the islands - with just a 15-minute flight time, you’ll have the whole day for an island adventure. Plus, the flight itself is as memorable as the destination.

Daytrip and scenic flight fares are available from £129 per person return - for full details and inspiration, see our Daytrips information.

How long is the flight?

Your flight will take around 15 minutes and passes out across Mount’s Bay, the West Cornwall peninsula, and the coast before heading to the Isles of Scilly.

​Where can I find the latest travel updates?

Please visit our Travel Updates page for the latest travel updates for our flights between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly.

How many passengers do your helicopters carry?

Using a Sikorsky S76 helicopter, we can carry 9 passengers per flight.

Can passengers with limited mobility use the helicopter?

One of our overriding aims is to improve access to the Isles of Scilly for all, and we do all we can to make all passengers welcome within the constraints of safety regulations and the size and layout of the aircraft. 

Please inform us of any disability or reduced mobility at the time of booking. Depending on the nature of your disability, we may ask you to travel with another passenger who can provide the necessary assistance. 

For further information, please get in touch with us or complete our mobility assistance request form.

Can my dog or other animal travel with me?

We're now able to carry dogs onboard. Your dog must fit comfortably inside our secure onboard crate, which measures 75cm long x 50cm wide x 53cm high - perfect to accommodate one medium-sized dog or two small dogs (which will fly within the same crate).

We can also carry cats and other small animals and may also be able to take larger dogs, subject to operational factors and an additional fee. To discuss this, please call us on 01736 780828.

Find out more about taking your dog to Scilly with you on your Travelling with Pets page.

Does the helicopter travel all year round?

Yes, we fly Monday to Saturday throughout the year, to both Tresco and St Mary's.

Are there toilets and refreshments onboard?

Due to the short flight and the aircraft size, there are no refreshment facilities or toilets onboard our helicopter.

How much time do I need to leave to arrive for onward travel?

We recommend you check in one hour before your flight. Check-in closes 45 minutes before your flight departure time. 

Please allow enough time for checking in, collecting luggage, and possibly refreshments. If you have any questions about the time allowance, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Penzance Helicopters cannot be held responsible for delays, cancellations, or missed departures that may affect your onward travel.

I am pregnant. Can I fly with you?

This depends on the stage of your pregnancy at the time of your return flight:

  • From 27 weeks to 36 weeks: Please provide a valid Doctor’s or Midwife’s certificate stating you are fit to travel.
  • From 36 weeks: Please provide a valid Doctor’s or Midwife’s certificate stating you are fit to travel, issued within 7 days of departure. We will need to provide consent in writing to you travelling.
  • At or past due date: Please provide a valid Doctor’s or Midwife’s certificate stating you are fit to travel, issued within 24 hours of departure. We will need to provide consent in writing to you travelling, and you must be accompanied by an escort.

What is the size of the seats on the helicopter?

The cabin of the helicopter is narrower than most commercial airliners. The seat width is just over 40cm and is fitted with a standard helicopter four-point harness, which cannot be extended with an auxiliary strap. 

Although we do not publish any weight or size constraints, we strongly advise passengers to consider whether they can be accommodated comfortably in the cabin.

Who operates the helicopter?

The helicopter is operated by Starspeed - the new operator of Penzance Helicopters since November 2022.

Starspeed is the largest privately-owned corporate VIP helicopter company in Europe, with a reputation earned over four decades for trust and complete individual care and attention. Starspeed is part of Luxaviation – one of the largest private aircraft operators in the world.

Luggage Back to top

How much luggage can I bring?

We are delighted to offer a generous, inclusive luggage allowance of 20kg per passenger to be carried in the aircraft's hold.

All hold luggage must be soft holdall style bags with no rigid frame or structure, but they may have wheels and a handle. 

Each adult and child passenger has a 20kg luggage allowance, and bags must not exceed 70 x 39 x 31cm. You may bring a maximum of two bags per passenger, which must collectively fit within the size and weight allowance. For information on infant luggage allowances, please see below.

Passengers may also carry a small item aboard the aircraft, such as a small handbag, coat, book, camera or binoculars. This item must weigh no more than 3kg and is limited to a size of 30 x 15 x 15 cm. 

