Covid-19 | Virgin Balloon Flights
Virgin Balloon Flights

COVID-19 And Our Balloon Flights

Updated: 21st September 2020

Wanting To Buy A Balloon Ride?

You can buy vouchers for our flights right here on our website, where an extended validity period and free delivery are included.

For a limited time, the validity of all our flight vouchers has been increased to 18 months from the usual 12, meaning any flight vouchers bought now will be valid for the whole of our 2021 season and even into the start of our 2022 season.

Whether you're buying for someone special or as something to look forward to yourself, all our vouchers include free delivery, either instantly straight to the recipient's email or by post, for the perfect socially-distanced gift.

We are counting down the days until we are able to go up, up and away once more and will be delighted to welcome you on board in 2021.

Already Have A Flight Voucher?

We know a lot of you wanted to fly this year. We also know a lot of you didn’t feel comfortable flying this year.

Which is why we automatically extended every single valid flight voucher purchased before the end of March 2020, taking their validity to September 2021 even before lockdown began.

This has ensured every one of our passengers had more time than ever to book a flight with us if, as has become apparent, we were unable to fly this year.

We have now begun to release flight date bookings for March next year and will be adding more over the coming weeks and throughout the winter months.

Sign in to your online account here to see our current availability for the start of the new flying season.

This Year’s Flying Season

As a result of government updates limiting groups to a maximum of six once again (and with only a couple of weeks left of this year’s flying season), Virgin Balloon Flights has postponed our flying season until March 2021.

This means our entire team are now working full steam ahead on getting back into the air for a truly spectacular 2021 flying season.

Throughout this spring and summer, we have closely monitored and assessed all updated information and guidance from the government, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Department for Transport and medical experts.

The recent changes limiting gatherings down to six demonstrates the risks of Covid-19 spreading amongst larger groups of people crowded into a small space remain right now.

It is also looking very likely that further restrictions and tightening of social distancing rules will be brought in during the next week or two, with cases rising once again across the country.

Which is why we had no choice but to take the decision to postpone this year's flying season completely, with our iconic big red balloons returning to the UK skies in March next year.

We are very much looking forward to taking you up, up and away once again, with new flight dates released from now and more throughout the winter months.

Need Further Assistance?

Our customer service team remain available to assist you during normal office hours, Monday to Friday and can be contacted via the following channels:

For their safety and wellbeing, our staff continue to work from home and we ask that you please allow a couple of days for a response to any emails sent.

Thank you for your continued understanding through these unprecedented times and we can’t wait until the day we see you in the skies with us.

Best Wishes

The Virgin Balloon Flights Team

Previous Updates
Updated: 31st August 2020

Wanting To Buy A Balloon Ride?

You can buy vouchers for our flights right here on our website, where an extended validity period and free delivery are included.

For a limited time, the validity of all our flight vouchers has been increased to 18 months from the usual 12, meaning any flight vouchers bought now will be valid for the whole of our 2021 season and beyond.

Whether you're buying for someone special or as something to look forward to yourself, all our vouchers include free delivery, either instantly straight to the recipient's email or by post, for the perfect socially-distanced gift.

We are counting down the days until we are able to go up, up and away once more and will be delighted to welcome you on board as soon as we can.

Already Have A Flight Voucher?

We know a lot of you want to fly this year. We also know a lot of you don’t feel comfortable flying this year.

Which is why we extended every single valid flight voucher until September 2021 even before lockdown began.

This was to ensure every one of our passengers, both new and existing, has more time than ever to book a flight with us if we were unable to fly at all this year.

The Current Situation

Throughout the past few months, we have continued to closely monitor and assess all updates and guidance from both the government and medical experts.

Even with strict infection control measures in place, we feel highly uncomfortable asking you to get up close and personal with multiple households in a hot air balloon basket when confirmed cases of Covid-19 are creeping back up in lots of areas across the country.

A second wave in the autumn remains a real possibility and we have already seen local partial lockdowns/stricter measures being re-introduced in various areas where we usually fly.

Additional measures, such as extending where face coverings must be worn, are also cause for concern when we consider how close 16 passengers in one balloon basket will be.

At this moment in time, we can’t find a way for us to operate flights at a low enough risk to both you, our passengers, and our pilots and crew while still giving you that truly unforgettable flying experience of a lifetime.

Which is why we have had to take the difficult and disappointing but necessary decision to further postpone our flying season until the 21st September.

This will be reviewed in the coming weeks, with this page updated with any changes that might happen between now and then.

Why Can’t We Fly Our Big Red Balloons Right Now?

A flight with multiple households standing shoulder to shoulder in a large passenger balloon isn’t something we believe can be done safely and responsibly right now.

