Dane Hegland from Denver, Colorado is the first person we’ve ever known to fly with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Balloon Flights all in one day!

Dane wanted to surprise his wife Puja who is currently living in Harrow while she waits for her green card to join Dane in the US.

The couple loves everything outdoors, from trekking to camping, so Dane thought a hot air balloon ride was the perfect birthday gift.

“I wasn’t able to be with Puja for her birthday this year, so wanted to get her something extra special; an experience we could share at another time, but also something tangible,” says Dane.

“I’ve always wanted to go in a hot air balloon ever since I watched my parents go up in one when I was eight. I followed them in the chase car, before climbing in the basket to join them for the Champagne toast (mine was sparking apple juice).”

To ensure Puja had something special to open on her birthday, Dane ordered one of our gift baskets, which included a bottle of Champagne, chocolates, and the balloon flight vouchers.“It was a real surprise and she absolutely loved it – I knew I’d picked the perfect gift.”

We Wouldn’t Fly with Anyone Else

Virgin Atlantic Review:

Virgin Atlantic is Dane and Puja’s airline of choice as the superior service and comfort have never failed to disappoint them throughout their long-distance relationship.

“We have been fortunate enough to visit each other frequently and Virgin has been our airline of choice,” says Dane.

“It’s the small touches, like the travel bag and food that really set the Virgin flights apart – they cover all things I need, want, and consistently forget on international flights.”

Dane flew into London one sunny May morning and as the unpredictable British weather was on their side, the couple were able to head down to their balloon flight launch site in Knebworth, Hertfordshire.

A Romantic Experience in the Sky

Virgin Balloon Flights Review:

For Dane and Puja, many aspects made the experience unforgettable.

“Something that really sticks out for me was when the burners weren’t ignited and we were floating along in silence admiring the countryside patterns of green and bright yellow fields - it was magic!

“There wasn’t much talking on the flight, mostly just ‘ooooohs’ and ‘wows’. It was incredibly romantic.”

As the couple are quite adventurous, heights were never going to be an issue for them, but Dane says he would recommend a balloon flight even to friends who are a little more nervous.

“In the basket, you feel very secure, you can always sit down for a break - the experience should not be missed.

“The landing gave us a splash of excitement, and I love how there is no exact science as to where the landing will take place. The wind on the ground had picked up while we were in the air - it was exhilarating to sit down and grab a hold of the rope handles while the basket skidded to a final stop on its side.

“A really fun part of the experience and the pilot prepped us and handled it with ease so we never felt uncomfortable.”

Dane describes his day on two flights as ‘spectacular and ‘on another level’.

“Flying into London and then the weather holding out for our balloon ride was just perfect. It’s been the topic of conversation with all our friends and family ever since.

“I can’t say enough good things about the Virgin brand. I appreciate the attention paid to making sure your experiences are quality. Thank you!”