Sable Aviation Logo
Frequently Asked Questions
View along runway

How much does a seat on a tourist flight cost?
We are pleased to announce that in 2024 our price for a same-day return seat will remain at last year's rate of $2,000.00* CAD (includes $415.89 fees and taxes - contact the company office for a breakdown).
*Please note there is an additional non-refundable 3% fee if paying by credit card.

How do I book a seat?
Booking requests should be made by e-mail to office@sableaviation.ca, but feel free to call the office at 902-860-3994 if you have any questions not answered here. When you make a reservation request, please include the information listed later on this page. Seats go quickly, so be sure and put your request in as soon as you know what date you want.

Reservations are for 2024 only, we do not book into the next calendar year. We will not know our dates for 2025 until January of that year, at which time will post them here and on Facebook. We will start accepting bookings for 2025 a few weeks after that.

What dates are available in 2024?
Although many flights are sold out, there are still seats on the following partially guided trips:
Jun 15 (1 seat, possibly 2 if people are small)
Aug 3 (1 small individual)
And the following fully guided trips:
Oct 26
Nov 2
All of these dates are Saturdays, which is the primary booking day, with the following day being the backup day - you must be available to travel on either day. Please refer to the question on guiding for details on partially and fully guided trips.

If none of these dates appeal to you, we keep a waitlist in case there are any cancellations - just drop us a line at office@sableaviataion.ca with your preferred date(s)!

What information should I include in my booking request?
You should indicate the number of seats requested, your preferred date (and any alternate dates that you would accept - as many as you like), the name of each passenger and their weight, fully dressed for the day, including footwear and jacket, but not including their pack. We will also require a contact number and e-mail address (if they have one) for everyone, but if you do not have contact info when you book, that's okay, just get it to us when you can.

Please be accurate when giving us the weight of passengers - we must be careful not to oversell the number of seats. Since most people only know their weight without clothing (and we don't want to fly you that way!) ideally have each one step onto a scale wearing their intended "Sable outfit". You may be surprised at how much hiking boots and layers of outerwear can weigh!

Do you have a waiting list?
Yes, we do - please send us an e-mail with the information listed above. You can request a certain date, month or even multiple months.

BN-2A Britten Norman Islander

When is payment due?
Once we have contacted you and confirmed that we have a seat available for you on your requested day, a $200/seat deposit is required to secure your seat ($206 if paying by credit card). Payment in full must be made 30 days prior to the flight and becomes non-refundable at that time unless cancelled by us due to weather, beach condition, etc. Although non-refundable, seats are fully transferrable to another person; we do not carry bookings forward from one year to the next. We recommend trip cancellation insurance, since refunds will not be given for any reason.

What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, e-transfer, or credit card (Visa or Mastercard only). Payment by credit card will incur a 3% processing fee, which unfortunately, is non-refundable in all cases (per the credit card processing company rules), including if the flight is cancelled by us due to weather, beach, etc. We value your security, so please call us if you want to pay by credit card; don't send your private information via e-mail - it is not secure.

Can I cancel my booking and get a refund?
Your payment (less credit card fees) will only be refunded if you cancel more than 30 days in advance of the flight. If you are within 30 days of the flight, the full amount is non-refundable unless the flight is cancelled by us due to weather, beach, etc. In no case are we responsible for other expenses such as travel costs to and from Halifax, meals, accommodations, etc, or difference in exchange rates from foreign currency.

Some folks whose credit card includes trip cancellation insurance prefer to pay that way, even though the 3% processing fee is non-refundable in all cases. Another option is to buy separate trip cancellation insurance, for example from Blue Cross or CAA, or have a friend who is willing to step in and purchase your seat on short notice.

Sable Island sign and horses

Do I need to contact Parks Canada for permission to visit?
No, you do not need to contact Parks Canada, we do that on your behalf, and pay all applicable fees. Parks Canada will contact you a week or so before the flight with additional information on your visit.

How many people will be on the flight?
Our aircraft is configured to carry between 6 and 8 passengers, depending on each person's weight (see next question).

