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Frequently Asked Questions

We try to answer any questions related to your hot air balloon ride below however if you are still not sure we have answered your question fully please do not hesitate to contact us via hello@balloonsoverbritain.co.uk.

Hot air balloons rides are a truly amazing experience and we aim to deliver you or the gift receiver an memorable experience.

The Flight

What time of day do flights take place?

Balloon flights take place approximately 1 hour after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset, and so the times vary throughout the year as the days get longer or shorter. In summer it can be as early as 5am and as late as 6:30pm, whilst in winter it’s more like 8am and 3:30pm!
Balloons are not flown during the middle of the day because the sun heats the ground creating thermals and unstable flying conditions.

What time of year do you fly?

This may vary between our operators, but generally the flying season is from the start of March to the end of October.

How long does the flight take?

The flight itself lasts around 1 hour, however please allow 3 to 4 hours for the whole adventure. It is not an experience to be rushed.

How far do balloon flights go?

Balloons are directed by the wind and as a result we do not know how far we will go! To put it simply, if the wind is stronger we will go further. On average we travel approximately 10 miles from our launch site.

When is the best time of year to go flying?

There is no ‘best’ time as it is totally personal preference! Frosty mornings are just as beautiful as warm summer evenings. Generally, flights are more likely to go in the summer months but they are not necessarily better. We all know the weather can be unpredictable whatever the time of year!

What are the ideal weather conditions for ballooning?

Ballooning requires light winds, good visibility, dry weather and firm ground conditions in order to operate. Without these specific parameters it would be dangerous and irresponsible to go flying. If a pilot cancels a flight it is because they are putting your safety first.

What should I wear to go ballooning?

When going ballooning you should dress for a countryside adventure. We recommend sensible shoes or boots, long trousers and sleeves, and also a hat! This will help to protect your head from the heat of the burner. Please keep in mind that it is no colder in the balloon than on the ground, so you don’t always need your big coats in the summer months!

Can I bring a camera?

Yes! Bring your camera and plenty of memory card space! Please be aware that you are bringing these items at your own risk.

Can we fly over my house?

Balloons cannot be steered and every flight is different. We cannot guarantee that we will fly in a particular direction, such as over your house or town.

How do we get back to the launch site after the flight?

Wherever the balloon lands, we are picked up by our ground crew. After the balloon has been packed away, we all travel back to the launch site by road and return you to your cars.

Where will we land?

We don’t know! That’s part of the adventure – balloons cannot be steered and we never know where we are going to end up! Usually we end up in a farmer’s field or similar terrain.

What is the landing like?

The landing is the most unpredictable part of the flight but also the most exciting and often people’s favourite! Flying in a balloon is very serene and gentle whilst in the air, but when landing the basket occasionally tips or drags along the ground before coming to a halt. This is perfectly normal and how balloons have landed for hundreds of years. You will be in a particular safety position (which will be demonstrated at the pre-flight safety briefing) in a basket specially designed for commercial balloon flight passengers.

Can my friends and family come and watch?

Spectators are more than welcome to watch the balloon launch, but we don't recommend they try to follow the balloon by road for safety reasons. You will be transported back to the launch site by our team.

Where do you fly from?

We fly from a variety of launch sites across the England and Wales which can all be found on our locations page.

When do you meet?

We meet at the designated launch site around 30 minutes before takeoff. You are more than welcome to arrive earlier than this to watch the team prepare the balloon. The exact meeting time will be confirmed on the flight line number that you'll call prior to your flight.

How do I know if my flight is on or off?

Once you register with an operator, they will provide specific details regarding this. But, generally speaking, you will call a flight line telephone number where your pilot will have left a message with full instructions. You call this number on the morning of your flight for sunset flights, or the night before your flight for sunrise flights.

Your Booking

What happens if my flight is cancelled?

If your flight is cancelled then you can simply rebook for another date! You can do this on your operator’s website or by calling their office. Many passengers fly on their first attempt, and most fly within a few attempts. Remember, ballooning is a weather dependent activity so having cancellations is normal.

How long is my voucher valid for?

Our vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.

How much notice must I give to reschedule my flight date?

We request at least 3 working days notice (not including the day of the flight) if you wish to reschedule your flight date, so just give your operator’s office a call or drop them an email! We will make exceptions at shorter notice for extenuating and extreme circumstances, such as medical emergencies – in which case we would require medical documentation to keep your vouchers valid.

Is my voucher refundable?

Beyond the 14 day cooling period our vouchers are non-refundable (except for the Premium Plus voucher), please be aware of this before purchasing a voucher, particularly when buying for others.

How far ahead should I book a flight date?

We suggest booking 6 to 8 weeks in advance to guarantee a specific date. For more popular dates such as weekends or bank holidays please allow more than 8 weeks.

The Balloon

How many people are in the basket?

Our baskets vary in size from 8 to 16 passengers.

Does the balloon basket have doors?

Our balloon baskets do not have doors, instead we require you to climb into the basket using the foot holes on the side of the basket. This is similar to climbing over a five bar gate and requires some agility. Assistance may be given to those who require it.

Restrictions & Safety

Is there an age restriction?

There is a minimum age of 7 years and all passengers must be at least 4ft 6in (140cm) tall. This is to ensure their safety and enjoyment of the flight. Under 16's must be accompanied by a responsible adult aged 18+.

Is there a weight restriction?

Weight supplements apply for those over 20 stone in weight or those over 18 stone and under 6ft tall. Passengers should contact our office to discuss options as we need to ensure that the total weight of passengers on the flight does not exceed the operational limit.

Can I fly if I have a disability?

We recognise that some disabilities present greater difficulties than others with regards to ballooning. Our team is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are given the opportunity to fly and therefore we request that you inform us of any disabilities when booking so that we can do our best to meet the passenger’s needs. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, we are unable to fly anyone who is confined to a wheelchair.

Can I fly with a medical condition?

If you have any medical conditions or have recently received surgery it is best to check with your doctor that you are fit to fly. It is important that you inform us of any medical or physical conditions that could affect your safety or the safety of your fellow passengers.

Do I need to be physically fit to fly?

Ballooning requires a small degree of physical flexibility. You must be able to climb in and out of the basket using the footholds which is the equivalent to climbing over a farm gate. Assistance may be given by our crew to those who need it. You must also be able to stand for the duration of the 60 to 90 minute flight.

Can I fly if I am pregnant?

Unfortunately you cannot fly if you are pregnant. If you find out you are pregnant during the validity of your voucher then please get in touch and we will happily extend it accordingly.

Is ballooning dangerous?

Ballooning is extremely safe and is heavily regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority. However, ballooning activities intrinsically involve the possibility of physical risks greater than those encountered in everyday life, even though they are conducted under the supervision of commercial pilots who exercise all due precautions to ensure safety. By partaking in such ballooning activities passengers are understood to be fully aware of these risks.

Am I insured to fly?

We carry insurance cover for any legal liability we may be found to have to you for any injury you may sustain, or for damage sustained by your belongings during the course of the flight, or when embarking or disembarking. However, English law in some circumstances sets maximum limits on our legal liability to you that you might deem inadequate to compensate any loss. In this scenario you may wish to consider getting your own additional insurance.

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