There are also additional challenges to overcome, including:

  • The availability of and restrictions on how many passengers our minibus companies can carry for a return journey
  • Many landowners remaining understandably wary and concerned about large groups of unknown people dropping in unannounced
  • The disruption to future flight schedules should contact be made with us by track and trace about a confirmed cases from previous passengers
  • Some of the things you expect on your balloon ride, such as the celebratory Prosecco toast after landing and being able to get stuck in to help prepare and deflate the balloon, can’t be safely carried out.

We genuinely can’t say right now whether we will be able to fly this year but will continue to closely follow and assess the situation for the rest of September and October.

Need Further Assistance?

Our customer service team remain available to assist you during normal office hours, Monday to Friday and can be contacted via the following channels:

Website Live Chat – simply click the red and white icon in the bottom right and one of the team will be happy to help

Email at customerservice@virginballoonflights.co.uk.

For their safety and wellbeing, our staff continue to work from home, and we ask that you please allow a couple of days for a response to any emails sent.

Thank you for your continuing understanding through these unprecedented times and we can’t wait until the day we see you in the skies with us.

Best Wishes

The Virgin Balloon Flights Team


Update: 30th July 2020

Wanting To Buy A Balloon Ride?

You can buy vouchers for our flights right here on our website, where an extended validity period and free delivery are included.

For a limited time, the validity of all our flight vouchers has been increased to 18 months from the usual 12, meaning any flight vouchers bought now will be valid for the whole of our 2021 season and beyond.

Whether you're buying for someone special or as something to look forward to yourself, all our vouchers include free delivery, either instantly straight to the recipient's email or by post, for the perfect socially-distanced gift.

We are counting down the days until we are able to go up, up and away once more and will be delighted to welcome you on board as soon as we can.

Already Have A Flight Voucher?

We know a lot of you want to fly this year. We also know a lot of you don’t feel comfortable flying this year.

Which is why we extended every single valid flight voucher until September 2021 even before lockdown began.

This was to ensure every one of our passengers, both new and existing, has more time than ever to book a flight with us if we were unable to fly this year.

The Current Situation

Throughout the past few months, we have continued to closely monitor and assess all updates and guidance from both the government and medical experts.

Even with strict infection control measures in place, we feel highly uncomfortable asking you to get up close and personal with multiple households in a hot air balloon basket when confirmed cases of Covid-19 are creeping back up in lots of areas across the country.

A second wave in the autumn remains a real possibility and we have already seen local lockdowns/stricter measures being re-introduced in various areas close to or where we usually fly.

At this moment in time, we can’t find a way for us to operate flights at a low enough risk to both you, our passengers, and our pilots and crew while still giving you that truly unforgettable flying experience of a lifetime.

Which is why we have had to take the difficult and disappointing but necessary decision to postpone our flying season until the end of August.

Why Can’t We Fly Our Big Red Balloons Right Now?

A flight with multiple households standing shoulder to shoulder in a large passenger balloon isn’t something we believe can be done safely and responsibly right now.

There are also additional challenges to overcome, including:

  • The availability of and restrictions on how many passengers our minibus companies can carry for a return journey.
  • Many landowners remaining understandably wary and concerned about large groups of unknown people dropping in unannounced.
  • The disruption to future flight schedules should contact be made with us by track and trace about a confirmed cases from previous passengers.
  • Some of the things you expect on your balloon ride, such as the celebratory Prosecco toast after landing and being able to get stuck in to help prepare and deflate the balloon, can’t be safely carried out.

We genuinely can’t say right now whether we will be able to fly this year but will continue to closely follow and assess the situation for September and October.

Need Further Assistance?

Our customer service team remain available to assist you during normal office hours, Monday to Friday and can be contacted via the following channels:

Website Live Chat – simply click the red and white icon in the bottom right and one of the team will be happy to help.

Email at customerservice@virginballoonflights.co.uk

For their safety and wellbeing, our staff continue to work from home, and we ask that you please allow a couple of days for a response to any emails sent.

Thank you for your continuing understanding through these unprecedented times and we can’t wait until the day we see you in the skies with us.

Best Wishes

The Virgin Balloon Flights Team



Update: 20th July 2020

Wanting To Buy A Balloon Ride?

You can buy vouchers for our fabulous flights right here on our website, where an extended validity period and free delivery.

For a limited time, the validity of all our flight vouchers has been increased to 18 months from the usual 12, meaning any flight vouchers bought now will be valid for the whole of our 2021 season and beyond.

Whether you're buying for someone special or as something to look forward to yourself, all our vouchers can be delivered instantly straight to the recipient's inbox by email or printed and sent by post for the perfect socially-distanced gift.

We are counting down the days until we are able to go up, up and away once more and will be delighted to welcome you on board as soon as we can.

Already Have A Flight Voucher?

If you already have a valid, bookable flight voucher, we have automatically extended it to September 2021.

