Private Balloon Flights
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Where do we fly?
We fly in the heart of Albuquerque, New Mexico. On any given flight we
may fly near the Petroglyph National Monument, See the "Sandia" or
"Water Mellon" Mountains. We may fly along the Rio Grande River for a
close to the surface dip known as the "Splash and Dash!" We sometimes
fly toward downtown, or even over Old Town Albuquerque. We have a 360
degree view, and can see mountain peeks well over 60 miles away on a
clear day! We also have great aerial views of Balloon Fiesta Park here
in Albuquerque. With each flight, our destination is unknown!
Where do we land?
We never know the exact spot of where we are going to land, but don't
worry! Our chase crews are in constant radio communication with our
pilots, and will find us and return us safely back to our starting
point. It is all a part of the adventure!
How many people fit in the basket?
We operate different sized balloons. The smaller balloons will carry 2
to 4 passengers and the pilot. Our Family baskets will comfortably
hold up to six full size adult passengers plus the pilot, however we do
welcome families with kids, and we can accommodate families of more
than 6 based on each passengers weight, so call for details! Keep in
mind that all baskets are private unless you have asked for our "Shared
Basket" option, and October 1st through 15th.
What if we have bad weather?
In the event of inclement weather, we will offer you the chance to
reschedule for another day, if you have a back up day available. We
always suggest making your reservations for one of the earliest days of
your stay, so that if we do have to cancel, you may have a second or
later day available. If the weather is bad on all of the days you are
here, or you only have one day, of course there is no charge!
Do we need reservations?
Yes. But we usually can accommodate last minute bookings up until the
night before a flight, so give us a call! We usually have spaces
available for tomorrow!
When can I go for a balloon ride?
Balloon rides are best scheduled in the early morning. The second best
choice for scheduling is early afternoon in the fall and winter months
when the weather allows afternoon flights. We usually meet about a half
an hour to 45 minutes before sunrise, and 2-3 hours before sunset,
however your exact meeting time will be given to you when you place
your reservations, or when you call us to check in from your hotel once
you have arrived. The months from March to November are the best months
to schedule because the temperatures are the most comfortable, but we
do offer flights year round!
What should I wear?
Wear clothes for being outside. Long Pants are better than shorts or
skirts, and closed flat toed shoes are better than heels or sandals.
The balloon burner produces some extra comfort heat for the passengers,
so it will usually be a bit warmer in the air than it is standing on
the ground! Taller guests may want to wear a hat. If you are
concerned about getting cold feel free to wear layers so you can remove
them if you become too warm in flight. Don't forget the camera!
Where will we meet?
We have a map printed on our home page with the directions to our
meeting site. Our pilots make the final choice of where to launch
based on the actual weather conditions just prior to flight time, so we
may have you get in our vehicle, or we may have you follow us a short
distance to our launch site. All transfers back to your vehicle are
How far, how fast, how high will we fly?
Typically we will fly anywhere from 3 to 15 miles in an hour, depending
on our wind speed. We will climb anywhere from 100 to 1,000 feet above
the ground, and on occasion a few thousand feet above the ground as we
maneuver toward potential landing sites before touchdown.
How much time will it take?
The balloon ride experience takes about 3 to 3.5 hours on average from
start to finish. Thatís from the time we meet you up until the time we
drop you off, or return you to your vehicle. However, some adventures
may take longer than others. Most of the time we fly about an hour but
we do like to fly longer when possible! (Beware of those who
"Guarantee" the longest ride. WEATHER and SAFETY are the deciding
factors, and you may be disappointed with another company that gives
you a shorter flight and blames it on the weather, after they build up
your expectations! We believe in only promising what we know we can
safely provide, then try to exceed your expectations whenever
What if I am afraid of heights or have motion sickness?
Ballooning is smooth and quiet. There is no feeling of turbulence to
affect your stomach, as we move with the wind, and not against it as
with flying in an airplane. If you already feel comfortable in an
airplane then you should be just fine. We have never had to land early
to sooth someone's fear of heights but we can if we need to.
How do you steer the balloon?
Balloons drift with the wind and have no additional steering. A
balloonist can control his or her altitude and can use the varying
direction of winds at different altitudes. Navigation this way may
offer winds in many directions, or on some days, the winds may go the
same directions at all altitudes. . . Each flight is different and
What kind of fuel does the balloon burn?
Hot air balloons use propane to fuel the burner. Just like the propane
used in barbecue grills. However the burner system in a hot air
balloon gives off much more heat. In fact balloon burners produce up
to 45,000,000 BTU!
Are you required to have a license to fly balloons?
Yes. In fact flying balloons is the same as flying airplanes. Each
balloonist is required to pass a written test and a flight test by the
Federal Aviation Administration and must fly a certain amount of hours
in balloons to give rides. Also each balloon must be maintained to
standards set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure
Who makes the balloons we will be riding in?
Cameron Balloons US. Cameron Balloons is the world's leading balloon
manufacturer. Cameron built the first 2 and ONLY balloons to
successfully go all the way around the world! Cameron Balloons are the
safest, and most expensive balloons in the world. Cameron Balloons are
built right here in the United States. Their factory is located near
Ann Arbor, Michigan, and you can learn more by visiting:
How old are the balloons we will be riding in?
At Private Balloon Flights, we have a strict balloon replacement
policy. Our balloons stay in service between 6 and 18 months before we
replace them with Brand New ones. This keeps them Strong, Clean,
Beautiful, AND in good repair. Some of the other companies are flying
balloons that are 5 to 15 years old. We care about your safety and
comfort, and only the newest and finest balloons enter our fleet! (You
would never settle for a 5 to 15 year old rental car, so why would you
settle for a balloon in that condition?)