Boar's Head Ballooning - Private Flights

Boar's Head Ballooning - Private Flights

Boar's Head Ballooning - Private Flights
4.5

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles39 reviews
Excellent
32
Very good
1
Average
1
Poor
1
Terrible
4

sd32
Vienna, VA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I went flying with Bear Balloon in June 2010 and had the most wonderful time! We were met at the Boar's Head Inn and kindly instructed as to what to expect. We were taken to our departure location and had the most delightful flight. I loved the sensation of gliding through the air. The pilot was knowledgeable and personable and my husband and I liked him very much. After our flight we were given pictures of our flight and a toast back at the Boar's Head Inn. It was a delightful experience and I look forward to flying with Bear Balloon Corporation again.
Written July 1, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bella AW
Richmond, VA75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015
Wow! That was fun! Thank you Cap. Rick Behr & his crew (good pics, Boris). I wanted to give a surprise to my husband and my expectations were exceeded. It was his birthday and I knew he wanted to ride in a hot-air balloon since he was a kid, never had the opportunity. So, I wanted to give him something beyond a shirt or an electronic gadget. He was on heaven!!! Rick Behr is VERY GOOD, he has 35 years of experience and knows very well how to handle this big thing :) We enjoyed the breathtaking scenery, Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge mountains are so beautiful. I'll definitely do it again! I'd recommend Boar's Head Ballooning 100% :)
Written August 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PH229
Charlottesville, VA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Family
Rick took us up in his balloon on a great spring morning just about 1 week ago. My wife had always talked about wanting to take a balloon ride and the fact that it was her sister's birthday gave us a great excuse to finally take the plunge. Rick was courteous and professional and took special care of my sister-in-law, who is special needs. We were all very happy with the entire experience and would not hesitate to recommend Rick to others.
Written May 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Love2Travel4Fun
Maryland24 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
My husband and I booked a trip with Bear Balloon Corp to see the mountains in Charlottesville, VA.

When we got to the lobby at 6am, the pilot said very little to us. He then released a balloon into the air and watched it for five minutes and told us to get in the van with 8 other people.

Once we arrived at the launch site, the driver and the pilot immediately started barking orders at all of us to help them set up the balloon. I don't mind helping out with things, but the two of them were extremely rude and kept telling us to hurry up. The driver (who follows the balloon to pick you up after you land) is also the photographer and he wants to take a bunch of pictures. They do let you inside the hot air balloon (the balloon part) to take a picture while it is blowing up but the driver will yell at you to hurry up and that he doesn't have all day. Once we were in the air, we discovered that the pilot does not like to fly high. He stayed just above the tree tops. The other balloons that took off at the same site and time flew a lot higher and managed to drift towards the mountains. We on the other other hand got to see the suburbs of Charlottesville. You could see the mountains in the distance but it was no more exciting than the view from your car. The pilot's big trick is to have you pick a leaf off the top of a tree . . . which was neat . . . but I'd rather fly higher than a 30 ft. tree. We literally drifted over neighborhoods and man made lakes.

The pilot stayed in contact with the driver via walkie talkie. Unfort. the driver does not like to respond and at one point said "God, every time you call me I'm taking a picture and I'm not putting my camera down just to answer your call." Keep in mind this broadcasts to all of the other pilots (and the FAA).

After about 40 minutes, the pilot decided to land. Instead of landing in a field or another parking lot, we flew 6 inches above someone's house, through their tree and onto a residential side street. Since we flew through the tree, there were leaves all over the owner's well manicured lawn and yet the pilots say nothing, as though it was their right to land the balloon in the person's yard. The driver wasn't strong enough to pull the ballon down so he had to elicit the help of the owner whose house we just flew over to get the ballon down (and to keep the ballon from taking out the mailbox). The pilot and the driver weren't apologetic and even had the nerve to pass out their cards after making these people help us at 8am! They were in their PJS! Then after we land, we're yelled at again to help them dismantle the balloon and pack up.

When we return to the Boars Head Inn for our "champagne toast" (cheap champage and orange juice with pulp), the driver asked my husband if he flew with us. When My husband said yes, the pilot told my husband that he was too busy staring at the women! (Throughout the flight he kept commenting on how beautiful the women were and how he had never flown with such light (weight) women). We then were forced to see the photos that the driver took by routing the digitial camera through the TV. They weren't that great and they wanted to charge $30. I wasn't planning to buy it until I was strong armed into it. The pilot told us that he doesn't charge a fuel surcharge b/c they sell the photo cd and that we needed to buy one and pay for it in cash! If necessary we could pay with our credit card but they preferred cash for the photo CD. THEN, he says that if you're paying via credit card, you must pay the 5% finance fee that he is charged b/c he doesn't want to pay for it. So, by the end of the trip, we were forced to spend an extra $45 after a miserable balloon ride.

