19 year old Catherine Barber and her three brothers from York Catherine with her mum Ann and dad Chris after their balloon flight chipped in to treat their mum Ann, 62, to a surprise birthday gift, a balloon ride with Virgin Balloon Flights launching from York Racecourse. Catherine was lucky enough to be a hop-in passenger and took to the skies for the birthday celebrations too! “I managed to book the flight for her actual birthday and she didn’t have a clue about it! I picked her up from my brother’s house with my dad and told her we were going out for tea, when we approached York Racecourse I gave her the red envelope with the tickets inside” said Catherine. Although the pair of vouchers the siblings had purchased were for Mum, Ann and Dad Chris,54, pilot Martin Collinson invited Catherine to jump on board as someone else had not shown up for their flight. “I only bought the vouchers and booked the flights 3 weeks beforehand, it was so fortunate that there was a flight on my Mum’s birthday AND that I managed to get on it too! My Mum has already raved about it to everyone, so she definitely wants to try and go up again. Overall it was an amazing experience to spend time in the sky looking across my beautiful home city with the people I love the most!” Happy birthday to Ann from everyone here at Virgin Balloon Flights. You too can surprise that special someone with a Virgin hot air balloon ride; more information on how to take to the skies with us is available here.