Frequently Asked Questions

Please read the information on this page for nearly everything to expect about your hot air ballooning experience. Call or email us with any other questions that are not included here and we'll be glad to provide an answer!

Table of contents:

Where do we go ballooning?
Can we fly over New York City in a hot air balloon?
When do we fly?
What time will we need to show up?
How long will the hot air balloon ride be?
What is included in the price of a hot air balloon ride?
How much does it cost?
 How can I pay?
Are reservations required?
Do you require a deposit?
How far in advance do I need to reserve a flight?
Do I need to do anything else after reservations are made?
What if I need to make changes to my reservation? Are there any refunds?
How long are gift certificates valid for?
How many people will fit in a balloon? How many other people will be flying with us?
I'd prefer to fly alone or in a smaller group. What options do you offer?
How long will the whole experience take?
How high / fast / far will we fly?
What areas will we fly over, and what might we see?
Can we fly over my house? Can you steer the balloon?
Where do we land? Back where we started?
Then how do we get back?
Are there any age requirements?
Who can fly? Are there any restrictions?
I'm pretty sure I'm afraid of heights! Will I have a problem?
What about motion sickness?
Is ballooning safe?
What weather conditions are required?
What should I wear?
Is it colder up there?
Can I bring a camera?
What else can I bring aboard?
Can other people come to watch? Can family or friends follow in their vehicles?
What about a gratuity for the pilot and crew members?
I really enjoyed the flight! How can I possibly return the favor?
Why should we entrust our lives to your company?
What is the best way to contact you?

Where do we go ballooning?

Hot air ballooning is an activity that is best suited for areas away from major population centers. Thus, we find hot air balloons flying over the non-congested rural areas of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The scenic, wide-open countryside allows for many perfect places to land. Our company serves multiple locations within an hour of New York City, Philadelphia and other major cities in the Tri-State area.

We serve multiple areas of hot air ballooning in NJ, NY and PA. Click here for directions and maps to our hot air balloon ride locations.

I'd really like to fly over New York City in a hot air balloon. Can we do that?

You may not believe it, but yes we can! We are the only hot air balloon company in the world that offers hot air balloon rides over NYC. However, it's quite expensive, and it takes a considerable amount of planning and experience because of the congestion and proximity to Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airports. We offer this and other amazing, unique and extraordinary adventure flight packages for a premium. Explore our Adventures page for further details and pricing on these expeditions close to home.

When do we fly?

We fly seven days a week during the summer season, from June through September. We only launch twice each day - once at sunrise, and again 2 hours before sunset - weather permitting. These times are when the winds are calmest to allow for a most enjoyable flight. During the middle of the day, it's usually too unstable to fly due to thermals and wind gusts. As an added bonus, sunrise & sunset are the most breathtaking times of day for balloon photography. The vivid light and rich color of the low sun on the horizon allows for many fantastic photo opportunities.

What time will we need to show up?

Meeting times are listed on our reservations page. Choose the date of your flight, and the time listed will be the official meeting time.

For morning flights, we meet at the launch site approximately 30 minutes before official sunrise. For afternoon flights, we meet approximately two-and-a-half hours before official sunset. Be sure to factor in time for possible rush hour traffic on the highways in the afternoons. Late arrivals will be treated as a "no-show" and no refunds will be given.

How long will the hot air balloon ride be?

Our hot air balloon flights average just over an hour, although time in the air can range anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. Duration of flight depends on many variables such as wind and weather conditions, potential landing sites, daylight remaining, payload, altitude, temperature and other situational considerations. We certainly love to fly, and will try to extend the flight as much as possible. The ultimate decision on flight length is based on safety and is determined solely by the pilot-in-command.

The whole experience usually takes about three hours from beginning to end, so plan on being with us for at least that long. Due to the unpredictability inherent in ballooning, we cannot be responsible for late appointments (usually dinner reservations!) afterwards.

What is included in the price of a hot air balloon ride?

Average flight time of over one hour in duration (may range from 45 minutes to two hours)
Special post-flight champagne toast ceremony (mimosas in the morning!) and refreshments
Return transportation to the launch site
Digital photos on the ground and in the air (on request, when available)
Memories to last a Lifetime!

