FAQs About Hot Air Balloon Rides

More Information

You might just have some questions for us.  Here we've put together our most popular FAQs about hot air balloon rides hoping to answer those questions.

If you're wondering what to expect during an actual hot air balloon ride, you'll find those answers here.

If our site and these questions don't quite answer a specific question you have, feel free to email us or call us and we'll be happy to speak with you.

Are Hot Air Balloon Rides Safe?

Hot air balloons are registered aircraft which follow FAA safety and maintenance standards, just like a commercial airliner. All balloon pilots are licensed and trained according to rigorous standards. In addition, specific safety mechanisms and equipment are required for every flight. Our pilots routinely attend safety seminars and continuing education programs.

How Many People Does it Take to Inflate a Hot Air Balloon

Safely launching and flying a hot air balloon typically requires two crew members. Duties of the crew include putting together and setting up the balloon, following the hot air balloon in our chase vehicle, talking with landowners and getting permission to land the hot air balloon on their property, and making sure the property is left as it was originally found.

How are Hot Air Balloons Inflated?

The hot air balloon envelope is hooked to the basket and then spread on the ground. A gasoline powered fan fills the envelope with cold air with the balloon stretched out on its side. Once the envelope is packed with air from the fan, the pilot lights a propane burner and heats up the air inside the balloon. With a few short squeezes of the burner, the hot air balloon stands upright and is ready for launch. Typically, the entire inflation takes about 15 – 20 minutes.

What Should We Wear? Does it Get Cold?

At our maximum altitude, the temperature is only a few degrees lower than on the ground. Fortunately, you have the heat of the burner to make up the difference. Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes and comfortable clothing. You want to be able to easily and comfortably get in and out of the basket. Dress in layers. Mornings can be chilly, but it warms up fast. Winter evenings cool off fast at sunset. Light jackets, sweaters, and hoodies are all good to have but not always necessary to wear.

What if I Have Medical Concerns?

Our pilots and crew are not trained medical professionals and cannot judge any medical condition as safe for flight. If in doubt, consult your physician about the suitability of a balloon flight. We must be notified before the flight of any possible medical condition which would be cause for concern.

So we can plan for a safe experience, it is important for our Team to know what limitations may be present so we can inform the passenger about ballooning including landing expectations and procedures. 

Most landings are very smooth, but occasionally the winds can pickup and we can have a fast (sometimes rough and exciting) landing.

We do not recommend Hot Air Ballooning to:

  • Pregnant
  • Anyone with recent or upcoming surgery
  • Anyone with neck, leg, or back injuries that could affect their ability to step up into or down out of the basket
  • Anyone who cannot stand for over a hour and be able to hold on and brace for landing

Please call us direct if you have any concerns and need more information.

What About Wheelchairs?

Unfortunately, wheelchair-bound passengers cannot be accommodated in our balloons. There are only a handful of specially-equipped wheelchair hot air balloons in existence in the world. Ask us to help you find a qualified flight provider.

Are There Rules Regarding Intoxication?

Per FAA regulations, passengers clearly under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot and will not be flown. Refunds will not be given for those who arrive in such a state.

Please do not bring alcoholic drinks on board and please for your safety and enjoyment do not drink alcohol prior to your flight. Use of alcohol or drugs prior to flight is not recommended and could cause an unsafe situation. Marijuana is strictly prohibited aboard the balloon and cannot be carried by passengers.

How Do You Steer a Hot Air Balloon?

Hot air balloons float with the wind. Pilots control the temperature of the balloon using a propane burner to heat the air inside the balloon causing it to rise and descend. Winds move in different directions at different elevations. By controlling the temperature in the balloon, Pilots can use the different wind directions for steering. For more about this, check out our blog article that goes into additional details.

Why Do Flight Times Vary?

Seasonal meeting times apply because ballooning is best just after sunrise and just before sunset. That is when the air is the coolest and calmest.

What Time Do We Meet for Sunrise Balloon Rides?

Please allow three to three and a half hours for your full experience. Consult our “Live” schedule found by clicking the book now button for seasonal time schedule.

What Time Do We Meet for Sunset Balloon Rides?

Please allow three to three and a half hours for your full experience. Consult our “Live” schedule found by clicking the book now button for seasonal time schedule.

What's the Youngest Passenger You'll Fly?

We do not recommend hot air ballooning for children 5 and under. The burner is very loud for most children. The basket edge is approximately 46 inches tall so children cannot see over the sides.

Are There Weight Restrictions?

Hot Air Balloons, like other aircraft, carrying commercial passengers are certified Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aircraft with maximum weight limitations. “Gross weight” as it is referred impacts the characteristics of the Balloon's flight performance.

At the time of booking, we do ask weight information, it gives us the best opportunity to accommodate our total group load and stay within the Gross weight limitation set by the Balloon size. Unlike many Hot Air Balloon companies, we do not charge extra for passengers weighing more than 200 lbs. We do reserve the right to decline your reservation if it impacts the total passenger load for that flight. In the event this occurs we will work with each passenger or group to find other options.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride - Snohomish Style

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Shared Flight 2-10 Passengers

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