About the Flight

About The Balloon Flight

At what time of day do we fly?

Hot air balloon flights are made either early in the morning or in the evening, when the air is at it's stillest. Flight times vary throughout the year and depend on the length of daylight hours.

 

When is the best time to fly?

We are often asked whether it is better to fly in the morning or towards the end of the day. This is like trying to choose which is more spectacular, sunrise or sunset. Only those people who don't mind getting up early in the morning know the answer to this!

 

What happens if the weather is unsuitable for ballooning?

Ballooning is very weather dependant and passengers are asked to telephone the appropriate Flight Area Information Line prior to the flight. If the weather is unsuitable for flying then simply rebook your flight for another day.

 

When are flights available?

Our main flying season is March to October, although Exclusive flights (for 2 - 3 passengers) are available all year round.

 

Do flights take place during the winter months?

Exclusive flights are available all year round, although the best time to fly is between March and October. Our larger balloons fly between March and October.

 

Is it safe?

Yes, ballooning has an excellent safety record and our flights are fully certificate by the Civil Aviation Authority.

 

Is insurance included?

Yes, insurance is included in the price paid.

 

Is there an age limit?

From 9 to 90+, but children aged 16 or under must be accompanied by an adult. With more elderly guests the only requirement is that they are adventurous by nature and fit enough to stand unsupported in a wicker balloon basket for the hour's flight.

 

Medical conditions?

Women who are pregnant must not go ballooning. Please note: we are not qualified to express an opinion as to whether you are or are not fit to fly, if you are unsure please consult your GP.

 

Can I fly with a disability?

We have flown many disabled people but as you will appreciate there are many different levels of disability. A good test is that you must be capable of climbing into the balloon basket unaided and stand unsupported for one hour. You must not fly if you are suffering from any serious medical condition or have recently undergone surgery. If you are unsure please consult your GP.

 

Where do we meet?

All passengers receive a copy of our Booking & Meeting Arrangements. These contain detailed maps and instructions on how to access our many launch sites.

 

What do I wear?

No special clothing is required, just dress as if you are going for a walk in the countryside. Good stout shoes are recommended as the balloon may well land in a farmers field and you could encounter the odd cowpat! If you are quite tall, or thinning on top, you may want to wear a hat as this will shield you from the radiant heat of the balloon's burner.

 

How long does it take?

Allow 3 to 4 hours for the round trip and please note that ballooning is a treat to be savoured not rushed, each flight is different and timings vary. As a guide the actual flying time will be around 1 hour.

 

What happens to friends and followers who are not flying?

All are very welcome to watch the balloon launch, but it will not be possible for friends or followers to travel in the balloon retrieve vehicle. If they want to follow the balloon by road, or if we transfer to an alternative launch site, followers must be fully independent and use their own transport.

 

Can I fly over my house, town or village?

Where the balloon goes is entirely dependent on the wind speed and direction. No two flights are ever the same and we rarely land in the same place twice.

 

How far will I travel?

The distance travelled is determined by the wind speed, which varies both in strength and direction at different heights. As a general rule of thumb the average distance covered in an hour's flight would be 10 miles.

 

How high will I go?

This will depend on the weather conditions on the day. The flight is likely to vary between 500 and 3000 feet.

 

Once I buy a voucher how long in advance do I need to book my flight?

As a general rule you should book your flight some two to three weeks in advance or your required date, although flights can often be booked with less notice.

 

Can I take a camera?

Yes, but you are responsible for looking after your camera and any other personal possessions taken with you on the flight.

 

Is there a minimum number of people?

No, you may book for just one person or arrange a group.

 

Can I have a balloon to myself or arrange a flight from a special location?

Yes, this may be arranged as long as the launch site is suitable and free from airspace restrictions. A site visit may be required and there may be a charge for this

 

Flight information

Please find below the list of flight area information numbers to call if you are booked onto a flight:

Bath 0117 947 1024

Bristol  0117 947 1023

Gloucestershire 0117 947 1078

Somerset  0117 947 1056

Usk & Wye Valley 0117 947 1041

Westonbirt  0117 947 1034

If you have booked an exclusive private flight for 2, 3 or 4 please use 0117 947 1026

For all fights (exclusive or shared) from The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta please use the Bristol flight line number above

Frequently asked questions

Links to other sites that may be of interest.

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