How much does it cost?

Ah, our number one question! See our pricing section for hot air balloon flight fares in each of our flying areas.

How can I pay?

To reserve a flight, we hold a credit card in place of a deposit payment. There is no charge to the card prior to the flight. On the day of the flight, we accept payment by cash or credit card. Please inquire about our discount for cash payments, and other discounts.

Are reservations required?

Yes, reservations for a hot air balloon ride are required. Reserve online here:

Do you require a deposit?

We do not require a deposit payment. However, we do require a valid credit card number at the time of reservation. We will not charge your credit card until after the flight. This is the most convenient option for making reservations, as it eliminates the need to make a deposit payment.

How far in advance do I need to reserve a flight?

Schedule as early as possible, and plan ahead. Weekends always tend to fill up first, with Saturday and Sunday afternoons being the most popular flight times.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend booking your preferred flight date at least two weeks in advance to ensure it will be available. However, last-minute bookings and schedule changes are always possible - just give us a call to find out if we have immediate availability. We can sometimes schedule your flight on very short notice - occasionally same-day service!

Do I need to do anything else after reservations are made?

Yes. You must call us to confirm your flight in the final hours before meeting time. Confirmation is made by phone call on the evening before your morning flight (between 9:00 and 10:00 PM), or the day of your afternoon flight (between 2:30 and 3:00 PM).

Based on the weather forecast and actual conditions, we will make the final decision at that time to either meet at the launch field or postpone the flight for another day. Do not assume the weather is good enough, or too bad that we won't fly - call us to confirm before you leave for the launch site or decide to stay home.

If you do not check in, we will automatically assume you don't plan to arrive for the flight. Therefore, it is vital that you call to check in. We will not contact you except in extraordinary situations.

What if I need to make changes to my reservation? Are there any refunds?

We have a generous cancellation policy to protect everyone in case plans happen to change between the time of reservation and the scheduled flight time. Cancellations and changes to your reservations can be made up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled flight time with no consequences (full refund). Cancellations within 72 hours of flight time carry certain penalties.

See our policies section for further details on our cancellation policy.

How long are gift certificates valid for?

Gift certificates are valid for two years from the date of purchase. They are non-refundable, but are fully transferable. See our policies section for further details.

How many people will fit in a balloon? How many other people will be flying with us?

The hot air balloons in our fleet range in capacity from two to twelve passengers, plus pilot, of course. The majority of our balloon rides are flown with balloons that accommodate a total of four to six passengers plus pilot. Therefore, on a standard flight, singles and couples will generally be paired with at least another couple. Exclusive private flights are always available to reserve the basket to your own party of two or more for more personal adventures. However, we've found over the years that the more people in the basket, the more fun everyone will have! We will bring out multiple balloons if your party is greater than 10 to 12 guests. Group rates apply for six or more passengers booked at one time. 

Our largest balloon baskets have padded passenger compartments to accommodate our guests in comfortable luxury. The baskets have separate sections that can comfortably accommodate up to twelve passengers plus pilot. This allows greater privacy and even more protection than standard open baskets. Groups of passengers are separated and have their own personal space.

For occasions such as corporate functions, company picnics, workshops and other special events, we specialize in large group flight excursions. With advance notice, we can easily handle parties of 30 or more in multiple balloons. This offers the atmosphere and excitement of a private hot air balloon festival!

I'd prefer to fly alone or in a smaller group. What options do you offer?

Exclusive flights cost a little bit more than a standard flight, but will reserve the basket to your own party of two or more. An exclusive flight is perfect for private occasions such as anniversaries or engagements. Exclusive flights may not be available in all locations or on certain dates. See our pricing section for details.

How long will the whole experience take?

Plan to be with us approximately three hours from the meeting time. We will meet in the parking lot of our launch field, take the time to get to know all our passengers and introduce our pilots and ground crew members. Groups will be assigned to their pilot and the preflight briefing will then be given during which the pilot will explain everything and answer any questions. Guests are more than welcome to assist in the setup and inflation of the hot air balloons, but are not required to do so.

