Frequently Asked Questions
The main flying season for scheduled flights is from late March to early November. Flights are scheduled 7 days a week, morning and evening throughout the main flying season. During the winter months it is less ikely that we will be able to fly, however passengers may elect to go on ‘winter standby’ and receive last minute advice of spaces on flights via SMS or email at times of suitable flying weather. As flight vouchers are valid for 12 months an open dated champagne balloon flight voucher purchased over the winter makes an excellent present, that can be used in the coming spring.
Balloon flights are made either early in the morning or in the evening, when the air is at its stillest. Times depend on sunrise and sunset, for example May meeting times are around 6.00am and 6.00pm.
Ballooning is an experience NOT to be rushed. The actual balloon flight is approximately 1 hour. It is very important that passengers arrive at the meeting point at the correct time. It will sometimes be necessary to transport passengers from the meeting point to an alternative local launch site, owing perhaps to the wind direction. They will always be returned to the original meeting point at the end of the flight. For this reason you should allow at least 4 hours for the complete experience. Passengers are advised not to book a restaurant following an evening flight, as the return time cannot be guaranteed. Longer duration flights may be arranged on an ‘exclusive’ basis.
No special clothing is required. Sensible outdoor clothes and footwear suitable for wearing in the countryside at the time of year will be fine. Remember the grass may be damp, and you may encounter the odd cowpat. No sandals or high heels please. A hat may be useful to protect your head from the heat. Ladies wear trousers please.
Ballooning is like serendipity, which is the art of making happy and unexpected discoveries by chance. Where the balloon goes is entirely dependent on the wind, no two flights are the same. A balloon cannot be steered and travels with the wind, so it is not possible to guarantee a flight over a particular house, town or village.
Yes, a choice of champagne or soft drinks are available during the flight.
This again is dependent on the wind. You may travel anything from 2 to 25 miles with the average distance covered being about 10 miles. Altitude wise, the flight will normally be between 500 and 3500 feet above ground level.
They are welcome to watch the balloon inflation and launch. If an alternative launch site to the meeting location is used, they will have to make their own way there and back.
No. If we consider the weather safe, the flight will take place. Living in the British Isles, it is not possible to guarantee sunshine. Flights will not take place in rain or fog. If you wish to postpone your flight date you must give the minimum period of notice in accordance with our terms and conditions.
You may postpone your flight by speaking to us direct (office hours 9:30am - 5:30pm Monday to Friday):-
Up to 72 hours before the meeting time for the flight which you have booked if your flight has been booked for a day between Tuesday and Saturday inclusive.
Up to 96 hours before the meeting time for the flight which you have booked if your flight has been booked for a Sunday or a Monday; provided that at the time you do so you re-schedule your flight for a mutually convenient date within one month of the postponed flight. An out of office hours answering machine message or e-mail is not acceptable as a method of postponement.
If you do not turn up for your flight you will not be entitled to reschedule your flight nor will you be entitled to any refund. Please see our Terms & Conditions.
It must be understood that ballooning is dependent upon suitable weather and ground conditions, as we require reasonable vehicle and trailer access onto the launch and landing sites. You will need to telephone our pre-flight weather information line prior to the flight to check if the flight is proceeding. If it is postponed you simply rebook for another convenient day.
As a general rule you should book your flight three/four weeks in advance. Longer if for a weekend evening or a bank holiday. You can check date availability and reserve your space by calling the Aerosaurus office or visiting our on-line flight availability page.
Yes, and twice as much film/card memory as you think you might need but you are responsible for looking after your camera and personal possessions.
On a standard flight you will be joining a group of other people. The balloon baskets are divided into compartments for your safety, and there will not be any more than four passengers in any one compartment. You may book just one person, or as many as you wish. Alternatively you may like to book an exclusive flight where you have an entire balloon to yourselves (plus the pilot of course!).
Yes, we are certified by the Civil Aviation Authority and all our pilots hold full Commercial Pilot Licences. We carry limited insurance cover against risk of injury to passengers during flights in accordance with international agreements covering air transport. Additionally we carry personal effects cover up to a maximum of £1000 per passenger.
There is no upper age limit, but passengers must be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the basket, which is about 42 inches (1.1 M) high. Children must be at least 7 years old, over 4’ 6” high (1.4 M), and accompanied by an adult. For operational reasons there will be a surcharge for passengers whose weight exceeds 18 stone (114 kg), if you think this may be the case please call us.
We are not qualified to express an opinion on whether you are fit to fly, please discuss with your doctor prior to purchasing a voucher. You must not fly if you are suffering from any serious medical condition or have recently undergone surgery, unless you have a certificate of your fitness to fly from your doctor. You must not fly if you are pregnant or under the influence of drink or drugs. If a passenger requires to carry medication during the flight they must inform the pilot in advance.
There are many differing levels of disabilities, please check with us first before booking a flight. It is possible for us to fly people with reduced mobility from our launch sites in Bristol, Bath or South Wales where we operate a balloon with seating - please call Bailey Balloons to discuss your requirements on 01275 375300.
You first need to purchase a flight voucher(s) which will entitle the passenger(s) to a hot air balloon flight. The passenger must then log into the Passenger Area of our web site, where they are able to view and book on flights. Remember, balloon flights depend upon suitable weather and ground conditions and therefore you may have to book onto more than one flight before getting flown.