Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Importance of Hot Air Balloon Safety

The Importance of Hot Air Balloon Safety

Hot air balloon rides are loads of fun, but safety is still of the utmost importance. We're going over some essential hot air balloon safety tips for you.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon safety

If you want to personally re-enact the final few scenes of The Wizard of Oz, you may have some concerns about how safe hot air ballooning really is.
The good news? Despite what you may have heard, fatalities are actually very rare. 
Still, that doesn't mean it's OK to forget about basic hot air balloon safety.
To make sure you have both a safe and fun time, we're outlining everything you need to know about hot air balloon safety in this post.

Fly With A Reputable Company

Much of your hot air balloon safety depends on the company and individual operator you decide to fly with. Their experience, training, and certification matters.
When you're choosing a company to book your hot air balloon flight with, there are a few things you can look for on their website to help you know you're making the safest choice.
First, the reviews and testimonials on their website. If there's anything shady going on, rest assured past customers will let you know.
You can also check out sites like Trip Advisor, the Better Business Bureau, and even social media accounts!
Then, see if the company is a member of the Professional Ride Operators (PRO) sector of the Balloon Federation of America (BFA.)
PRO Membership is a great indicator that the company takes hot air balloon safety seriously. It was formed to keep passengers safe, as well as to hold balloon operators accountable should anything go wrong.
In fact, the operating standards of the PRO are actually laid out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) That should make you feel very safe!
Finally, keep in mind that all hot air balloon operators are required to have a pilot's license. Usually, the companies will also have an additional amount of required flight time before allowing them to take passengers up in the air.

Check The Weather

Though most hot air balloon companies won't "take off" in dangerous weather, for your own peace of mind, you may want to check the forecast on the morning of your flight.
If the weather is overly windy if it's raining hard, or of course, if there's a storm, you're not going to be able to fly that day. If your company insists that "everything's fine," leave immediately and tell others to come with you.
Keep in mind that many hot air balloon companies will also offer a "rain check" guarantee or a chance to fly another day if the weather conditions are poor. Be sure to ask about that when you book!

But What If...

When it comes to hot air balloon safety, we know it can be easy to dream up worst-case scenarios. This, again, is why flying with an experienced pilot is so important.
Still, if you can't seem to stop yourself from panicking, remember that...
  • Birds are scared of hot air balloons because of their size and the noises they make. If you're worried that a bird flying into the balloon could cause an accident (like on an airplane) know that because the balloon's fabric is so tough, they'll likely just bounce right off! 
  • If a burner goes out, it will be relit at once. Also, there's a backup burner that will ignite to make sure the balloon still flies. Even in the highly unlikely scenario that both burners go out, the balloon would only fall about as fast as a parachute. 
  • If your balloon somehow gets a hole in it, tests have been performed and proven that they can still fly, even with a small or medium-size hole. 
  • Since 1964, there have only been 70 hot air balloon fatalities in the United States. Remember that people have been flying them since 1783 - that's even before the Wright Brothers had their first airplane flight! The takeaway? Hot air balloon safety has had a lot of time to be perfected.

What About Power Lines? 

It is true that power lines are one of the main causes of hot air balloon accidents. Again, this is why flying in excellent weather conditions is so important - because power lines can be tougher to see in the fog.
It's also why many balloon rides take place in the morning or afternoon, for maximum visibility.
The takeaway here? If you see something, say something! Your pilot has a lot to do to keep your balloon in the air. He or she would appreciate you mentioning that you see a power line if you think you're coming a little too close.
Again, make sure you ask the company how long their pilots have been flying. Experience is the best teacher, so go with a company that's been in business a long time.

How Should I Behave On Board?

Of course, hot air balloon safety is also dependent on your behavior during the flight!
First, don't be alarmed if you see safety equipment inside the basket. This is an industry standard, and it should actually make you feel better! Your pilot may also give you a brief talk about how to stay safe during the flight.
While it's perfectly fine to reach your arms slightly outside the basket to snap that awesome picture, make sure that the rest of your body stays firmly inside the basket. This isn't the time or the place to goof around.
Don't lean way over the railing, and don't jump around inside the basket.
Finally, don't forget to bring a jacket or heavy coat to stay warm! You'd be surprised to learn that sometimes, it can get a little cold up there.
Luckily, safety inside the basket just goes hand in hand with common sense.

