Frequently asked questions:
Why do balloons mostly fly early morning?
In the early morning conditions are best for ballooning. During the main part of the day the sun heats the ground which heats the air above causing thermal activity and columns of rising air. These thermals cause unstable air which makes it difficult to control the altitude of a hot air balloon.
When do you fly?
We schedule hot air balloon rides in Tuscany all year round depending mainly on weather conditions. Our balloon flights usually take place in the morning shortly after sunrise, but this changes depending on the time of year.
How long is the balloon flight?
A hot air balloon ride with us lasts for around one hour, depending on weather conditions and suitability of landing sites, the whole ballooning tour takes three to four hours.
Where do you take off?
Our usual balloon takeoff location is situated in Tuscany near Florence. The closest town is San Casciano Val di Pesa. We have several launch sites in and around Florence, Siena, Lucca and other places in Tuscany and Italy
Where will we land?
Hot air balloons travel with the wind, you never know where exactly you’re going to land which makes it a little adventure every time. The pilot will start looking for a suitable landing site after around 45 minutes. The retrieve crew will follow the balloon on the ground and aim to arrive shortly after landing. After the balloon is packed away they will transport you back to your meeting point.
How high will we fly?
Sometimes when visibility is exceptionally nice we may go up to 4-5000 feet depending also on airspace restrictions But even at a few hundred feet the views are incredible, and flying really low, touching the tree tops is something you can only do with the hot-air balloon.
How far will we fly?
Hot air balloons do not have a rudder in the normal sense, so they travel with the wind. The pilot does control the altitude by heating and cooling the balloon. How far we fly depends on the wind speed and direction which will determine the time it takes the pilot to find a good landing field. Some days we fly a relatively short distance other days many Km.
How is the landing?
The balloon basket does not have wheels..so sometimes when there is wind on the ground, on landing the balloon basket can tip and drag along before coming to a halt. This is perfectly normal and form many the most favorite part of the flight. The balloon baskest are designed for safety and comfort, during landing you will be in the safe landing position as instructed by your pilot.
What clothes should I wear?
We recommend passengers should wear flat and comfortable shoes (waterproof shoes are best as grass is often damp in the early mornings), shoes with high heels are not allowed on board. Do wear layers of clothes, it is often quite cool early mornings. Possibly wear a hat or cap for the radiant heat of the balloon burners. During the flight temperatures are about the same as those on the ground. Generally clothes suitable for a walk in the country which you don’t mind getting a little dirty as you may be asked to help with the setup and deflation of the balloon.
Can I bring my camera?
Of course you should bring a camera, the balloon is the most perfect platform for aerial photography. However cameras are carried at your own risk.
How many passengers are there in the balloon?
We operate a fleet of balloons varying in size. Our standard balloon rides use baskets which carry 4 up to 8 people. We also have a balloon for groups carrying 16 passengers, where the balloon basket is split into compartments with between two and four people in each, so you have your own space. We also have smaller balloons which accommodate just to passengers and the pilot for our exclusive Privilege flights.
Can some people not fly in a hot air balloon?
Children must be tall enough to see over the edge of the basket 130 cm. Passengers must be physically able to climb over the side into the basket with the steps provided, stand unassisted for an hour and adopt the seated landing position. They should also be sure they don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions which could be affected by the ballooning experience and seek medical advice if unsure. As a general rule, people should be able to jump from the height of a chair without difficulty. People weighing over 110kg will be required to pay a supplement. We can not fly passengers who are pregnant or have recently had major surgery.
Is hot air ballooning safe?
Hot air ballooning is an extremely safe activity which is highly regulated and controlled in Italy and Switzerland where we hold our Air Operators Certificates with the Civil Aviation Authority ENAC. We follow strict safety guidelines and update courses and use the best ballooning equipment. Our pilots are highly experienced and hold commercial balloon licenses.
What about insurance?
We are insured for public and third party You may wish to check with your holiday insurance to ensure it covers activities like hot air ballooning.
What happens if the weather is bad?
Hot air ballooning is very weather dependent and sometimes pilots will cancel a flight because the weather conditions are unsuitable. This can be because of strong winds, poor visibility (fog), possibility of thunder storm activity or very wet ground conditions. The pilot will take the decision to fly based on the most up to date forecasts available. Sometimes the actual conditions may be different to what was forecasted. The pilot will always put safety first.
What happens if the flight is cancelled?
If we have to cancel your flight because of weather or other reasons outside of our control, we will try to re-schedule your flight during your stay in Tuscany. If there is no other possible day, we will cancel your booking, in this case there is no charge. No flight – no charge.
What if I want to cancel my flight?
That’s no problem as you can cancel your booking by calling or emailing us in line with our cancellation policy:
You can cancel up to 30 days before the flight date there is no charge.
If you cancel within the final 30 days up to 48 hours before a 25% cancellation fee applies.
If you cancel within 48 hours before the flight you will be charged 100% cancellation fee.
Don’t forget – ballooning is a weather dependent activity so if the flight has to be cancelled and cannot be re-arranged at your convenience then there is no charge, no cancellation fee.
Answered all faq’s?
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