Solvang - Santa Barbara Wine County Balloon Ride

a gift flight ticket

FAQ's - DO NOT SIT AND WONDER

 

 

What is the difference between making a reservation directly with the balloon operator versus a ticketing agency?

IMPORTANT RESERVATION INFORMATION vs. PRE-PAID TICKET


SKY’S THE LIMIT BALLOONING ADVENTURES IS NOT an online web-based Hot Air Balloon Booking Agency with multiple generic websites covering all of California, which will subcontract you to the lowest bidder, who in many cases, does not meet the Standards of Commercial Service.

 

SKY'S THE LIMIT BALLOONING ADVENTURES IS NOT an online web-based Ponzi Coupon that sells extremely cheap rides over several days, in which you pay in advance for a flight ticket with an operator that has limited available seating, forcing you on a long waiting list for multiple dates. Not everyone gets a ride!


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If you are thinking of purchasing a voucher from a company such as Groupon, Living Social, Travel Zoo.
When booking a hot air balloon ride, do you know who you are booking with and what to expect?

Warning….If you are thinking of purchasing a voucher from a company such as Groupon, Living Social, Travel Zoo, etc. be prepared for dealing with an operator that may have a bad safety record, no insurance, unsafe equipment, may be close to going out of business and have a low standard of customer service.

Be aware of who you are booking with. These reviews, which are only a few of many were taken from major review sites from people that have experienced booking these “too good to be true” type of deals:

 

"I want to make sure that if my guests and myself are not hurt in any way that this balloon company has insurance to cover injuries. There was a balloon accident in San Diego on March 17, 2010 so those kind of things do happen - it was all over the news! The company involved, did have insurance but not every balloon company operates with hot air balloon liability insurance covering their passengers while in flight . Does this one? Did Groupon check this out and reconfirm with the balloon insurance agent of this company before selling the deal to the public--whoever collects the $$ is as liable as the balloon company. I want proof of their liability insurance before I purchase this deal for 12 of my business clients - wouldn't you?"

 

"I can't believe this place is still in business! No responses to phone calls or emails! I have been trying to contact someone for the past week trying to see if the flight was still going on and no answer. So we show up this morning after a painful 4 am alarm clock, and the hot air balloon is nowhere to be found. First, we had been driving around trying to find the place which led us to vineyards... take into consideration its pitch dark and its hard enough to see. As the sun rises, we see all these balloons blown up, so in excitement we run over to ask if they're with our company... and of course they're not!  Next step: getting my money back from Travel Zoo! I wish they would look into these companies before offering such scam "deals." This will be the last time I purchase something with Travel Zoo daily deals or Groupon or daily deals.... or anything of that sort! "

 

"Flat out fraud on this now out-of-business company.  Company sold more than 6,600 vouchers costing more than $500,000 through discount Web sites like TravelZoo, Groupon, Living Social, OC Register, LA Times, SpreeBird and others.  The company then had such a full schedule customers were forced to wait months for flights, which were often canceled and then rescheduled again months out.  With hundreds of customers still booked for flights (the company's own reservation system showed 100% customer bookings Feb. 2 to Aug. 31), the company on Jan. 31, 2012 then sent an e-mail they were out of business."  

 

"BEWARE OF BUYING A VOUCHER FROM THIS COMPANY!
Last year, I bought a voucher from Living Social, and I have a year to use it.  Unfortunately, when I tried to book it yesterday, there are no reservations for the rest of the year.  I tried calling the company, but I could not leave a message.  I wrote an e-mail yesterday to them, but after reading the other reviews, I doubt I will hear anything back."

 

"This morning (5/13/11), I see that they are trying to sell more vouchers on INSIDER HOOKUP and Daily Deal, and I want everyone who is even thinking of buying one to read this review and beware that you will pay a lot of money for a dream that won't come true.  These people need to have an answering machine that actually takes messages as well as a schedule that allows people to book the reservation that they paid for."