You're An Expert In Hot Air Balloon Safety

Now, you know everything you need to about hot air balloon safety, so you can stay safe and have an amazing time on your flight!
Instead of worrying, just do your research, check the forecast, and listen to the instructions the pilot gives you.
Thanks to these tips, you're ready to go on the flight of your life. Don't forget to pack your camera!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why You Should Take a Vacation to a Hot Air Balloon Festival

Why You Should Vacation to a Hot Air Balloon Festival

Family vacations are supposed to be the best time of your life, and taking one to a hot air balloon festival could be just the trip you've been looking for.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon festival

Thinking about taking a vacation, but not sure where to go?
Well, question no more! Going to a hot air balloon festival give you a unique experience, allowing you see some amazing views and get some great photo ops!

Hot Air Balloon Festivals to Experience

Albuquerque, New Mexico

If you are looking for an amazing sight to behold, book a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the first week of October, a choreographed launch of 600+ hot air balloons can be seen at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
When you're not riding in the hot air balloon, there are plenty of other things to do as well! The historic old town houses centuries-old buildings transformed into local restaurants, the American International Rattlesnake Museum, and a well-preserved patch of Route 66.
If you would rather explore, there are plenty of hiking and mountain biking trails decorated with the natural, rugged beauty Albuquerque has to offer. Or perhaps you would like to kayak? A number of opportunities and adventures lie ahead!

Temecula Valley, California

The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival is smaller than Albuquerque's International Balloon Fiesta. But, with 25 years of experience, balloon rides, and wine, it's hard to see a downside. And with the Southern California weather, the three-day hot air balloon festival is sure to allow for some relaxation and fun.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Replacing the Colorado Balloon Classic, the Labor Day Lift Off has opportunities for the adventurous. Taking place on Labor day weekend, the hot air balloon festival contains entertainment and activities for everyone!
Want to go skydiving one day and ballooning the next? No problem! Decided you want to try out paddle boarding? Go ahead!
The hot air balloon festival also contains a "Glow" event. Watch the night sky light up as the hot air balloons inflate and ignite their burners at 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday evenings. This free and family-friendly event will provide you with amazing memories.

Other Opportunities

Looking for more of an adventure? Hot air balloon rides are everywhere! You don't need to wait for a festival to come around to take a look at some amazing views!

Loire Valley, France

Looking for some European flair?  The Loire Valley is almost 170 miles long and contains over 800 castles and manor houses. The view contains the Chateau de Chenonceau, vineyards, sunflower fields, stone villages and more.
The best time to plan the French hot air balloon adventure of a lifetime is between April and October. Castles will be open to visit, the spring weather will be warmer, and the plants will be blooming.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Want to see the African safari? Why not do it from a bird's eye view!
Home to the largest mammal migration worldwide, ballooning over the Serengeti National Park is a site to behold! The grassy plains contain around 2 million wildebeest, 250,000 zebras, and 500,000 gazelles with a few other wild animals for you to see.
The moderate climate allows for year-round ballooning. But if you want to catch a glimpse of migrations, the best times are from March to May or October to December.

Lake Champlain, Vermont

Looking for something a little closer to home, or at least within the country? Go to Lake Champlain and experience the amazing views! You can see everything from a higher altitude, from the lake's shoreline to the Green Mountains.
Balloons are year-round, as long as the weather allows. However, the vibrant colors of autumn are amazing to behold.
Hot air balloon rides can be found anywhere! But, there are a few things to keep in mind for your hot air balloon festival extravaganza...

Things to Remember 

Flexibility is key

Hot air balloon rides are completely dependent on the weather. Try to schedule your flight at the beginning of your trip, so if there is a need to reschedule, it can be done.
On that note, try to plan more than one day for flying. It makes it easier to reschedule if/when needed.
It helps to know when the best weather conditions occur for your destination. You don't want to plan a trip during stormy months because you may not get to fly.

