Here you will find some common questions that we receive. Please take a few minutes to read over these and see if your question is here. If not, feel free to contact us for more information!
Q: How much does a flight cost?
A: Our PRIVATE Champagne Flights are current $325 per person with a 2-3 guest capacity. You'll find many companies charge as much or more to throw you in a large basket full of strangers or charge significantly more for private party flights.
Q: Is a deposit required?
A: Yes. We ask for a $100 deposit to hold your booking. The deposit is applied to the cost of your flight. See below regarding our cancellation policy.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: For cancellations due to weather, we will offer you our next available date that works for you to reschedule your flight at no charge. If you cannot reschedule, we will refund your deposit. If you cancel your flight for other reasons within 48 hours of the flight without rescheduling, the deposit will not be refunded.
Q: How long is the flight?
A: Typical balloon rides last about an hour. We do have to keep safety as our highest priority, so if we find that the weather conditions or availability of landing sites requires it, we may need to cut the time a bit short. On the flip side, some days it takes us a bit longer to reach that beautiful landing site. If we do not feel prior to the flight that we can safely achieve a flight time of 40+ minutes, we will offer to reschedule you for another opportunity.
The entire experience from meeting to the post-flight ceremony usually takes about 2.5 hours.
Q: Are you insured?
A: YES! Although we have a perfect safety record, we carry a very good policy just in case. Believe it or not, balloon insurance is not a legal requirement and some operators don't think it is necessary. We'd rather be safe than sorry!
Q: What are the acceptable weather conditions for a flight?
A: Ballooning is a very weather dependent activity. We do not have a steering wheel or a brake pedal!
Because of the limitations of our aircraft, we do not fly when the surface winds are in excess of 8 mph. We also have to be careful about the winds above the surface. Many times those winds work their way to the ground by the end of our flight window and can also cause fast landings due to the momentum of the balloon.
In addition to wind limitations, we will not fly when storms are in the forecast or active within 40 miles of our flying area (or more for severe storms). We also must adhere to FAA regulations for minimum flight visibility, which means we cannot fly if it is too foggy or the clouds are too low.
Our pilots are very proud of their safety record and we want to fly as bad as you do, but we will always choose safety first!
Q: What time is our flight?
A: The times for our flights will vary with the seasons based on the sunrise and sunset. For morning flights, we will meet a few minutes before sunrise and for afternoons we will meet about 2.5 hours before sunset. It is not safe to fly balloons in the middle of the day due to thermal activity! Due to uncomfortably high temperatures and typically unstable atmospheric conditions, we do not typically book afternoon flights in the summer months.
Q: Where do we meet/fly?
A: Once we have your contact information, we will stay in touch in the days leading up to your flight about the weather. If everything looks good, we will let you know exactly when and where to meet us!
From our flying area we can often see the mountains to the northwest, Lake Norman to the southwest, and on really clear days you can see the Charlotte and Winston-Salem skyline on the horizon! Ballooning has a rich history in Iredell County because of its good weather and beautiful scenery.
Q: Where can we stay if we are from out of town?
A: The Statesville area has a lot of hotels to choose from if you need to spend the night. Check out some of the choices here: https://www.visitstatesville.com/accomodations
We will do our best to communicate about the weather and probability of a successful flight in the days leading up to your reservation so that you can reschedule or cancel your room if necessary, but we cannot be responsible for any fees for cancelled hotel rooms.
Q: Are there any age, weight, or health limitations to fly?
A: We do not have a strict age limit. We have flown children as young as 4 and adults close to 100! For young children, the noise of the burner can often be scary or hurt their ears, or they may just think flying is too scary. We suggest bringing along an adult to stay on the ground with the child in case they decide they do not want to fly. Our basket is on the taller side, so children under 8 may not be able to see over the edge (about 44" tall). Due to the potential for a bumpy landing, we do not accept passengers who are pregnant.
On the older side, we simply ask that you do not have any health problems that would cause an issue during a bumpy landing such as recent knee or hip replacements, back problems, or other recent major surgery. If you would feel comfortable jumping off of a kitchen chair, you are typically ok to fly.
Our balloons do have a passenger weight limit based on the temperature. We will ask your weights when booking to ensure we can safely operate the balloon within its limitations. Don't worry, we won't tell anyone else!
Q: How high will we go?
A: Our Champagne Flights typically range from just above the treetops to as high as 2,000 ft above the ground! Every flight is unique and the weather conditions, our flight plan, and your comfort with the altitude all impact how high we will go.
If you are afraid of heights, don't worry! Even our pilots don't like climbing on tall roofs, but flying in a balloon is a very different and much less scary experience!
Q: If you can't steer, how do we get back?
A: Our expert chase crew helps us set up and launch, then will follow us in the chase vehicle. We stay in communication through radios and tracking technology so they are always close by when we land. They help us deflate and pack the balloon and then we will drive back to our launch site.