Laptops and other small electronic devices must be handed in at check-in and are carried in a secure, padded, fireproof pouch.

Are there additional baggage allowances if I am travelling with an infant?

Infants have an inclusive luggage allowance of 10kg. If you are bringing a pram/buggy or similar, this will need to be fully collapsible and will be carried in the hold as long as cabin space is available. 

Child seats are not permitted onboard. This is considered excess baggage and will be charged £10 for up to 5kg.

Can I purchase excess luggage?

We may permit excess luggage at our discretion, provided it is booked in advance and at a charge of £10 for up to an extra 5kg. 

If the excess luggage cannot be carried on your flight due to payload, it will be carried on the next available flight with sufficient space.

Can I carry sporting equipment such as golf clubs?

These items may be carried, subject to availability and space, but will be in addition to your luggage allowance and charged as excess luggage. Please inform us beforehand.

Can I carry artwork/cargo back from the islands?

Items not packed in accordance with our standard baggage conditions (mentioned above) may only be permitted after prior arrangement with our staff at Penzance Heliport and will be subject to an excess baggage charge if the item is to be carried in addition to your checked-in luggage. 

Carriage of items not conforming with the standard size/weight conditions cannot be guaranteed due to the restricted dimensions of a helicopter baggage compartment. For guidance, it is unlikely that a work of art measuring more than 45 cm x 45cm x 5cm will be cleared for carriage. 

Any item carried under these conditions will be done so entirely at your own risk.

Are there items I cannot take in my luggage?

You must not carry the following items in your luggage: compressed gases; corrosives; explosives; flammable liquids and solids; radioactive materials; poisons; infectious substances; oxidising materials; or briefcases with installed alarm devices. 

At our discretion, we may refuse to carry other items deemed dangerous, unsafe, too heavy, fragile or perishable, or because of their shape and character. 

Firearms and ammunition are prohibited from carriage, except for hunting and sporting purposes. For full details on items prohibited from carriage, please see our Conditions of Carriage.

Check-In Back to top

When should I check-in for my flight?

We recommend you check in one hour before your flight. 

Check-in closes 45 minutes before your flight departure time. After this time you may have to book a new ticket at your own cost.

Do I need identification to board the flight?

You will need to present valid proof of identity at check-in and cannot board the flight without this. 

Valid ID can be a valid passport; valid photographic driving licence; Citizen Card; school, college or university identity card; a valid government, armed forces or police identity card; or a council-issued photo bus pass. 

Children aged 16 and under accompanied by an adult do not need identification.

Parking, Transfers & Facilities Back to top

Is there car parking available at Penzance Heliport?

Yes, there is an onsite car park for around 280 cars at Penzance Heliport. Parking cannot be pre-booked and is available at £7.50 per day, payable on exit.

Please be aware that out-of-hours when the Heliport is closed, the car park entrance will be locked for security. This is closed overnight after the last flight of the day and all day on Sundays.

If you are planning on returning by other means than the helicopter, you should book your shuttle transfer with the Isles of Scilly Parking Company, who will be able to pick you up and take you to the heliport to retrieve your vehicle, please call 07724 879482 to arrange this. Any callouts that are not pre-arranged will result in a charge of £50.00.

Are there electric vehicle charging spaces in the car park?

The heliport car park has 10 electric charging parking spaces opposite the hangar. These are served by five EV charging bollards, each fitted with Type 2 output sockets. The sockets are 3.6kW/16 amp outputs.

Please note: Unfortunately, due to technical issues with the company that provides our electric vehicle charging points, until further notice, there are no facilities to charge vehicles at the Heliport. We’re in contact with the company and await a timeframe for their issues to be rectified. (Last update: 8/8/23)

Are there transfers from Penzance train station to the Heliport?

There is a shuttle bus that runs regularly from Penzance rail station in line with check-in/flight times. 

The shuttle must be booked in advance by contacting the Isles of Scilly Parking Company on 07724 879482.

Are transfers available when arriving on Tresco?

When landing on Tresco, a complimentary electric shuttle will take you from Tresco Heliport to your accommodation. 

For onward travel from Tresco to other islands, the shuttle bus will take you from the heliport to the Quay, with a boat transfer to your chosen destination (payable onboard). This must be booked in advance by calling Tresco Boat Services on 01720 423373 or emailing them.

