Frequently Asked Questions
First Time on a Balloon Ride?
To make your adventure more enjoyable, these balloon ride FAQs explain what you can expect before, during, and after your balloon ride.
Where do you fly?
Our company rises above the rest with daily, year-round balloon rides in Albuquerque and in the Phoenix / Scottsdale area.
How long does the balloon ride experience last from start to finish?
Plan on 3.5 to 4 hours for the complete balloon ride experience…from the meet up at our launch site, to lift off and approximately one hour in the air, to the balloon landing and delivery back to the launch site.
Before Your Balloon Ride
What makes a hot air balloon fly?
Hot air goes up! Cold air goes down! We heat the internal temperature of the balloon to be warmer than the ambient temperature, and voila! Liftoff!
Is hot air ballooning safe?
Hot air ballooning is actually one of the safest forms of aviation. Our company has over 34 years of experience, with professional and friendly pilots who practice wise-weather ballooning, and a fleet of modern hot air balloons that pass and exceed FAA regulations.
How much does a balloon ride cost?
Balloon flight pricing is seasonal. Please call (800) 725-2477 to ask about balloon flight special discounts. Children’s balloon ride rates start at $99. Balloon flight packages range between $150 and $210 per person for a balloon flight shared with other passengers.
How do I make a reservation?
Reservations must be made in advance by calling (800) 725-2477 or reservations can be made online. We do ask for a 50% deposit to hold the reservation. The remaining payment is taken on the day of the balloon flight.
How do I cancel my reservation?
We require a 48-hour cancellation notice. Late cancellations or “no shows” forfeit of the deposit. If your flight is canceled by our company due to inclement weather, there will be no charge. We will do our best to reschedule your balloon ride to another date.
Are there any physical requirements for flying in a hot air balloon?
The minimum age for passengers is 5 years old. The baskets do not have seats so you will need to stand the entire duration of the flight (about an hour).
Can pregnant women ride in a hot air balloon?
Unfortunately we cannot allow anyone who is pregnant or possibly pregnant to fly in our balloons.
How do you get into the basket?
Hot air balloon baskets are not outfitted with doors and therefore the only way to board the balloon is by going up and over the side of the basket. There is no graceful way to do it! Just up and over. Don’t worry… our courteous staff and crew are happy to assist you.
Where does the balloon take off?
Meet at the Albuquerque office located at 5601 Eagle Rock Avenue NE in Albuquerque, NM 87113.
Meet at the Phoenix office located at 715 East Covey Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85024.
Do you need hotel pick up and drop off arrangements? Just ask!
What time does the balloon take off?
For sunrise flights, we gather 30 minutes before sunrise at the launch site. Afternoon/evening balloon rides, we meet 2.5 hours before sunset. Actual times vary as sunrise and sunset times fluctuate with the seasons. We will contact you to confirm your meet up time.
Why do we meet so early for a morning balloon ride?
Just before sunrise is when the weather is the coolest and the winds are the calmest, which is ideal for ballooning.
Can we fly in the evening?
Evening balloon rides are available from November 1st to March 31st.
What should we wear?
You should wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes. We suggest light layers of warm clothing so you can easily adjust to the temperature as the sun comes up. The coolest you will be is on the ground. Once you’re in flight, the burners tend to keep the baskets nice and warm. Due to the nature of the southwestern landscape, we discourage you from wearing sandals of any kind.
Can we bring cameras and video cameras?
Yes! Bring a fully charged battery and extra disk space – you will need it!
During Your Balloon Ride
How long is the balloon flight?
Our flights last approximately one hour in the air.
How many people fit in a balloon basket?
Rainbow Ryders has hot air balloon baskets that range in size. The smaller ones can carry anywhere from 2-4 people and the biggest ones can carry 12-14 people.
How high does the balloon fly?
The balloons will fly from ground level to a couple thousand feet above ground level, depending on wind direction and speed.
What is the temperature in the balloon?
Due to the burners, the temperature in the balloon is a few degrees warmer than the surrounding air, despite the increased altitude.
Is it quiet in the balloon?
When the burner is off, it is extremely quiet. The quiet is one of the most enjoyable aspects of ballooning.
Does the basket sway when flying?
The basket does not sway since it moves with the wind. No need to worry about motion sickness.
Can you steer a balloon?
Yes. Different altitudes provide different winds. We adjust the height of the balloon to “steer” the balloon.
After Your Balloon Ride
Where will the balloon land?
A balloon flight is dependent on wind speed and direction. Every flight is different and our landing sites vary.
Will there be anything to eat or drink?
After landing, enjoy a celebratory toast and tasty snacks to end your safe and memorable hot air balloon adventure.
How will we get back after our flight?
The chase crew will follow the balloon while you’re flying and meet at the landing site. After the balloon is loaded into the truck and trailer, the passengers will board the van and head back to the office.
Should we tip our balloon pilot and chase crew?
Like any other service provider, a gratuity is always appreciated. A typical tip would be 10% per person. Like the saying goes “if you enjoy the ride, tip your guide!”