“It’s a beautiful day so why have you cancelled my hot air balloon ride?”

We often get asked this question by frustrated would-be passengers. When you are told that your flight is cancelled it is incredibly disappointing, especially if it is a clear day and the sun is shining. We understand this very well.

When we cancel our flights due to the weather our sole purpose is to ensure the safety of our passengers. If there’s a slight chance weather conditions are not going to be 100% safe for our passengers on a particular flight then our Virgin Balloon Flights pilots will take the decision to call the flight off.

Our pilots are highly qualified and governed by the laws of the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Many of our pilots are worldwide record holders in their field so rest assured you are in extremely capable hands. Weather conditions are assessed right up until take-off so there is still a possibility that your flight may be cancelled at the launch site. Again, this would be the pilot’s last but necessary resort but may happen if weather reports were incorrect or conditions deteriorate.

Our pilots assessments are based on weather reports from the MET office and local airports and also take into consideration wind speed, visibility, ground conditions for landing, cloud level and precipitation.

To improve your chances of getting airborne, if weather conditions look more favourable from your launch site’s back-up site then your pilot may schedule the flight from there instead.

Before your flight you are requested to telephone your designated flight line to listen to your flight status message from your pilot.

Do not get too disheartened if your flight is cancelled due to the weather as your balloon ride voucher will automatically be extended if your voucher is towards the end of its validity to allow you to book onto another flight. If you have a refundable ticket and your flight is cancelled 7 or more times you are entitled to a refund or exchange of gift experience (more info in our T&Cs).

Remember; what feels and looks like perfect weather conditions to you at ground level can be extremely different at 5,000ft. It is due to our pilots’ careful assessment of weather conditions that ballooning is such a safe and enjoyable activity. So, if you are cancelled, please be patient, we absolutely promise a flight with us is worth the wait. If you don’t believe us, see here for some independent reviews.

You may also like: Why do hot air balloon flights happen at dawn and dusk?

And our FAQs page.