What does it cost? Is it safe? Where can we fly? Why hire you? I’ve got questions!
We get it. We understand that a hot air balloon ride can be both thrilling and scary at the same time. You want to be sure that you’re choosing wisely. How does one go about taking a hot air balloon ride, and what are the things to ask?
We’ve got you covered. As Canada’s longest running family owned ballooning company, we’ve heard all the questions and we keep your safety (and budget) first in mind.
What does it cost?
Flight rates, and our unique Pay Only When You Fly policy, can be found here.
How far in advance should we book?
Typically we are booking two to four weeks in advance. We recommend calling earlier than that if you have a specific request for a date.
When can we fly?
We fly on Saturdays and Sundays, usually right after sunrise. The actual flight time varies with the time of year. Your availability would be coordinated with our booking schedule. Private chartered flights are also available. All flights are weather dependent and we fly all year long, weather permitting.
Why can’t we fly during the day?
Thermal activity during the day makes air currents too unstable for balloon flight. Evening flights may be available by special request. Contact us to discuss.
We are at the whim of the wind. Flight patterns and landing sites vary depending on that day’s wind directions. We launch in the city and usually land in the country.
Can anyone go on a hot air balloon ride?
Unfortunately we cannot accept passengers younger than 10 years old, women who are or may be pregnant, or passengers with heart, back or knee problems. If you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to contact us to discuss.
Why should we hire Rainbow Balloons?
We have over 30 years of experience, use only professionally licensed and highly experienced pilots, and are a locally owned and operated, family run company. Learn more about us. Plus, unique to us, we have the Don’t Pay Until You Fly policy.
How do we book our hot air balloon flight?
You can call us at 403.835.1197 or email us through our contact us form.
When are we called for the flight?
Early the morning of, or the evening before, your booked flight. More exact times will be confirmed during your booking. If the weather is not flyable, we won’t disturb you with a call. You can also call us in the morning for flight confirmation.
If we are weathered out, then what?
Call us to re-book as soon as possible. It’s that easy.
Can we tell if the weather is too bad to fly?
If it’s really stormy, yes. But weather conditions can be deceiving. While appearing calm, there may be high winds or unstable air currents at the altitude we fly. Your pilot is trained in meteorology and will make the decision to ensure your safety.
Where do we meet?
At the Blackfoot Inn parking lot, south east corner, on Blackfoot Trail and 58 Ave S.E., Calgary AB. See map. Look for the large white “Rainbow Balloons” van, which will have a larger white unmarked trailer hooked up to it (that is what the basket and balloon is in). From there we will transport you to and from the launch site that best suits the direction of the wind that day. After your flight, we’ll bring you back to enjoy a wrap up breakfast and Champagne with orange juice toast, tell stories, and recount your favourite parts of the experience.
What should we wear?
Dress appropriately for the season with good footwear (e.g. hiking boots, running shoes, or winter boots, rather than high heels or flipflops). It is no colder in the balloon than on the ground.
Can we bring cameras and binoculars?
Yes! Be sure to bring cameras, fully charged batteries, and extra memory sticks so you can take lots of digital photos and/or video. The balloons and scenery are breathtaking and you will have many chances for stunning shots!
How long will we be gone?
About 4 hours in total, from leaving for the launch site to return. The flight itself is typically an hour to an hour and half.
Can we bring friends to watch?
Yes! They can follow us to the launch site and can follow the chase vehicle as it tracks the balloons, then meet up with you again at the landing.
Is this an advertising or commercial balloon we go up in?
No, these are clean, brightly coloured sport balloons. When you fly with us we don’t have another flight agenda to meet, and we are concerned only with making your experience the best!
Is ballooning safe?
Yes! It is one of the safest, most glorious ways of flying. We don’t fly in questionable weather and your personal safety remains our utmost concern. All of our baskets and balloons have airworthiness certification. As in any adventure activity, you are exposed to risk whenever your feet leave the ground, and that includes hot air ballooning, so we do everything possible to minimize risk.
What about cancellations?
We require 24 hour cancellation notice to retain a booking.
Do you have gift certificates?