Early Rising

For many destinations, the winds are more stable during the early morning or evenings. Keep in mind that you may need to wake up earlier than usual on the day you are to fly.


Every company wants to ensure you are safe. Before taking off, the pilots will be sure to check official weather briefings from the flight service, the Federal aviation association, and other weather forecast sites.

Pack Light

There is only so much space within the basket of the hot air balloon. Be sure to only bring the necessities with you. The necessities include layers, sunglasses, closed-toes shoes, a camera, and a hat.
A hat is especially recommended for those over 6 feet tall. It will help protect your head from the burner's flames.

Comfortable Ride

Despite the rising altitude, the ride will be a comfortable temperature. The added heat from the burner creates a warmer atmosphere than you would think.
It helps to note that the balloon will be constantly moving at a leisurely pace. Due to the constant motion, those who are scared of heights should be fine. Without a fixed point, there will not be a swooping feeling in your stomach.
Another reassuring note: hot air ballooning is one of the safest forms of aviation. The practice dates back to November 21, 1783, so you can be assured the pilots know what they're doing.

No Seats

Remember, there are no seats in the basket. Once the hot air balloon takes off, you should be ready to stand for up to 2 hours.

No Bathrooms

Just as there are no seats, there are no bathrooms either. And landing during mid-flight is not permitted. Be sure to go to the bathroom before you take off.

Weather Conditions

Remember, hot air balloon festivals rely on the weather. If the weather conditions are determined to be unsafe, the balloon will not take off.


Prices of hot air balloon rides will vary. Not only seasonally, but also due to destinations, the package chosen, and the flight time.
A typical hot air balloon ride can cost anywhere from $150 to $250 per adult.
If you keep these things in mind, your trip will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime and pictures that will envy your friends!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

How to Choose the Right Hot Air Balloon Company

How to Choose the Right Hot Air Balloon Company

Looking to book a hot air balloon ride? Pick a hot air balloon company that's going to be safe and fun. Find out how here.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon company

Every year you tell yourself that you'll finally conquer your fear of heights, and you'd like nothing more than to stick to your resolution this time around. In order to show yourself and everyone around you that you mean business, you've actually started vetting your first hot air balloon company.
In order to show yourself and everyone around you that you mean business, you've actually started vetting your first hot air balloon company.
Of course, you're in over your head; you don't even know the first thing about selecting the right hot air balloon company. The only thing you know is that you want to go for a ride in the sky.
How, then, should you go about choosing a company that will do right by you? What exactly should your vetting process look like?
If you stick around for a while, we guarantee that we'll give you some of the most important information you need to make your hot air balloon ride a success.

Look For A Licensed Pilot

Anyone who has a sense of self-preservation knows not to get into a hot air balloon (or anything that moves) with an unlicensed pilot, and when we say "unlicensed" here, we mean to say that the pilot does not meet the Federal Aviation Administration's requirements.
Needless to say, we assume that you belong to the party of people which we're referring to. Still, actually selecting a licensed pilot is probably going to be the least of your worries since how you go about selecting your pilot is the more important issue.
To be blunt, if your selection process involves a third party's services (i.e. a broker of some sort), you're setting yourself up for disappointment.
Ride brokers, while they might seem helpful, often scam customers and don't necessarily have your best interests at heart; even if they manage to get you in contact with a licensed pilot, there is no guarantee that this pilot actually owns or even flies the balloon you'll be riding in.
Fortunately, separating a broker from an actual pilot isn't too challenging. The internet is just one of many sources that you can use to verify whether or not you're dealing with a broker or pilot.

