STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR FLIGHT VOUCHER
The first step in taking life higher on a hot air balloon ride adventure is to buy your flight voucher.
We offer a range of vouchers to suit all budgets.
Our printed flight vouchers and gift extras are sent out by Royal Mail first class post, or you can choose Express for next day delivery*.
Or as a last minute gift or for those who simply can’t wait even a day for their vouchers to arrive, get instant delivery by choosing the e-voucher option at checkout.
All of our hot air balloon ride vouchers are non-refundable except the Any Day Morning Or Evening Plus, which does offer a weather refund option subject to conditions.
*Orders placed before 3pm, Monday to Thursday. See full delivery details here.
Which Voucher Is For Me?
This all depends on how flexible you can be when booking your flight.
Our national vouchers can be used for any of our 100-plus launch sites across the UK.
Our Any Day Morning Or Evening voucher has the greatest flexibility, as it can be used for a morning or evening flight any day of the week, including weekends.
And to round things off, you can add a weather refund option to our 7-day voucher to make it an Any Day Morning Or Evening Plus voucher.
STEP 2: BOOK YOUR HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
Now that you have your fabulous hot air balloon ride voucher in your hands, you can book onto a flight.
Head over to our online booking page here and create an account.
You will then have access to all the available flights we have for you and it is simply a case of picking which one is best for you.
Our hot air balloons fly from March to October, with some regional variations and dates for the following season become available at the end of each current season.
Once you have booked a flight, we will send you a booking confirmation by email, which includes full instructions on what to do next, including how to check whether your flight will be going ahead.
If you need any help with booking your flight, drop our customer service team a line and we'll be happy to help.
STEP 3: CHECK IF YOUR FLIGHT IS GOING AHEAD
Your booking confirmation includes the number for your Flight Information Line, which you need to call at the right time to check whether or not your flight is going ahead and for any other important information and instructions the pilot needs you to know.
For morning flights, you need to call at 11pm the night before, while for evening flights, you need to call between 2pm the day of your flight, except for flights in March, September and October when you should call at 12noon.
If your flight is going ahead, listen carefully to the full message and follow any instructions the pilot issues on his flight line. It is vital you listen to the entire message to ensure you know exactly where and when to meet, just in case the flight location has been changed to a back up site or there are any other changes the pilot may have had to make.
Hot air ballooning is a fully weather dependent activity and there is a chance that your flight could be cancelled if conditions are not suitable. If this does happen, it is a simple process to re-book onto on the next available flight through your online account.
STEP 4: ON THE DAY
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the launch site – we are a commercial aviation company and the flight will go ahead without you if you do not arrive on time, just as with any regular airline.
Each of our pilots has an ’emergency’ mobile phone that they will turn on about one hour before the flight in case you have any problems on route. The number for this can be found on your booking confirmation.
For the flight itself, we recommend clothing similar to what you would wear for a countryside walk, including sensible footwear and a coat or jacket, as even in the summer it can get a bit chilly at 2,000 feet. A hat is also a good idea (the burners can give off quite a bit of heat!) and don’t forget to take your camera.
You will be given a full safety briefing by the pilot, before being invited to help with getting the balloon ready (which is fully optional but most people find it’s really good fun).
Then it is time to hop in the basket and off you go into the skies for your incredible hot air balloon ride.
MY FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED – WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Hot air ballooning is a fully weather-dependent activity and unfortunately the ‘great’ British weather is not always on our side.
Some people are lucky and will fly on their first attempt while others can take a few bookings before they get into the air – it is simply luck with the weather conditions on the date you have chosen, which none of us can control.
We would never risk trying to fly passengers on a day when the forecast is for unsafe flying conditions, so you should always be prepared for the chance your flight may be cancelled. We explain in more detail about how the weather affects our hot air balloon rides here.
But even if this does happen, you simply need to book another flight, which can either be done online or if you need any help, contacting our customer service team on 01952 212750.
After any cancellation on our part, your flight voucher will be automatically extended to ensure that you have at least six months to book another flight with us. We will do this as often as necessary until you do get into the skies.
HERE TO HELP
We hope you found this guide helpful in answering your questions about booking a hot air balloon ride with Virgin Balloon Flights.
But if we have missed anything out, our customer service team is available to help with any questions you might have about our hot air balloon rides or check out our FAQs for the answers to the most common questions we get.
Call us on 01952 212750, message us on our website Live Chat or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and our friendly call-takers will be on hand to help. Our call centre is closed at weekends but you can still contact us via the Live Chat facility here on the website (launch it with the white and red button in the bottom right hand corner).