 

"I bought a voucher from this company last year.  Tried multiple times to reserve a flight time after my initial flight time was cancelled due to inclimate weather but, there were very rarely any openings and the few that were available were during the week.  I called to ask the owner for an extension and received little in the way of customer service and a huge attitude.  Long story short the vouchers expired and I'm out $180."


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How Do Balloons Fly?
Hot air balloons operate on the basic principles of gravity and heat transfer. The propane burners warm the air inside the balloon envelope to as much as 250*F allowing the pilot to take the balloon up to whatever altitude he or she desires. Gravity pulls us back to earth as the temperature cools down. Of course the pilot can continue heating the air to prolong the flight or to control the rate of descent.

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Why do balloons fly only in afternoons or early mornings?
The air is almost always at its most stable point early in the day or late in the afternoon thus giving the passengers longer rides and of course more favorable landing conditions (winds generally under 10 knots).

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How high do balloons Fly?
A normally loaded passenger balloon will fly from just above the trees to as high as three or even four thousand feet. The pilot can easily control the altitude.

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How can balloons steer from one place to another?
Although a pilot cannot turn a balloon right or left he or she can usually maneuver in various wind currents in several different directions giving a reasonable degree of directional control.

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How long does a balloon flight last?
Normal flights for sightseeing are about an hour in length or six miles in distance depending on the particular winds of the day. The entire adventure takes about three hours from meeting time until you are returned to your vehicle.

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How do I obtain a ticket?
Your reservation is required. Call (760) 602-0295 or book online to reserve a spot on the balloon on the day you wish to fly. We do have gift tickets available for a gift or use it yourself on a future date. Reservations can be made online, with a major credit card. Reservations are confirmed upon receipt of 100% payment.


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What should I wear?
Ballooning is an outdoor sport activity; wear the type of clothing you would expect to wear on a walk into the great outdoors. Jeans or shorts, no open toed shoes or sandals. Flat-soled shoes are recommended. A light sports coat or jacket would be a good idea for after the flight. Attention women, we recommend not wearing a dress or skirt, it will be a little awkward climbing into and out of the basket. For you tall guys well I really don't know what to tell you other than a good cap will protect you from our 16 million BTU burners.

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Can we fly all year long?
Yes, Yes, Yes we can fly 310 days a year due to our usually great weather here in San Diego.

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How many people can fly at once?
Our baskets range in size from 2 to 14 passengers. In the larger balloons we have separate compartments, providing comfortable space for all passengers.

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Can I take a camera?
Of course you may bring along a camera! This is a once in a lifetime experience! We wouldn't want you to miss anything. You may bring a video camera also. Do not forget to bring lots of films and extra batteries!

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Can an elder person fly in a balloon?
Of course! Our oldest passenger celebrated her 100th birthday going on a balloon ride on February 28, 1999.

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What provisions can be made for passengers with disabilities?
We have flown many passengers, some confined to wheelchairs, and we do not charge extra even if it means we must fly with less passengers than normal. Call us and describe the physical challenges and we will do everything possible to accommodate them in our flight.

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What if I am afraid of heights?
Unlike standing on a cliff or the edge of a building, the baskets 52" sides and sturdy floor offer you a safe and secure feeling; there is none of that vertigo feeling. There is no motion, swaying, or vibration as the balloon moves with the wind. Persons who might suffer from motion sickness on a boat or in a car will not be bothered while in a balloon.

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What training do the pilots have?
In addition to having a commercial pilot license issued be the FAA, most of our pilots are balloon instructors and have over 20 years flight experience. In addition our balloons are impeccably maintained and are inspected regularly to ensure maximum safety for our passengers.

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What is Sky's the Limits Safety Records?
Our pilots are FAA certified and have over 12 years of flight experience. No passenger has ever suffered any broken bones or spent the night in the hospital. We have one of the best safety records of any balloon company in the entire United States.

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What is the cancellation policy?
We must have 48 hours advance notice if you cannot go on the day you have booked your flight. There are no refunds if cancelling within the 48 hour time frame. No refunds will be given for no-shows.

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