Flying in a hot air balloon is an experience like no other! Float effortlessly along with the breeze with no sound other than the occasional blast from the burner and the helpful and informative chatter of your experienced and knowledgeable pilot!
If you have been lucky enough to have received a flight voucher with Bailey Balloons or are thinking of treating yourself or a loved one, read on to find out what to expect from your experience.
Booking your flight date:
Now that you have your voucher you need to choose when you want to fly! We schedule flights for every day of the flying season (March – October) offering a range of weekdays/weekends, bank holidays, morning and evening flights from all of our launch sites across the South West. You can view and book all of our flights online or by calling our dedicated booking office. Once you’ve booked your flight date you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to contact the preflight weatherline to check the status of your flight. Remember ballooning is a weather dependent activity so be sure to check if the flight is going ahead before you travel to the launch site!
On the day:
When you arrive at the launch site at the pre-arranged meeting time, you will be greeted by our friendly balloon crew who will check you in and give you a quick briefing. The balloon will be prepared and you are welcome to get involved with the setting up. Once the balloon has been laid out, cold air fans will be turned on to start inflating the balloon. Out highly experienced Pilot will give you your safety briefing and will answer any questions you may have. Once the envelope (technical term for the balloon!) is halfway inflated the Pilot will start to blow hot air from the burners to fully inflate the balloon and gently lift the balloon to a vertical position. Once the basket is in an upright position, you will be asked to board and prepare for take-off!
Launching and the Flight:
Unlike other forms of flying, hot air balloons drift gently off the ground with passengers often not realizing that they are flying straight away! As the ground and onlookers grow smaller, the landscape and views expand before your eyes! The Pilot will use the burner to heat the air in the balloon and control the altitude, floating along peacefully with the breeze for around an hour, there is so much to see it will feel like a lot longer! After around an hour of flying, the Pilot will look for a suitable landing site and will skillfully control the balloon to drift down safely – usually very smoothly but there can occasionally be a little bump on landing, depending on the conditions.
The ground crew who will have been tracking the balloon during the flight will arrive to assist with packing away the balloon. You will enjoy a glass of Champagne and a chance to view and purchase the in-flight photos which can be taken away on a USB stick, a great way to make the memories last and show friends and family! The crew will then transport you back to the original meeting location – all in all it will be a 3 – 4 hour ballooning experience.