Frequently Asked Questions

Providing answers to our most common questions about hot air balloons and the flight so you can know what to expect.

Flight time can vary depending on wind speed and direction. We aim to fly 45 minutes to 1 hour. The entire experience is about 4.5 hours long and includes hotel pickup, driving to the launch location, safety briefing, the flight, post-flight celebration, and return trip to hotels.

Hot Air Balloons operate using the basic principles of gravity and heat transfer. When the air inside the balloon is heated past the outside (ambient) temperature, it gains altitude. As the air inside the envelope is vented or cools, the balloon descends. Pilots use wind layers at different altitudes in order to steer the balloon in different directions.

Our largest basket for shared flights holds 8-9 passengers plus the pilot. Our smaller basket holds 4 passengers plus the pilot. The basket(s) we use depends on the passenger makeup for the day.

We ask that you keep personal belongings to a minimum. A waist pack or small crossbody bag can be brought on the flight. No oversized bags will be allowed.

In the Santa Fe area, the winds are most calm and predictable at sunrise. This presents the most favorable and safest time to fly.

If you have known health conditions, you may want to have a discussion with your primary care provider. While we do everything we can to have a soft landing, there are times when it can be a bit bumpy. IMPORTANT NOTE: we cannot take a passenger that is pregnant.

Yes! We encourage our passengers to take pictures and videos. Don’t forget to tag us in your social media posts!

Tipping is not required. As with any service-based operation, tipping is a show of gratitude for an exceptional experience. If you choose to tip, any amount is greatly appreciated and will be divided among the crew working on your flight.

Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required for safety reasons. Most passengers like to dress in layers. The mornings can start of chilly but warm quickly as the sun comes up. For passengers with thinning or no hair, a hat or cap is recommended to provide protection and comfort.

Weight is a major factor in flying a hot air balloon. Our “lift capacity” is based on a number of factors, such as outside temperature, humidity, density altitude, etc. We carefully plan the flight considering the total weight of the passengers we carry, not just an individual passenger’s weight.

We require that passengers be at least 8 years old. This is so they can see out of the basket (It is not safe to hold a child during flight.), and so they are able to remember the pilot’s pre-flight instructions for the duration of the flight and on landing.

There is no upper age limit as long as the passenger is mobile and can climb in and out of the basket with only a little assistance. We have had passengers as old as 90, and they enjoyed every minute of it. Please know that there are no seats in the basket and we cannot take mobility devices in the basket for safety reasons.

The basket has footholds. You will put your foot into a slot in the side of the basket and swing your legs over the top, and into the basket. It’s kind of like getting on a horse, there is no graceful way to do it!

Food and drink are not allowed on the flight unless medically necessary. After the flight, we will provide some light snacks, soda, and water.

Our typical hot air balloon flights rise to around 5,000 feet, depending on the wind speed and direction. The highest hot air balloon flight on record went to an altitude of over 30,000 ft. We don’t fly that high!

Yes. Hot air ballooning is regulated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration). Our pilots are required to log ground training, take two FAA regulated written test, and pass two in-flight tests with FAA examiners on board. Only after passing all tests are they awarded a license certificate for commercial hot air balloon operations.