Should I wait to book my hotel till the day before?
I will be traveling from out of town. Should I call before I leave?
What will I see on my flight? Which launch location has the most scenic flight, Round Rock or San Marcos?
Both locations provide a beautiful, scenic flight.
What is the length of the flight and the whole event?
The duration of the flight is approximately one hour; however, since hot air ballooning relies on winds which can be unpredictable, the pilot may deem it necessary due to weather or flight paths issues to land a little earlier. You should allow 3-1/2 – 4 hours should be for the whole event from the time you meet before flying until you are back to your car and ready to go.
Do I need to have someone pick me up where we land?
No. We have a chase crew that follows us on the ground during our flight, and they will transport the passengers and pilot back to where we launched from.
Is there an age limit?
We require that passengers be at least 8 years old. This is so they can see out of the basket (It is not safe to hold a child during flight.), and so they are able to remember the pilot’s pre-flight instructions for the duration of the flight and on landing. There is no upper age limit as long as the passenger is mobile and can climb in and out of the basket with only a little assistance. We have had passengers as old as 90, and they enjoyed every minute of it.
Is there a weight limit for each passenger? Why do you need my weight?
Weight is a major factor in flying a hot air balloon. Our “lift capacity” is based on a number of factors, such as outside temperature, humidity, density altitude, etc. We carefully plan the flight considering the total weight of the passengers we carry, not just an individual passenger’s weight.
What will the temperature be during the flight? What should I wear?
The temperature at the altitudes we fly will be cooler than on the surface. We suggest dressing casually and comfortably for the season. No open-toed shoes.
How do I get in and out of the basket?
You must be able to climb over the side of the basket. There is a step in the side of the basket that you will step into, swing your leg over the top, and climb into the basket. There is no graceful way to do it. We can provide a step stool and some assistance if needed. If you have special needs, please discuss this with your pilot prior to your flight.
Can I take pictures?
Yes! We encourage our passengers to take pictures and/or videos and share them on your social media or post on ours so others can see what an amazing experience you enjoyed.
Are your pilots required to have a license?
Yes. Hot air ballooning is regulated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Our pilots are required to log ground training, take an FAA regulated written test, and pass two in-flight tests with FAA examiners on board. Only after passing all tests are they awarded a license certificate for commercial hot air balloon operations.
What type of things might we be asked to assist with?
Examples of helping during your ballooning experience can include, but are not limited to, holding the throat of the balloon open during inflation, lightly putting your weight on the basket once the balloon is standing, helping to pack away the balloon, etc. It is not a requirement that you assist the pilot or the crew, but many passengers enjoy the whole experience more by being able to lend a helping hand.
What is considered good weather for a balloon flight?
Our pilots look at more than one weather forecast model and use personal observations and consider all the factors when basing the decision to fly on stay on the ground. Wind speeds, precipitation, barometric pressure, and fog or low clouds are all issues that may require us to cancel and reschedule your flight. Our regulations state that we cannot fly if the clouds are below 3,000 feet or in fog. Occasionally the wind may be calm on the ground, but too strong at higher altitudes at which we would be flying. The best flying conditions include surface winds and to the top of the balloon be below 9 mph, and winds up to 1,500 feet above the surface be at or below 19 mph. Your safety and that of the rest of the passengers and our pilots is our primary focus. The pilot always reserves the right to cancel if weather conditions are not favorable. We will call you the day before your flight to give you our latest weather update and let you know if conditions are predicted to be within our safety guidelines.
Motion sickness and/or fear of heights – Should I fly?
It has been our experience that most people with either motion sickness or a fear of heights still enjoy the experience of a hot air balloon ride. The flight is very calm and stable
Are we supposed to tip the pilot and/or crew?
Tipping is not required. As with any service-based operation, tipping is a show of gratitude for an exceptional experience. If you choose to tip, any amount is greatly appreciated and will be divided among the crew working on your flight.