Why do you need my weight?
The aircraft manufacturer has defined a maximum amount that the aircraft can safely and legally carry, so we will weigh everyone and everything that goes onto the flight to ensure that this value is not exceeded. Please be as accurate as possible when you book - hop on your bathroom scales dressed for the day, including footwear, but not a backpack. We promise to be discreet with this sensitive information.

Is there a limit on how much I can bring along in my backpack?
If the flight is close to its maximum weight, each person will be limited to 10 lb of baggage, however, as often happens, if there is weight to spare, we will increase the allotment for each person's pack. Fair warning, though - your pack will feel heavier as the day goes on!

Horses on parade

Is this a guided experience?
Trips that occur Jun-Aug are partially guided experiences, while those that happen Sep-Nov are fully guided. All guiding fees are included in the cost of your seat.

For partially guided trips, you will start your day with a 1-2 hour tour led by a Parks Canada staff member. This guided walk will provide you with an introduction to the flora and fauna of Sable Island, as well as providing you with vital information about navigating safely around the island. After that you are on your own for the rest of the day to explore the island's natural beauty.

In the fall, groups will be accompanied by a guide from Sable Aviation for the entire day; please note that you will still be responsible for bringing your own lunch and snacks. We have been flying to Sable for over 17 years and look forward to sharing our stories and the places that we love the best with you!

Because the group stays together for the day, if you think you may not be able to walk 5 or more km, you should book a partially guided experience in Jun-Aug so you will be free to go at your own pace, and stay closer to the station, where there is a place to rest out of the sun.

What if I am mobility challenged?
Sable Island is a back country-like experience, and unlike other National Parks, outside the station compound, Sable Island National Park Reserve has no boardwalks or groomed trails. The terrain is hilly and sandy underfoot, and unfortunately is not appropriate for mobility limited people or those with medical conditions that would prevent them from walking several km in the sand.

How long can we stay on the island?
We will try and give you 7-8 hours on the island, however, on very rare occasions, changing weather may necessitate an earlier departure. Since we must be airborne before dark, the shorter days of fall may slightly affect the time on island.

What is the best time of the year to visit Sable?
Sable Island is amazing no matter when you visit, but some folks wonder what month has the best chance of the flight being successful. Weather is unpredictable in this area of the world, and the only constant on Sable is change. June through July (or even mid-August) is known to local pilots as "fog season", July and August may be too dry for the beach to be landable, and September and October are hurricane season.

The temperatures on Sable Island tend to lag those on the mainland, so dressing in layers is always a good idea. June can be chilly, but summer can be quite hot with the high humidity; fall tends to remain mild.

Do flights get cancelled very often?
Unfortunately, in 2023, 1/3 of our flights were cancelled due to poor weather at Sable Island, which is about an average year. Fog, low clouds, and hurricanes are all part of the reality of flying to a sand bar in the North Atlantic. While we will do our best to get you to the island on the main or backup day, we will never depart in unsafe conditions; all of our pilots are highly experienced and hold safety as their first priority.

Are there age limits for the trip?
Due to seat configuration and limitations on safety equipment, we cannot carry children under 2 years old. That being said, Sable Island is a backcountry-like experience and a long day - we do not recommend this trip for children under the age of 12. Please let us know if you are travelling with a child or youth.

Regarding an upper age, the day is very long, and walking in soft sand requires a certain mobility - this trip may not be suitable for everyone. We will not dictate an age limit since everyone is different, but in the past we have had seniors who were simply not prepared to spend all day on the island. If in doubt, we'd be happy to discuss it with you.

Can I rent a vehicle or get a ride somewhere?
All guests are driven from the aircraft to Main Station, and back to the aircraft again at the end of the day. Other than that, there is no option to be driven to other locations or to rent a vehicle.

Grey seals

Are there government standards for compensation on cancelled seats?
If you are denied boarding due to situations within the carrier's control, or your baggage is lost or damaged, you may be entitled to certain standards of treatment and compensation under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations. For more information about passenger rights please contact our office or visit the Canadian Transportation Agency website.