Ballooning should be a safe, comfortable, and breathtaking experience. Feel free to browse our list of common questions to prepare for the adventure. If you have a question that is not listed below, please feel free to contact us and we will assist you.
what do I wear?
Wear temperature appropriate clothing for the time of year in which you book. Closed-toe shoes are a must as the fields in which we take off and land can be wet or muddy. Dresses, sandals, and high heels may be uncomfortable during the experience. Dressing in layers is advised.
We launch from locations around the Berkshires, Litchfield Hills, and Hudson Valley. Launch sites vary depending on wind direction and where our passengers are traveling from. You will be contacted in the days leading up to your flight to specify a meeting location.
where do we take off?
Shortly after sunrise and a couple hours before sunset. (Winter flights occur exclusively at sunrise)
What time of day do we fly?
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN FIT IN THE BALLOON?
We can have up to 4 passengers in one balloon (weight limitations apply). However, multi-balloon adventures are available for larger parties. Contact us for more information.
what should I bring?
Carry on items should be kept to a minimum. Cameras are highly encouraged but safety straps and protective cases are recommended. Spirit Ballooning LLC takes no responsibility for lost or damaged items.
HOW LONG DOES A BALLOON ADVENTURE LAST?
Our balloon adventures last between 3 and 4 hours. This includes a 45-90 minute flight, transportation to and from the launch site, pre-flight preparation, pack up of the equipment, and the post-flight champagne celebration.
HOW DO I MAKE A RESERVATION?
We pride ourselves in offering an intimate experience to all of our guests. Sometimes a crew member or co-pilot will come along on the flight to assist in flight operations and take photos. If you have questions or concerns about this policy, please contact us.
Will there be other people in the basket?
Our family learned to fly by crewing in exchange for rides and lessons. We extend this same opportunity to anyone with the warm, positive, and team-oriented attitudes we expect from our crew members. Spending time with our crew is a unique and fulfilling experience and can turn into lesson and ride discounts. Contact us for more information.
do you offer any discounts?
Yes. Due to our reliance on favorable weather it may be necessary to reschedule your adventure. The further in advance you book, the better chance you’ll have of flying during a particular time frame.
DO I NEED TO BOOK MY FLIGHT IN ADVANCE?
ARE GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE?
We welcome passengers of all ages. Inform your pilot ahead of time if you have any mobility or health concerns. We will do our best to accommodate everyone. Children are welcome but must be able to follow directions.
Are there age restrictions for balloon rides?
An inflator fan is used to fill the balloon envelope with cold air, then we use burners to heat the air within the balloon. The hot air rises and the balloon stands upright. In the air, the pilot adds heat to ascend and lets the air in the balloon cool to descend. We use the direction of the wind at different altitudes to steer the balloon.
HOW DO BALLOONS FLY?
Our number one priority is the safety of our passengers and crew. Our pilots and crew regularly attend safety seminars to keep up to date on safety rules and regulations. The flight will be rescheduled if at any time the pilot in command feels the conditions are not safe for the passenger, crew, or observers.
HOW SAFE IS BALLOONING?
Yes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulates ballooning and requires a Lighter Than Air (LTA) Commercially licensed pilot to fly passengers for hire. Pilots must take instruction, pass a written and practical test, and be re-examined biannually. Our pilots are all commercially rated pilots and instructors.
do you need a pilot's license to fly a hot air balloon?
To become a licensed LTA Commercial pilot, one must have at least 35 hours of flight time, 20 of which must be in balloons (the remaining 15 hours may be in other aircraft). The commercial pilot must pass an additional written, oral, and flight check prior to being issued a commercial pilot’s license.
what is required to become a pilot?
Generally your flight will be between 500 and 3,000 feet above sea level. Altitudes will vary depending on direction and speed of winds.
how high do we fly?
Passengers will be standing for the entirety of the 45-90 minute flight. We do not recommend that pregnant women, anyone with head, back, neck or leg injuries, or someone who has recently undergone surgery fly. Please let us know when you book if you have any special requests so we can make any reasonable accommodations.
are there any health restrictions?
Yes, all passengers and crew are required to sign a waiver to participate with Spirit Ballooning LLC. You may preview the waiver here.
am I required to sign a liability waiver?
can I bring friends?
Yes. Friends can come and help as part of the crew, but due to limited seating in our chase vehicle, they must bring their own transportation.
Yes. Helping to setup and pack up the hot air balloon is an informative and rewarding part of the ballooning experience.
can I help with setup?
Our ground crew is made up of volunteers. They will happily accept tips for their exemplary service. However, tips are not expected or required.