Are transfers available when arriving on St Mary's?

When landing at St Mary’s, the friendly drivers from Island Transfers will meet you in Arrivals and take you to your accommodation on St Mary's or the Quay for boats to the off-islands (Tresco, Bryher, St Martin's or St Agnes).

The bus meets every flight, so there's no need to book. The return journey can be booked when they drop you off.

Fares are £6 (single) or £11 (return) for adults, £3.50 (single) or £6 (return) for children under 12, and under 3s travel free.

Is there a café at the heliport?

Yes, we're delighted to welcome Café Roselló to the terminal at Penzance Heliport from summer 2023.

Run by Sophie and Paul, who many will recognise from their time running The New Inn on Tresco, Café Roselló is open daily for freshly ground Cornish coffee, cold drinks, authentic crêpes and freshly-baked sweet and savoury goodies.

Open throughout the day, our café is perfect if you’ve had an early start or a long journey down, and is open to passengers, locals, and those visiting the area.

Amendments, Delays and Cancellations Back to top

Can I amend my ticket?

Flights can be amended up to 48 hours before departure. The amendment fee is 10% of the total original price paid for each passenger for whom an amendment has been made, plus any difference in fare. 

Within 48 hours of departure, you will need to purchase a new ticket.

Can I cancel my ticket?

You may cancel your ticket up to 48 hours before your flight and receive a partial refund on your total fare. 

If you cancel your booking more than 14 days before your flight, you will receive 80% of the fare paid. If you cancel less than 14 days but more than 48 hours before your flight, you will receive 50% of the fare paid. If you cancel within 48 hours of your flight, you will not receive any refund.

What happens if my flight is delayed?

If we change the flight time or cancel, delay or divert a flight, we will make reasonable efforts to inform you of the changes or delays using the contact details provided to us upon booking.

Do I still have to go to the Heliport if my flight has been delayed?

If we have to delay a flight, we will inform you of the delays using the contact details provided and advise when you should go to the heliport.

My flight has been cancelled and all the other flights are full or have also been cancelled. What are my options now?

Penzance Helicopters offers passengers a choice between:

  • Re-booking free of charge on an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity, availability permitting or,
  • Re-booking free of charge on an alternative flight at a later date or,
  • Cancelling the journey and receiving a full refund of the unused portion of the ticket or,
  • Offering alternative transport to their destination; this may include surface and/or sea transport. In this case, passengers are not eligible for any refund.

The weather doesn’t look bad here. Why is my flight cancelled?

We never cancel a flight unless it is completely necessary. We follow strict guidelines about flying in poor weather conditions, and flight schedules are never disrupted without cause. 

Although weather conditions and visibility may appear suitable for flying from one location, this does not mean that the weather is suitable at the destination or on route.

Do I need travel insurance? Do you offer this?

We do not offer travel insurance, but we strongly recommend that you have sufficient travel insurance to cover disruption to your flight. 

You should ensure your insurance provides cover for, among other liabilities, delayed flights, cancellations, lost luggage and money, accidents, personal liability, and medical expenses.

If I am due a refund, when will I receive this?

We normally process your refund automatically as soon as possible, usually within five working days. 

However, if your booking was made by telephone, we will need to speak to you to process your refund, which may take a little longer. 

For full details, please see our Conditions of Carriage.

Travelling with Children Back to top

Is there a minimum age for passengers?

We welcome passengers of all ages and offer special fares for Infants (under two years old) and Children (between two and eleven years old). 

Children have the same luggage allowance as adults (20kg per person). Infants have a 10kg luggage allowance which includes a pushchair or similar. Please do inform us in advance if you are bringing any such item.

Please note there is a maximum of two infants permitted per flight.

Can my child travel unaccompanied?

This depends on their age. Passengers under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a passenger over 18 who will take full responsibility for them. Passengers between 12 and 16 years of age may travel unaccompanied, provided they have a completed consent form and a copy of their parent or guardian’s passport or identity document. Download the consent form here.

Do you offer cheaper fares for children?

Yes, a reduced fare is available for Children (between 2 and 11), and a further reduction is available for Infants (under the age of two). An infant seat belt will be provided with their carer’s seat.