All updates on how the COVID-19 coronavirus has affected our flights will be posted on this page.
Update: 18th May 2020
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Virgin Balloon Flights
Passenger SafetyAs 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 SafetyTo 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 email@example.com. (Please allow at least two working days for email responses.)
Current CustomersTo 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 CustomersNew orders receive instant e-vouchers but unfortunately gift packages and printed vouchers are not available while our office remains closed.
Voucher ExtensionsThe 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.
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