Once the inflation process begins, it will only be a matter of minutes before you will take to the sky in your beautiful balloon! The flight range anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, although most of our hot air balloon flights average just over an hour. When it's time to land, our experienced ground crew will be close at hand to assist with deflating and packing up the hot air balloon for return to the launch site. After we return, we will join in a customary champagne celebration to toast our balloon flight.

How high / fast / far will we fly?

Since balloons only travel as fast as the wind is blowing, we won't go much faster than 8 to 10 miles per hour near the ground. If the winds low to the ground are any quicker than that, takeoffs and landings become a bit tricky. In those cases, we may decide not to fly. See our weather requirements for more details.

On average, our hot air balloon flights last just over an hour, so we will cover anywhere from 2 to 20 miles in that time. You'll traverse lots of countryside and witness diverse changes in scenery on a typical balloon ride in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.

As to how high we'll be soaring, we can fly anywhere from treetop level to many thousands of feet up! Down low in the trees is arguably the most enjoyable part of any flight. You'll be able to pick leaves from the tops of trees and converse with earthbound folks as we gently float along.

We like to climb up high to give passengers an expansive vista from a few thousand feet up. On a clear day, New Jersey passengers can usually see the skylines of both New York City and Philadelphia on the distant horizons, as well as the Delaware Water Gap to the Northwest and even the Atlantic Ocean to the East! On a clear day, passengers on flights in Pennsylvania will see the skyline of Philadelphia to the East and Chesapeake Bay to the South.

What areas will we fly over, and what might we see?

The wonderful landscape of rolling hills and vibrant green fields will be contrasted with lakes, rivers, forests, neighborhoods, developments, shopping centers and other civilization we'll also gently float over on our hot air balloon flight. Wildlife is in abundance in the areas we fly, so we may see lots of animals from above, especially deer, geese, horses, cows, sheep and other livestock, and even hawks, foxes and other creatures less-frequently seen from the ground.

Can we fly over my house? Can you steer the balloon?

Can we fly over your house? Probably not, unless it's directly downwind in our flight path! Since they float along with the wind, hot air balloons can't be steered like a car or airplane. However, hot air balloon pilots can direct a balloon by maneuvering to find subtle changes in wind speed and direction. We have very accurate altitude control by using the burners to heat the air in the balloon, and by climbing and descending, we can use these wind direction changes to adjust our course.

Sometimes these wind changes are so significant that we can actually land close to where we took off from, but usually we'll only have a few degrees of "steerage" to work with. That is often enough directional control to be able to pick out specific downwind landing spots or waypoints from long distances away. In practice, we can usually target an intended landing area soon after liftoff. Our ground crew can venture ahead and wait there for us to land.

Where do we land? Back where we started?

Not usually. Since balloons travel with the wind and can't be steered, we will land wherever the wind takes us - downwind from the launch site. Very rarely will we actually be able to land back where the flight began, although we've done it more than a fair share of times. A "round trip" flight requires winds aloft blowing in the completely opposite direction.

Most of our landings occur in front and back yards, parking lots, cul-de-sacs, housing developments, less-traveled streets, schools, parks and unplanted farm fields. You'd be surprised where we can actually fit a hot air balloon!

Then how do we get back?

Ah... Good question! Actually, our ground crew will follow our path on the ground and should arrive before, during, or slightly after our landing. They'll help us pack up the balloon, and we'll return to the launch site in the balloon chase vehicle, which is typically a passenger van or a truck with a trailer.

Are there any age requirements?

There are no set age limits on who can fly. Children are always welcomed, however they should be at least 42 inches tall to be able to see over the basket edge. We don't often recommend children under six years of age, mainly because they'll have to stand still for an hour. Most kids that young will get fidgety and restless after a few minutes of standing in the same place. As well, many youngsters are afraid of the loud noise the burner makes. However, if you're sure your young child will be willing and able to behave well, we'll be glad to have them join us on the balloon flight.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is no such thing as "too old." We have carried passengers over 100 years of age!

Who can fly? Are there any restrictions?

Nearly everybody is welcome to fly with us! We've flown passengers from age 3 to 103. However, there are a few requirements we need to stand by to make the ride pleasant and enjoyable for all.

