Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get a window seat?

Yes, all of our planes are set up so that every passenger gets a window seat and a headset that is connected to an intercom system. You may ask your pilot questions about what you are seeing.

What flight experience do your pilots have?

The average pilot at Rust’s Flying Service has well over 5000 hours of flight time.

Do you have any photography tips?

Do not take your photos at an angle to the window. This will increase optical distortion from the windows. Keep your lens close but not touching the window, vibration from the airplane will blur your shots. Take your photos quickly, the plane is moving quickly, if you see something that you find interesting, it may be out of view the time you raise your camera. Do not use flash photography. This will just reflect your flash back into your photo. Do not use a polarization filter because plastic airplane windows will show odd patterns. The pilot will move the plane around so that everyone will get the opportunity to get photos. If you have a special request, please let the pilot know. Most importantly, if you equipment fails, just relax and enjoy the flight. A fellow passenger will probably share photos.

Can I have the co-pilot seat?

Our pilots make every effort to fly the tours so that guests on both sides of the plane receive excellent views. We can not guarantee the co-pilot seat, as the pilot may place passengers in particular seats based on weight and balance.  

What should I wear/bring?

For day trips; good walking shoes or light hiking boot, sunglasses, film/batteries, long pants, t-shirt, sweatshirt, light coat, raingear, hat. For flightseeing tours; sunglasses, film/batteries, light coat. Please do not wear sandals/heels/dress shoes.

In which aircraft will we travel?

The staff at Rust's will pick the appropriate aircraft for passenger load and conditions in ensure the highest level of safety, comfort and efficiency. If there is a specific aircraft you would like to charter, please contact the office.

What is your safety record?

We have an excellent safety record. The Rust family have owned and operated Rust's Flying Service since 1963, and K2 Aviation since 1996. Both companies are highly respected in the aviation industry of Alaska.

Will I get airsick?

It does happen. If you are prone to motion sickness, you should take whatever measures you normally take to combat it. Rust’s does not provide Dramamine. In the event you do get sick, we do have sick sacks in the airplanes and the pilot will make you aware of their location.

What is the weather going to be?

There is no way to know that in advance. We check the weather several times a day to make sure we can safely operate your trip. The best way to approach the weather is to schedule the trip you want when you want it but be open to other tours may have better weather. Waiting to see if it is a nice day before you make a reservation will work sometimes, but we do have days that we cannot accommodate short notice reservations.

Do you have shuttle service to your location?

Rust’s provides complimentary shuttle service within Anchorage from downtown hotels, the airport and airport area hotels. The shuttle will pick you up aproximately 45 minutes prior to your departure. Please inform us of any bags larger than day pack size. Shuttle service available during the summer season only.

Do you fly on weekends? Are you open year round?

In summer we are open 7 days a week, even holidays. Our office hours are approx. 6:30 am to 7:00 pm. In winter, we are open Monday through Friday, 8-ish am to 5-ish pm, and offer the McKinley Flightseeing and Glacier Wildlife tour. We are available to fly on the weekends in winter with advance notice.

Do you have helicopters?

No, we only operate floatplanes, also called seaplanes and ski planes.

Do you land on glaciers?

We mainly operate floatplanes and we land on rivers/lakes/ocean. We do offer two flights out of Anchorage that have the option of adding a glacier landing and a glacier dog sledding tour that lands on a glacier. Our Talkeetna based company, K2 Aviation, operates ski-planes for a variety of tours with glacier landings within Denali National Park.

What type and seating capacity of airplanes do you operate?

Rust’s operates four different types of aircraft. Cessna 206 5px/ Cessna 208, Caravan for 9px/ deHaviland Beaver(DHC-2) for 6-7px/ deHaviland single engine turbine Otter(DHC-3T) for 10px.

What happens if you can’t come get us?

It is extremely rare that we are unable to pick up our daytrip clients at the end of their trip. We will occasionally experience delays so do not schedule tight travel connections. We recommend that you purchase trip insurance in case weather or volcanic disturbances affect air traffic.

What credit cards do you take?

Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

Are we guaranteed to see bears?

We cannot guarantee wildlife sightings or viewings. The best part of our bear viewing tours is that the bears are wild and your able to view them in their natural habitat. We will try to match you to a bear viewing tour that will give you the best chance of seeing bears at the time you are in Alaska.

What if Rust’s cancels the trip due to weather?

If your trip is cancelled due to weather, we will work with you to reschedule for another day or you may request a refund.

Is there anyplace to eat near Rust's?

We have complimentary coffee and candy/snacks for purchase.  There are several dining options that are just a short drive from our office.  We are happy to make recommendations.

Are your trips handicap accessible?

By ADA standards, none of our trips are accessible. We can often accommodate people depending on the nature of their disability. Our vans do not have wheelchair lifts.

Is the mountain called McKinley or Denali? How tall is it?

At a formidable 20,320 feet tall, Mt. McKinley is the centerpiece of Denali National Park. While the official name is Mt. McKinley, local Alaskans refer to it a Denali, the name given to it by the native Athabaskan people where the mountain is a part of their history and culture.  Denali translates to the high one or the great one.