Frequently Asked Questions

When is the flying season?

This may vary depending upon the geographic area, but generally the flying season is from the start of March to the end of October.

What is the best time of year to fly?

Your operator will only fly you when the weather is suitable, whatever the time of year. Do not be misled into thinking it is best to go in “the summer” because you think that at other times it may be cold. Whether spring, summer or autumn it is far warmer on the flight than you imagine, and in fact some of the best flights are at the start and end of the season when the Spring and Autumn colours at their most striking.

What time of day do the flights take place?

Balloon flights usually take place within two hours of dawn and around two hours before dusk, as this is when the air is at its most stable. Therefore, flight times will vary throughout the year coinciding with sunrise and sunset. For example, May meeting times are around 6.00am and 6.00pm.

Where do we meet?

Full meeting instructions will be sent to you by the Operator when you register your voucher.

How long does it take?

The balloon flight itself generally lasts for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Our aim, however is to make your trip one of the most memorable experiences possible, and thus you should allow a total of at least 4 hours to accommodate the additional procedures and celebrations. Passengers and spectators are invited to participate in the pre and post flight preparation and dismantling of the balloon and this is all part of the experience. It is very important that you arrive at the meeting point at the correct time, as it will sometimes be necessary to transport you a short distance from the meeting point to an alternative launch site, owing to the wind direction or local conditions.

What do I wear?

You should wear clothing suitable for a country walk appropriate to the time of year, preferably of natural fibres – ladies, please wear trousers if possible. Additionally, a hat or cap may be useful to protect your head from the heat of the burners. Sensible walking shoes or boots are recommended, preferably waterproof, and stiletto heels or sandals should be avoided. Space is restricted in the basket, so please avoid bringing large rucksacks and bags.

How far will I travel and how high up will I go?

The distance travelled will be dependent on the wind during your flight, and can be any distance between 8 to 15 miles on average.

Will the Operator allow me to choose a Launch Site?

The Operator will select a takeoff point that will enable the balloon to stay away from restrictions, such as air traffic control zones, and allow a safe and lengthy flight. The takeoff point will therefore be dictated by the conditions on the day, and it is impossible to predict the actual site at the time of your booking.

Is it a champagne flight?

A choice of champagne, Bucks Fizz or soft drinks will be available either during or after the flight, depending on the facilities offered by the Operator.

What happens to friends and followers who are not flying?

They are welcome to watch the balloon launch, but if an alternative launch site to the meeting location is used, the Operator cannot assume responsibility for transporting them either to or from the meeting point. We are also not able to guarantee what facilities, if any, will be available at the meeting point.

What happens if the weather is unsuitable for ballooning?

It must be understood that ballooning is very weather dependent. You will be asked to phone the Operator, or a recorded Flight Information Line, prior to the flight to check the weather. If unsuitable, you simply rebook for another convenient day either on-line through the Operator’s website, or by telephone, as appropriate. It is normal practice not to make a decision regarding a morning flight until either late the previous evening, or even early on the actual morning of your flight. Some weather decisions are not made until approximately around 2 hours prior to pre-flight check in time, and we therefore strongly recommend that where possible passengers arrange their flights in an area no more than 2 hours travelling distance from their home or where they are staying.

If I wish, may I change my flight to another area?

Yes. Whether after a weather postponement, or even before your first flight date, you may change to another Balloons Over Britain Operator. Simply contact your Operator to make the necessary arrangements.

If I need to postpone or alter my flight reservation, how much notice should I give?

You may postpone or change your flight reservation with the following notice, provided that you do so by telephone:

At least two full working days before the meeting time for the flight, if your flight is booked for a day between Tuesday to Saturday inclusive;

At least three full working days before the meeting time for the flight, if your flight is booked for a Sunday or Monday.

“Working days” mean Monday to Friday inclusive.

Can I take a camera?

In fact, we recommend it. Please note, however that personal effects are carried at your own risk and we cannot accept any responsibility for loss or damage to the equipment. You will be asked to turn off any mobile telephones before take-off, or switch to Airplane Mode if you intend to use it to take photos during the flight.

Is it safe?

Ballooning activities intrinsically involve the possibility of physical risks greater than those encountered in daily life, even though they are conducted under the supervision of commercial pilots who exercise all due precautions to ensure safety. By taking part in such ballooning activities passengers are understood to be fully aware of these risks. All Balloons Over Britain Operators are certified and regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority and all the pilots hold full Commercial Pilot Licences, and passengers are covered by combined single limit insurance to current European standards.

Is there an age or weight limit?

There is no upper limit, but you must be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the basket, which is usually about 42 inches (1.1 m) high, and stand for around an hour. Children must be at least 8 years old, and over 4’ 6” high (1.4 m). A child under the age of 16 years will only be flown if accompanied by a responsible adult appointed by the parent(s) or guardian. In the interests of safety and operational requirements we cannot undertake the carriage of passengers whose declared weight exceeds 18 stones (114 kg).

Medical Conditions?

We are not qualified to express an opinion concerning your fitness to fly and you must ensure that you are fit to fly. You must not fly if you are suffering from any significant medical condition, or have recently undergone surgery, and we may ask you to provide a certificate of your fitness to fly from your doctor or specialist. It is necessary that you disclose any aspect of your medical or physical condition that could be considered to affect your safety or the safety of others. You must not fly if you are pregnant or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Can I fly with a disability?

We welcome the participation of disabled people in our experiences, though we recognize that to be able to participate safely in a Hot Air Balloon Flight certain disabilities may present greater difficulties than others. We are committed to ensuring that customers with disabilities are given every opportunity to participate, so we require that you tell us about any disability, even if you do not consider that it is a disability, at the time of ordering. Such information is needed to allow us to respond to our duty of care for your safety. This enables us to do our best to meet the participant’s particular needs if possible. We will be happy to provide information about the disabled facilities available at specific venues on request. Sadly for safety reasons we are unable to fly any person who is confined to a wheelchair.

Can I add additional passengers to my voucher?

You may add additional passengers to your voucher by using the secure area of our web site or call us on 01892 534 314 and we will be pleased to add additional passengers.