You should be in good physical shape with no recent surgeries, broken bones or other medical issues which may affect your ability to take part in a physical activity. You'll also need to be able to stand for the duration of the balloon flight (at least one hour). It is important that we be informed of all potential medical/physical problems at the time of flight reservation. In most cases there is no reason for us not to fly a passenger, but we do need to be aware. The safety of our friends and passengers is paramount. See our Policies section for more details.

We regret that we cannot take up those who are pregnant. If you wait a few years and take your child up when they're old enough to appreciate it, it'll be a much more enjoyable experience for the both of you.

We're sorry that we cannot currently accommodate wheelchair users who are unable to stand for a length of time. There are very few hot air balloons in the world certified to carry wheelchairs, and only a handful that we know of in the United States.

Per FAA regulations, passengers under the influence of drugs or alcohol cannot and will not be flown. Refunds will not be given for those who arrive in a such a state.

I'm pretty sure I'm afraid of heights! Will I have a problem?

Acrophobia: The fear of heights. I'll venture to guess perhaps 80% or more of all our passengers have some degree of apprehension about leaving the ground.

For those passengers who are adventurous enough to conquer their own fears and take to the air, 99.9% of them get back on the ground and vow to come back and do it again with us!

There's a simple explanation for this seemingly remarkable phenomenon:

When looking straight down the side of a tall building, parking garage or similar high place, you are able to visualize your physical connection to the ground. This actual perceived height is what makes you step back from the edge, grasp that railing a little tighter, or in extreme cases, get a little sick to your stomach. Not fun!

However, in a hot air balloon basket, there is no visible connection to the ground. This detachment from the earth essentially removes any uneasy sensations of height. Furthermore, there is no relative altitude in a balloon - whether two feet above the treetops or two thousand feet up, it all feels the the same. But the view is much better from up high!

We're sure you'll have no worries once you're up there. If you can get past your initial concern about leaving the ground, you'll be just fine!

What about motion sickness?

Turbulence is unheard of, as we are not fighting the wind like an airplane has to. Since the hot air balloon floats along with the wind, there's no movement to worry about.

While airborne, the basket is perfectly balanced underneath the balloon and there is no rocking sensation. The entire flight is very smooth, and changes in altitude are gradual and hardly noticeable. Passengers who suffer from even the most severe cases of motion sickness will not feel any effects from a balloon ride.

Is ballooning safe?

The most dangerous part of the hot air balloon ride is the drive to the launch field! That may sound like a joke, but it's the truth. Especially in New Jersey!

Although hot air ballooning is one of the safest forms of aviation, it still has inherent dangers like all other outdoor recreational activities. Please be aware of your physical limitations when scheduling a balloon ride, as it is important to understand all the possible risks involved. If in doubt, consult your doctor or physician about the suitability of a balloon ride.

The weather is the most influential factor on any hot air balloon flight, and the winds will determine our landing conditions. Despite all the advances in modern forecasting technology and up-to-the-minute aviation weather resources we have at our command, weather is still ultimately unpredictable in flight. Keeping that in mind, there is always the possibility of an occasional windy, bumpy landing. In this case, the basket may make a firm touchdown, tip over in the direction of travel, and drag along the ground until the balloon deflates and we come to a final stop.

For many people, this is an exciting addition to an already adventurous flight! However, for others, a hard landing may not be quite what they expected at the end of a graceful balloon ride. We like to educate and prepare all our passengers that every flight has the potential to end this way. Although we will never launch when conditions are expected to result in such an exciting landing, there's always the possibility the landing might offer a little more fun than we anticipated. Whatever the case may be, our professional pilots are skilled and prepared to handle any possible situation in the air.

What weather conditions are required?

Balloons require ideal weather conditions, which are thankfully found much of the time. However, just because it's a beautiful sunny day, understand that it may not necessarily be a perfect day to go flying. The wind speed must be less than 8 to 10 miles per hour, and there must be no thunderstorm activity within 100 miles. Balloons don't fly in the rain. Even if has stopped raining recently before flight time, the ground may still be too wet for a balloon flight or there may be more bad weather on the way.

It is ultimately the pilot-in-command's judgment on whether or not the weather is suitable for flight, and that decision is made solely in the interest of safety. We'd love to fly all the time, but sometimes it's just not going to happen. There's an old and wise saying we use in the ballooning circle - "It's better to be on the ground wishing we were up there, than to be in the air wishing we were down here!"