Check The Company's Credibility

Finding a licensed pilot isn't equivalent to finding a credible hot air balloon company because you could easily find a subpar company which happens to have a few good pilots. That said, once you find your pilot, you'll need to start gauging the company's credibility.
That said, once you find your pilot, you'll need to start gauging the company's credibility.
Generally speaking, you'll be able to find official evidence of a company's credibility online, and please note that "official evidence" doesn't include customer reviews. Yes, customer reviews are definitely useful (and we'll actually discuss them a little later), but they probably aren't going to give you much information beyond some critiques of the business's services.
For instance, customers usually aren't privy to any run-ins with the government which involve the company's conduct, probably because companies typically don't broadcast their legal troubles. Such legal troubles could include, for example, a history of accidents. Customers also aren't going to know much of anything about a company's licenses to provide their services.
Luckily for you, there are databases, such as the Better Business Bureau, which are committed to providing customers with all of this information and more. Having said as much, make sure that you take advantage of these types of resources before deciding on a hot air balloon company.

Check The Company's Reputation

In all fairness, a business's credibility and its reputation are undeniably linked to each other. Even so, the two should not be conflated. Unlike a business's credibility, a business's reputation takes customer experience and feedback into consideration.
Even so, the two should not be conflated. Unlike a business's credibility, a business's reputation takes customer experience and feedback into consideration.
Hopefully, you can see why the two should remain separate: A customer's experiences don't necessarily delegitimize a company's services, nor should they in most cases.
Still, customer ratings should be taken into account if you want to enjoy your hot air balloon ride, primarily because customers will give you honest accounts of what their experiences were like.
They'll tell you, for instance, how friendly (or unfriendly) the staff is and just how attentive staff members are.
Not only will you be able to get details of this nature, but you'll also be able to get a feel for just how "safe" the company's services are. No, we're not suggesting that hot air balloon rides are inherently unsafe, but we are suggesting that sometimes companies get lax when they feel that they can afford to.
Needless to say, though, you should take customer reviews with a grain of salt. Or two. Everyone has different standards, something that is routinely reflected in reviews.
There is also another reason that you shouldn't put too much weight on customer reviews: You'll overlook many small yet legitimate businesses that might be good options for you.

Observe The Company's Hot Air Balloon Rides

Seeing is apparently believing, which is why there is absolutely nothing wrong with requesting that a pilot allows you to observe his or her hot air balloon rides from a distance.
During an observation, you should be looking for any and all red flags. That is to say, if the pilot you're vetting does or says something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you shouldn't hesitate to turn him or her down. You should also be sure to ask any questions that come about during the observation.
If your company of choice tries to do something to discourage an observation (such as charging you a fee for it), we recommend that you find a company that will be more open to assuaging your fears.
While seeing might be believing, however, you shouldn't necessarily take an observation as the gospel truth. In other words, you'll have to assume that the company is putting on a bit of a show for you, as it does for most visitors since it's ultimately a business.

More On Selecting A Hot Air Balloon Company

The information we've provided here is by no means a complete guide.
Every individual is different and will undoubtedly be looking for a different experience. The above information is, nevertheless, essential for those of you who are looking to have a good time and do safely.
Having said as much, we strongly encourage you to personalize your search for the hot air balloon company that is right for you. We're just glad that we could give you a good foundation.

Want to talk to someone?
Call 602-402-8041 or check us out at

How to Take Great Pictures on a Hot Air Balloon

How to Take Great Pictures on a Hot Air Balloon

You've booked the hot air balloon ride, and now it's time to take amazing pictures. We're sharing what you need to make fantastic memories.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon 

Are you an outdoor aficionado with a desire to take great photos on a hot air balloon?
If yes, lean in!
Every day, thousands of hot air balloons across the country lift off into the air, giving riders a perfect opportunity to capture stunning images while enjoying the experience.
What’s more, there are no windows on a hot air balloon, so you can grab shots from any angle that pleases your eyes.
However, taking great photos on a balloon requires the right equipment, good photography skills and a good understanding of your new environment.
The good news is you don’t have to take a couple of flights to master the art of aerial photography from a hot air balloon.
We’re sharing everything you need to know to know in order to return home with stunning photos after your first flight!

First Things First

Let’s get a few things out of the way.
If you’re a ballooning newbie with a fear of heights, you may want to take deep breaths before taking off.
Capturing truly unique views aboard a hot air balloon requires calm nerves. Feelings of anxiety or anticipation can impair your judgement and ability to hold your camera without shaking.
Also, don’t expect any air turbulence, because balloons don’t fly against the wind. The basket is quite calm, a perfect ground for taking great photos.

Get the Right Equipment

To achieve the best pictures, you need the right equipment.
Here’s a breakdown of what you need:


Just about any modern camera take great photos, but not all cameras can capture great pics on a hot air balloon.
As such, a lot rides on the camera you choose for your mission.
Although we're not go to mention any specific brand or make, go for a camera that is light in weight but compact in shape. When it comes to features, look out for one with large sensors and interchangeable lens.
That said, you don’t have to break the bank for expensive cameras, especially when you don’t take photographs for a living. You can find great, cost-effective alternatives online marketplaces like eBay.


Hot air balloons usually cruise at an altitude of 2,000 feet, though high-altitude ones can go up to 5,000 ft or more.
You will need a powerful lens to capture awesome air-to-ground photographs. Even though a 50mm lens works great for most altitudes, a 200mm lens is the most preferable when flying at higher altitudes.

Storage Devices

For some people, a hot air balloon ride is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Even for frequent ballooners, every ride is a unique experience.
This means you should be prepared to take lots of photos, and keep in mind there will be no time for reviewing and deleting the ones you don’t like.
Yet, there is nothing more frustrating that running out of storage space when capturing shots of stunning landscapes from above. To avoid this, carry sufficient backup memory cards with you.

Get Familiar with Your Camera

Have you ever prepared to take a photo but somehow your camera failed to click away?
This usually happens when you’re using a new camera that you aren’t familiar with.
Before boarding the hot air balloon, ensure you’re familiar with your camera’s dials and menu systems. Learn how to adjust shatter speeds and light sensitivity, as well as how to swap lens quickly.
You certainly don’t want to miss a chance to capture an amazing view because you can’t change lens quickly enough or get around the menu system.

Space is Crucial

Smaller hot air balloons can carry 2-4 people, while the biggest can accommodate up to 14 people.
If you book your ride in a balloon with several people on board, find a spot where you can freely take photos from various angles.
To enhance your chances of getting the best spot, ask the pilot or someone who knows a thing or two about taking photos on a hot air balloon.

Plan Your Photoshoot

Planning a photo shoot is vital to taking stunning images.
Even if you’ve booked a ride across a place you have never been to, it pays to have a good idea on what you expect to capture.
For example, if you’re flying across a game reserve, you should know the location’s interesting subjects. Go online and research about the place or ask your pilot what to expect.
Either way, don’t board a hot air balloon and start clicking your camera right away.
Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the conditions in the balloon basket, and then get your camera ready.

Be More Creative with Your Camera

Adding creativity to your photography can make a big difference when taking photos on a hot air balloon.
Use the fact that balloons allow a 360-degree view to your advantage.
While horizontal photos are the easiest to shoot, try different angles and find new ways to capture your views. For instance, if you are flying across a city with tall buildings, try taking down-facing photos.
Remember not to move your feet when shooting. Unless it’s necessary, just rotate your waist to either side and capture the scenes. This helps you to avoid shaking your camera, something that can cause blurred photos.
Use quicker shutter speeds in high-light environments, and slower shutter speed in low-light environments.
If your ride is in the early-morning or late-evening, you can set your camera to a slower shutter speed even before taking off.

Secure Your Gear

Hot air balloon landings can be pretty hard sometimes.
If you don’t secure your cameras and memory cards, they can be destroyed on landing, and you may lose your photos.
Once the pilot has signaled passengers to prepare for landing, get off the camera and secure your devices. Cushion them with a protective cloth before tucking them firmly in your bag.