This ensures you not only have time to book if we are able to start flying this season, but also during most of next year’s season without any risk of your vouchers expiring.

There is no need to contact us to activate an extension – we have already done it and your exact new expiry date can be found in your online booking account.

We will continue to review the situation, should the need arise for any further validity extensions.

When Will We Be Flying Again?

We have always put the safety and enjoyment of you, our passengers, at the forefront of everything we do here at Virgin Balloon Flights.

On 30th June, new government guidance for our industry was issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, allowing a maximum of only five passengers, plus a pilot to fly.

Because our balloons need 10-12 passengers to meet the minimum safe and legal weight to fly, we are still unable to operate.

As a result, we have had to postpone our flying season until the end of August.

This situation will remain under constant review in line with any future updates or changes to the guidance from those official bodies governing our industry.

Even then, we will only start to operate flights in our beautiful big red balloons once we are confident we can keep you as safe and risk-free as possible.

Need Further Assistance?

Our customer service team remain available to assist you during normal office hours, Monday to Friday and can be contacted via the following channels:

Website Live Chat – simply click the red and white icon in the bottom right and one of the team will be happy to help

Email at customerservice@virginballoonflights.co.uk.

For their safety and wellbeing, our staff continue to work from home and we ask that you please allow at least two working days for a response to any emails sent.

Thank you for your continuing support and understanding through these unprecedented times and we will continue to do all we can head of being able to fly safely again one day soon.

Stay safe and we can’t wait until the day we see you in the skies with us.

Kindest Regards

Virgin Balloon Flights

Update: 2nd July 2020

When Will We Be Flying Again?

We have always put the safety and enjoyment of you, our passengers, at the forefront of everything we do here at Virgin Balloon Flights.

On 30th June, new government guidance for our industry was issued by the Civil Aviation Authority, allowing a maximum of only five passengers, plus a pilot to fly.

Because our balloons need 10-12 passengers to meet the minimum safe and legal weight to fly, we are still unable to operate under this updated guidance.

As a result, we have had no option but to further postpone our flying season until the end of August.

This situation will remain under constant review in line with any future updates or changes to the guidance from those official bodies governing our industry.

Even then, we will only start to operate flights in our beautiful big red balloons once we are confident we can keep you as safe and risk-free as possible.

Looking To Buy A Balloon Flight?

All flight vouchers purchased online come with free, instant email delivery for the ideal contactless gift.

We have also extended the validity of all vouchers to 18 months rather than the usual 12, ensuring you have more time than ever to book a flight once we’re back in the skies.

We are counting down the days until we are able to go up, up and away once more.

Note: We are unable to send out gift extras or printed vouchers due to the office remaining closed at this time.

Already Have A Flight Voucher?

If you already have a valid, bookable flight voucher, we have automatically extended it to September 2021.

This ensures you not only have time to book if we are able to start flying this season, but also during most of next year’s season without any risk of your vouchers expiring.

There is no need to contact us to activate an extension – we have already done it and your exact new expiry date can be found in your online booking account.

We will continue to review the situation, should the need arise for any further validity extensions.

Need Further Assistance?

Our customer service team remain available to assist you during normal office hours, Monday to Friday and can be contacted via the following channels:

Website Live Chat – simply click the red and white icon in the bottom right and one of the team will be happy to help

Email at customerservice@virginballoonflights.co.uk.

For their safety and wellbeing, our staff continue to work from home and we ask that you please allow at least two working days for a response to any emails sent.

Thank you for your continuing support and understanding through these unprecedented times and we will continue to do all we can head of being able to fly safely again one day soon.

Stay safe and we can’t wait until the day we see you in the skies with us.


Kindest Regards
Virgin Balloon Flights

Reviewed: 5th June 2020

Update: 18th May 2020

YOUR SAFETY

The safety and enjoyment of you, our passengers, has always been at the core of everything we do. That’s why, even before lockdown began, we grounded our entire balloon fleet across the UK in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. While recent Government announcements (10th May) have seen a slight relaxation of current lockdown rules, strict social distancing remains in place and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future. We are in regular communication with the Civil Aviation Authority and other official governing bodies for our industry. All have confirmed that passenger balloon flights are unable to operate at this time due to social distancing not being possible in the basket. This is because hot air balloons have a legal minimum weight capacity to be flown safely. Our balloons need 10-12 passengers to meet that minimum weight, making the two metre social distancing requirement impossible between those in the basket. As a result, based on the current guidance, we have postponed our 2020 flying season until the end of July. We continue to closely monitor all updates and guidance for our industry and the situation will remain under regular review in relation to that advice.