Weather cancellations can and do occur, so please have patience. Sometimes we just cannot fly on your chosen date. We will reschedule you at a convenient later date as many times as necessary until your flight is completed. If you cannot reschedule after a weather cancellation, a refund of your flight deposit will be allowed. Gift certificates will not be refunded due to weather cancellations. If you have left a credit card on hold for your deposit, it will not be charged.

What should I wear?

You should dress for an outdoor activity according to the season and temperature of that day. It's probably best to wear clothes that you aren't afraid to get wet or dirty, although we certainly won't aim to do such things! Appropriate clothing for ballooning is jeans, sneakers/hiking boots, and casual shirts. Taller passengers may want to wear a hat in the warmer months, as the burner generates heat.

Waterproof shoes or boots are a good idea in the mornings, as it's very common for the ground to be wet with morning dew. Shorts and skirts may not be suitable for some of our landing spots. Hiking boots, sneakers, or a comfortable flat shoe are the preferred footwear. Heeled shoes and open-toed footwear (sandals) should be avoided at all costs.

It is cooler in the mornings as well as after sunset, so an extra layer (sweatshirt, light jacket) might be well worth bringing along to either add on or take off as it gets warmer or cooler.

Is it colder up in a hot air balloon?

It will be nearly the same temperature up in the balloon as it is on the ground. The temperature drops a constant 3.5F per 1000 feet above sea level. Our flights are generally flown within 3000 feet of the ground, so the coldest it would usually get on a normal flight would be about 10F cooler than ground temperature. Sometimes we'll fly higher if the passengers would prefer to and conditions permit.

Can I bring a camera?

Absolutely! You are encouraged to bring along a camera, digital camera or small video recorder. You'll be able to capture beautiful pictures aloft to remember your flight by and to show friends your exciting adventure. However, please use a neck or wrist strap, and make sure to bring a padded bag or case to stow your camera in before final landing. We cannot be responsible for personal belongings. Bring twice as much film/memory as you think you'll need, and then some! Many people run out of pictures in the first few minutes of flight.

What else can I bring aboard?

We carry bottled water on our flights, and offer to carry refreshments of your own on board as well, if needed. There is sometimes enough room per passenger for a small handbag, but anything beyond yourself and a camera is best left on the ground in your locked vehicle. There's really no need to put on makeup or talk to friends on your cell phone!

Can other people come to watch? Can family or friends follow in their vehicles?

Sure! Others are welcome to follow behind our ground crew in their own vehicles. If it is an exclusive flight, we will usually offer friends or family the chance to ride along with the chase crew for an even more exciting experience.

What about a gratuity for the pilot and crew members?

Our ground crew members are volunteers who put in long hours and lots of effort strictly for the love of hot air ballooning. Although not required, it is common practice to tip these hard-working individuals. Like any personal service, if they do their job well, it shows your appreciation for their attention to detail. An appropriate amount would be 10-15% and can be given to your pilot to distribute solely among the ground crew, or you may add the gratuity to your credit card after the flight.

I really enjoyed the flight! How can I possibly return the favor?

Spread the word by telling a friend! We love to take up friends of customers, and often have repeat customers returning year after year. Perhaps you might also be interested in sharing some kind words or photos for the feedback page?

We also have profiles on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google. Feedback from customers on these review websites is our best advertising. We would truly appreciate hearing from you!

Why should we entrust our lives to your company?

We love to fly, and hopefully it is apparent by now. Ballooning is our life, our full-time occupation, and reason for existing. Experience counts for everything in ballooning, and our pilots come with all the highest qualifications and flight experience. Our safety record is spotless, and everything we do is in the interest of our guests' safety. We strive to make your hot air balloon flight an experience that you will remember forever, for all the right reasons.

What is the best way to contact you?

If you have further questions about balloon rides in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, call us toll-free at 1-844-9-HOT-AIR. You may always email us, but phone contact is best since we're usually away from our office computers. Plus, we're way friendlier on the phone! :)

To easily check flight availability and make reservations, please follow these links: