Over the years, we’ve had loads of passengers who are nervous flyers. However, they say the best way to overcome your fears is to face them, and many people have done just that.

Chris Carter from Leicestershire is one of our most recent nervous flyers. He accompanied his wife, Lisa on a sunrise flight from Grantham (Stoke Rochford Hall).

Pictured Left: Chris and Lisa on their Virgin Hot Air Balloon Ride.

“I originally purchased the balloon flight voucher as a Christmas gift for my wife. She’s always been fascinated with hot air balloons ever since she watched the TV show Wacaday when Timmy Mallet flew in a balloon over Kenya,” says Chris.

“When it came to booking the flight Lisa made it quite clear that she wasn’t going to go on her own, and she wanted to share the experience with me.

“I was a reluctant flyer and quite nervous at the prospect of going up in a balloon.”

Despite feeling apprehensive, Chris wasn’t going to let Lisa down and faced his fears by taking the short trip to their launch site in Grantham.

On the Day of the Balloon Flight….

“We were the first to arrive, so we rang our pilot, Rebecca, to double-check that we were in the right location. Soon afterwards more passengers began to arrive - many of them had been unlucky and had flights cancelled due to bad weather. Fortunately for us, this was our first booking, and the weather conditions were perfect for launch.”

The invitation to help inflate the balloon was an ideal way for passengers to get to know each other and also eased Chris’s nerves.

“The experience was pleasantly very ‘hands-on’ with the majority of the passengers mucking in and helping with the balloon inflation. I think everybody was taken aback by the sheer size of the balloon.”

Our Pilot Made Us Feel Completely Safe…

Chris’s worries were quickly diminished after the smooth, gentle take-off, and their pilot’s professional, friendly nature ensured the couple that they were in great hands.

“The launch was strange as you’re sat down and don’t realise how quickly you take off because it’s such a smooth experience.

“Rebecca put us at total ease throughout the flight. She answered all questions, pointed out interesting views and had the most amazing selfie stick – the camera was rigged up on ropes and was several feet away from the balloon, so ideal for taking photos.

Finishing the Experience in Style

Chirs said all passengers on their flight seemed to enjoy the balloon ride, and the ‘mucking in’ aspect made the experience even more fun.

"We landed near Stamford, and everyone got involved with the packing up of the balloon afterwards, which we all enjoyed.

“The Champagne toast was also a lovely way to round off the experience.”

Chris’s tip for future passengers:

“The Champagne is served in a silver goblet, so it’s best to have a little drink of water in the goblet first, as the champagne then pours better afterwards.”

Second Sky High Experience on the Horizon?

Chris and Lisa plan to take their daughter Madeleine up on a flight so she can experience the magic, too.

“Madeleine can’t wait to be tall enough to experience a hot air balloon ride. We’d definitely go again, and I’ll be much less nervous the next time.

He also points out that passengers should prepare themselves for cancellations due to the ‘great’ British weather.

“I think that patience is key when booking as our weather can be very temperamental.

“Our flight was brought forward by an hour, and we moved launch locations due to the weather conditions. From speaking to our fellow passengers, quite a few had experienced flight cancellations, so we definitely felt lucky to fly on our first attempt.

“Despite my initial reservations about going in a balloon, I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Pilot Rebecca Cains offers her advice for people with flying fears.

“I have never flown anyone who has not enjoyed it, despite how nervous they may have been. You need to just feel the fear and do it anyway, you will not be sorry, just enlightened.”

Chris’s Advice for People Nervous About the Flight….

“Just go for it! You'll never forget the experience.”

Chris Describes Ballooning in Three Words….

“Tranquil, serene, amazing.”