Winding Things Up

Hot air ballooning is an awesome experience that enables you to get a new perspective of the world around you.
Taking great photos of these perspectives requires proper planning, the right photography equipment, and a creative sense.
Lastly, don’t get consumed by your camera. Take some time out to enjoy your balloon ride.
Have you ever taken photos on a hot air balloon? We’d love to hear your experience!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Insider's Guide to Hot Air Balloon Festivals

The Insider's Guide to Hot Air Balloon Festivals

Thinking of attending one of our amazing hot air balloon festivals? This guide is sharing the inside scoop. Here's what you need to know to get ready.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon festivals

Have you ever wondered what it's like to fly outside of an airplane? Floating hundreds of feet in the air with the wind in your hair, and the world below you?
Well, that's all possible with hot air balloons. The floating wonders have captivated millions of people for this very reason.
If you ever have the chance to ride in a balloon, take it. In fact, if you ever have the chance to visit a hot air balloon festival, take that too.
Hot air balloon festivals bring together people who share a love for these beautiful floating orbs and bring them together in one place.
The spectacle put on by the dedicated hot air balloon community is something that no one forgets.
You haven't truly seen the sky until you've seen it dotted with all manner of unique hot air balloons.

Where To Go

Hot air balloons are at their peak in cool, arid conditions with breezy winds. It's no surprise then, that most hot air balloon festivals take place in the West.
Those of us living out West rejoice, but East Coasters might not like this news. Don't worry, though, between Colorado, Nevada, and Texas there are enough airports to make traveling easy.
Here's a list of hot air balloon festivals worth checking out.
  • The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM
    • This festival is the largest in the country. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a 10 day event featuring over 500 balloons. Additional attractions include Sandia Mountain National Park and the Ojo Caliente mineral hot springs.
  • The Labor Day Lift Off, Colorado Springs, CO
    • The event, formerly known as the Colorado Balloon Classic, is held annually over Labor Day weekend. Get ready for tons of balloons, live entertainment, and balloon rides.
  • The Great Texas Balloon Race, Longview, TX
    • This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Great Texas Balloon Race, so come prepared for an extra special year. Competitive pilots from around the world gather to race for victory.
  • The Great Reno Balloon Race – Reno, NV
    • The Great Reno Balloon Race mixes family fun with friendly competition as pilots compete in a number of unique events. Make sure to take the kids on a tethered balloon ride.
Any of these events are a great introduction into the world of hot air balloon festivals. Each offers family friendly fun that you'll never forget.

What To Do At Hot Air Balloon Festivals

Now that we've established where you can find these hot air balloon festivals, we need to break down what you should actually do once you arrive.
Yes, you look at hot air balloons. We know that's the obvious answer that most of you are probably thinking.
However, there's so much more to these festivals than just watching the balloons soar.

Dawn Patrol

Most hot air balloon festivals have an event called the "Dawn Patrol." This "patrol" sets off before daybreak to measure the prevailing winds and air density.
These balloons make for an excellent spectacle if you're willing to wake up early enough to catch them in flight.
Their silhouette over the grounds while the sun rises provide the opportunity for great photographs.
Plus, getting to the festival early ensures you'll have an easier time getting finding seating for the rest of the day. That, and you can enjoy the first round of balloons without the crowds.

The Balloon Glow

If you're looking to get a close-up view of your favorite hot air balloons, you'll want to check out the Balloon Glow event.
Held in the evening and into the night, Balloon Glow is when pilots tether their balloon very close to the ground and ignite their burners.
The result is a field full of swaying, brilliantly lit balloons of all kinds that are close enough to reach out and touch.
Balloon teams also affix baseball styled cards to their baskets, or simply hand them out, to spectators. The cards detail vital statistics like balloon age, weight, team size, and home state.
Many people walk from balloon to balloon, collecting each card and saving them as a free commemoration of the event.

Balloon Rides

Could you really hold a hot air balloon festival without offering balloon rides? Of course, not!
If you're feeling adventurous, just step right up and hop on a balloon. Most rides are tethered (unfortunately), but it's still great fun and an even better view. Click here to check out Aerogelic Ballooning

The Key Grab

If you're the competitive type then make sure to attend the key grab.
During this event balloon team's first must judge the wind speed and direction of a pole planted at random in the festival grounds.
Atop the pole is the prize, usually a key to a car or money in an envelope, that teams collect to win the event.
Competitors then leave the event and launch their balloons from a distant location. The first team to maneuver their balloon and grab the key wins!