BUYING A BALLOON FLIGHT

All flight vouchers purchased online come with free, instant email delivery for the ideal contactless gift. We have also extended the validity of all vouchers to 18 months rather than the usual 12, ensuring you have more time than ever to book a flight once we’re back in the skies. We are counting down the days until our beautiful big red balloons can go up, up and away once more. Note: We are unable to send out gift packages, gift extras or printed vouchers due to the office remaining closed at this time.

EXISTING VOUCHER HOLDERS

If you already have a valid, bookable flight voucher, we have automatically extended it to September 2021. This ensures you not only have time to book as and when we are able to start flying this season, but also during most of next year’s season without any risk of your vouchers expiring. There is no need to contact us to activate an extension – we have already done it and your exact new expiry date can be found in your online booking account. We will continue to review the situation, should the need arise for any further validity extensions.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Our customer service team remain available to assist you during normal office hours, Monday to Friday and can be contacted via the following channels:

For their safety and wellbeing, our staff continue to work from home and we ask that you please allow at least two working days for a response to any emails sent. Thank you for your continuing support and understanding through these unprecedented times and we will continue to do all we can head of being able to fly safely again one day soon. Stay safe and we can't wait until the day we see you in the skies with us. Kindest Regards Virgin Balloon Flights Update: 26th April 2020

PASSENGER SAFETY

As always, passenger safety is our main concern, so we have decided to postpone the start of our flying season until 1st July 2020. This postponement will be further reviewed as the situation develops across the UK over the coming months.

EMPLOYEE SAFETY

To keep our employees safe, our office is closed and all staff are currently working from home. We remain open for customer service queries from 9am to 5pm on our website’s Live Chat. You can also contact us via email on customerservice@virginballoonflights.co.uk. (Please allow at least two working days for email responses.)

CURRENT CUSTOMERS

To make sure that all our current customers will be able to enjoy their balloon flight, we have extended all valid vouchers to September next year. This validity might be further extended if the current situation continues.

NEW CUSTOMERS

New orders receive instant e-vouchers but unfortunately gift packages and printed vouchers are not available while our office remains closed.

VOUCHER EXTENSIONS

The validity of new vouchers has been extended to 18 months and this validity might also be further extended if the current situation continues. We hope each and every one of you is taking care of yourselves, and those you love, during this unprecedented situation. Best Wishes Virgin Balloon Flights Update: 20th March 2020

NEED TO CONTACT US?

Our customer service operators are here to help, although we've had to make some slight changes to how we can be contacted for the time being.

Due to the current situation we're all facing due to COVID-19, our call centre is now closed for the well-being of our employees.

Our team is working remotely and will still be available to help during usual office hours right here on our website's Live Chat.

You can say hi and chat to an operator in the bottom right corner from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Thursday and 9am to 5.30pm on Fridays.

We can also still be contacted on our usual customer service and other email addresses listed here.

VOUCHERS

Due to the closure of our call centre, all our flight vouchers are currently only available as an instant delivery e-voucher.

We are unable to send printed vouchers by post and our gift packages and gift extras are also temporarily unavailable.

Thank you for your understanding and we hope each and every one of you is taking care of yourselves and those you love during this unprecedented situation.

Best Wishes Virgin Balloon Flights

Update: 17th March 2020

To All Of Our Passengers

We have been closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 in relation to our balloon flights across the UK.

In the light of new guidance issued by the UK government on 16th March, Virgin Balloon Flights has taken the difficult but necessary decision to postpone our flying season until July.

All our flights scheduled between now and 30th June have been grounded. This postponement will be further reviewed as the situation develops across the UK over the coming months.

Whether you were booked onto one of those affected flights or not, we have extended all current, valid flight vouchers so they are valid for 18 months from 17th March 2020, through the latter part of this flying season and into our 2021 flying season.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR SAFETY AND WELL-BEING

We know that you, our passengers, are concerned about the current unprecedented global situation we are all facing with regards the coronavirus pandemic.

We’re concerned too and are asking all the same questions that you are. We have the privilege of flying under the iconic Virgin brand but we’re still a close-knit, family-run business.

We are also concerned for those we love and understand that a balloon ride is the last thing on anyone’s mind right now.

Which is why we have extended all of your flight vouchers to early autumn 2021.

We will continue to closely monitor and follow all government advice around COVID-19.

And we will inform all of you as soon as we are able to responsibly and safely start flying our balloons again.

Hopefully that will be in the latter part of our 2020 flying season, but without knowing how the situation with COVID-19 will progress, this is a decision we will take closer to the time.

NEWLY PURCHASED VOUCHERS

In addition to this, all new flight vouchers purchased at this time will also include an extended validity of 18 months from the day of purchase, again so they can be used right through to our 2021 flying season.

We look forward to taking you up, up and away before too long – and promise you the wait will absolutely be worth it.

Thank you for your understanding and wishing all of you the very best.

Virgin Balloon Flights