The Mass Ascension

Yes, this event is exactly what it sounds like. The mass ascension is when every balloon in the festival simultaneously launches into the air.
Balloons of all shapes and sizes rise up into the sky, stretching far and wide. There's nothing more spectacular than hundreds of balloons blotting out the sun.
Expect a rainbow of different colors, and balloons of all different shapes and sizes. We've seen everything from your traditional balloons to Spongebob Squarepants flying high overhead.
If we could only choose one event to visit, we'd choose the mass ascension every time.
Hopefully, this guide has piqued your interest about the world of hot air balloons. We're an interesting bunch, but always welcoming of newcomers.
Our yearly festivals are just another way for us to say hello and bring joy to someone's life.
We're looking forward to winter's end so we can get our balloons in the air again.

The next round of festivals is this summer, and we hope to see all of you there. Remember, you haven't truly seen the sky until you've seen it outlined with hot air balloons.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Actually Feel Like?

What Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Actually Feel Like?

Thinking of checking out hot air balloon rides, but wondering what it's actually like? Look no further than this guide! Here's what you can expect.

Keyword(s): hot air balloon rides

Hot air balloon rides are an adventure.
From the beautiful views to the adrenaline rush of being up in the air to the unique experience of being floated into the heavens by a brightly colored balloon, it's hard not to see the appeal in the remarkable world of hot air balloon rides.
However, to someone who has never been, the idea of being in a tiny basket in the sky may seem a bit daunting.
Should you pass on the adventure, or go for this awesome outdoor vacation idea? We put together a guide to understanding exactly what happens during hot air balloon rides and what the experience really feels like so you can make an educated decision.
Check out our awesome guide to hot air balloon rides!

What Happens During Hot Air Balloon Rides?

Here's the play-by-play of what happens before and during a hot air balloon ride.


The basket (the part of the hot air balloon you will be inside) will be unloaded and mounted.
A burner will be installed to the top of four "sticks" that line the sides of the basket securely.
Gas hoses will then be connected to propane tanks inside of the basket. After a quick test to make sure the burner is working right, the basket will be fixed to the balloon-- known beforehand as "the envelope".

The Envelope

The hot air balloon pre-hot air will be taken out of a large bag. The tapered part of the envelope will them be attached to the basket to hooks along the burner.


After neatly spreading the envelope out flat, it will then be inflated with cold air. After checking for holes, the balloon will then be inflated.
During this hot air inflation, sand bags or hooks will be used to keep it on the ground.

Entry and Takeoff

At this point, riders will be brought on board. After a short security and safety briefing, weight will be removed and the burner will be activated to make the air lighter.
Now it's off into the sky, where the wind will gently push you on an undetermined path up to three thousand feet in the air.

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What Does A Hot Air Balloon Ride Feel Like?

First and foremost, it feels really hot.
The flames from the burner are very warm, and you'll notice pretty quickly that that basket is a well-heated spot.
When you lift off, you'll probably brace for an abrupt, jolting takeoff. Surprisingly, this doesn't happen. Once the hot air balloon is filled with less heavy air, the basket is lifted gently away from the ground.
This initial feeling is very surreal. You may feel like you're in some kind of a dream, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with how gentle the floating sensation of being in the balloon is.
When you first get into the basket, which is typically made of wicker, it may appear or feel flimsy. Don't worry-- once you're in the air, it will feel more stable.
You'll also notice that you can't quite hear the wind from inside the basket, either.
To put it simply, not matter how nervous you are, you will feel a serene sense of peace while up in the air. Hot air balloon rides are designed to be gentle.

Tips For First-Time Hot Air Balloon Riders

Are you intrigued but still feel about uneasy about hot air balloon rides? Here are a few tips for first timers from experienced hot air balloon enthusiasts.

Do Your Research

Prices and rates for hot air balloon rides vary significantly. Typically, a shared basket (public) hot air balloon ride cost approximately $200 per person, varying from place to place.
A private hot air balloon ride (typically for two people) will cost you between $600 and $900. It is typically considered polite to include a tip for the crew as well if your ride was enjoyable.
There are plenty of places to research rates, prices, and hot air balloon companies for just about every area.

The Basket Sizes Range A Lot

You may have an image of your mind from the movies of a tiny two-seater basket underneath a large hot air balloon. However, basket sizes range quite a bit, from single sizes to bigger baskets that can hold almost fifteen people.
The public size baskets are a great way to get up close and personal with other nervous first-time riders. However, as we mentioned above, public baskets are usually significantly cheaper.

You Will Not Fly In Bad Weather...

Are you nervous about a sudden storm or gust of wind sweeping up your hot air balloon and tossing you into oblivion? We're talking about gentle easy-going hot air balloon rides here, not skydiving.
If there is even an inkling that weather may not be optimal or safe before takeoff, no hot air balloon company will allow takeoff.
That means that any suspicious weather predictions like rain or wind will be carefully surveyed by the balloon crew, and they will definitely prevent takeoff should conditions not be at their best. So rest easy, Dorothy!

...So Prepare For Rescheduling

Since weather conditions must be perfect for a safe ride to occur, be prepared to be flexible and patient if your flight time or date gets delayed or rescheduled.
You want to fly safely, so there is a chance that your flight will be canceled two minutes before you were supposed to step on board.

Dress For Summer, Even If It Is Winter

Because of the balloon burners and big flames, the basket will get pretty toasty-- even if the weather is nippy. Dress how you would want to for maximum comfort if you were sitting next to a big bonfire before you head out for your trip.

Start Flying In Style!

Was our guide to hot air balloon rides helpful in your decision-making process? Tell us what you think, along with your own personal experience with hot air balloon rides, in the comments below!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How to pick the best Hot Air Balloon Ride Phoenix Arizona

How to choose the best hot air balloon ride company in Phoenix Arizona?

Safety: Safety of hot air balloon company should be your first concern; not all hot air balloon companies are created equal. Some have previous accidents or incidents. The company that prides itself with the best safety record is Aerogelic Ballooning. While being in business since 1976 with perfect safety and no blemishes. Also being owned by the same family since the beginning makes Aerogelic Ballooning the oldest company in Arizona with perfect safety. Some local hot air balloon companies in the local Phoenix area have perfect safety although only been around for a short time. So check on time in business. A great place to check on safety is at the NTSB web site here:
This will take a little work. You will have to search the states (all of them that the company operates in), also any and all company names names they may use, and also check out there pilots names. Only thing you have to do is enter the catagory (balloons) than at the bottom where it allows you to enter a phrase enter any company name or pilot name (Enter your word string below: (Searches both synopsis and full narrative; will slow the query performance). Leave all of the rest of it generic or blank. 

Aerogelic Ballooning operates only in Arizona, and New Mexico. Our pilots on staff are Shane Cory, Dwayne Osborne, Daniel Liberti, and Robert Roesch. 

Local: Finding the local hot air balloon company can be frustrating now days with so many third party agencies selling hot air balloon rides. Google maps, or Google places seems to also promote out of town companies depending on the P.O. box they submit. Yes all you need is a post office box to become a google local company. 
How to find the local organic hot air balloon ride company? Call and ASK:
How long have you operated in Phoenix Arizona?
Where is your company headquarters?
Do you operate in Phoenix year round?
Are your pilots full time Phoenix residents?
Aerogelic Ballooning has been a local organic hot air balloon caompny since 1976. Originally born in Mesa Arizona (Phoenix suburb) built my Phil Cory (father of current owner Shane Cory) and originally named Cory Bubble Ballooning (yes totally corny 70's name LOL). All of Aerogelic Ballooning's pilots are full time residents of Phoenix Arizona and operate in Phoenix year round. 
Some examples of third party agencies:

Stay in touch as we will continue to blog about how to shop for a hot air balloon ride in Phoenix Arizona. Not all hot air balloon companies are equal.