To make matters worse, I mentioned the experience to the hotel who recommended the company and they said that they had received a lot of complaints recently. They also informed me that the pilot is not charged a finance fee so they don't know why he charged me an extra $15! Needles to say, I'll be disputing the $15 fee through my credit card.

I would avoid this company at all cost. They are cheaper but you don't really have an enjoyable time. Unless you like to look at houses from about 10 feet above the roof line, go with another company.
Written August 13, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Moviestar77
Pittsburgh, Pa.191 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
This Balloon Operator not only lacked personality, but was very rude.

The first moment I saw him, he accused me of not being an average sized girl. The weight limit is 230, which I was below.
He isn't very organized or careful if he fails to get everyone's weight in advance.

This man actually told me to stay an additional night, when I already spent about $200.00 and a days travel.

There are other balloon companies. This man is a whiner. All he talked about was the price of propane. By the way, he wouldn't let me, the fat girl out of the balloon until all unboarded. I was the deadweight in the balloon to keep the balloon from floating away, he actually had me stay in the basket until the basket was loaded up on the truck. If you want someone to ruin your "awe" effect, pick him. He sure was not worth it, despite a good and long record of flying.
Written October 29, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sportcrazy
Washington DC1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
When my wife and I flew with the Boars Head Balloon in nthe summer of 2008, he could not shut up about himself and how much money he has lost because of rain. The flight was OK but short of the time that it was suppose to be. No one was to happy about that. We the passagers had to do most of the work putting the balloon up and down becasue he had only one crew person. He could care less about the the little people but would rather talk to the people who looked to have money. He thought he was gods gift to the world. Not a nice person to be around.
Written June 12, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kelly-Ann R
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013 • Family
I was looking forward to having my husband and two children fly over the Thanksgiving weekend for my husbands 50th Birthday. I receive a return call back this evening from the owner of this company. I was quick to answer that I was interested in three flying in the balloon, my husband, and my two kids. Then, the owner of the company was quick to respond, why aren't you flying? When I shared my reasons, I was made to feel like my expressed apprehension was not valid. Then when that debate was settled; I said "I would think about it." I mentioned the date (Friday/Saturday following Thanksgiving) that I was requesting, which was advertised on his website as viable, as a convenient date for us (my son would be home from college) and he quickly said he couldn't do it because he was traveling for the holiday. Okay, WHEN can you fly.? He mentioned M - W as options. My son would not be around until Wednesday morning, so we set that date....
Then to top it all off, I was told that the special $175 per person which was advertised on his website as a November special would not be honor because there weren't enough people and I would be charged the standard $225 per person unless I flew.....
This would be fine if it was in writing, it isn't and I was quick to point that out. The owner got very upset with me, told me I was causing him to much stress and told me to find somewhere else to fly. I was complete taken aback, I merely was suggesting that he advertise properly and update his website. I was under a tight budget, saving for this special day based on his advertised special and the dates posted and his NEW price was a financial hit. He became very defensive, telling me the website was difficult to update and said he wanted me to find someone else. I hung up at his request and I am still absolutely shocked by the whole experience!! I believe I happen to be a client with bad timing. I am just not sure flying with someone so quick to get frustrated and angry over very valid issues is wise.
Written November 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kerwin V
Cherokee, IA1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
We had a wonderful technical experience with Rick for our first balloon ride. We felt very safe with Rick and Evan during the etire ride. As a seasoned tour guide, we were disappointed with Rick's involvement with his passengers . He is a very intelligent man, but did little to engage with us and keep us informed during the flight. We were equally disappointed with how he treated his ground support (Evan). He was very short and disrespectful to Evan.
Written July 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

285alyssal
Chesterfield, VA3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
My husband and I were planning a trip to Charlottesville for our honeymoon and were really looking forward to getting an evening hot air balloon ride. We were very late in booking our ride and many places were already full, so when we spoke with Mr. Behr we booked a morning ride because that was the only flight available. We found an afternoon flight with another company later that evening, so I called to cancel. Mr. Behr was not happy to hear that and mumbled under his breath that I should email him, but then no never mind he had it. He asked why and then when I told him we found the flight we were looking for mumbled under his breath and hung up on me. I am so glad that we went with another company, who was much nicer and sounds as though our experience is going to be incredibly lovely!
Written October 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ttr3p
Charlottesville, VA5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Rick Behr and his flight crew were very pleasant and professional. Our safety was their first concern, so our flight was rescheduled when the winds were a bit too high on our designated day. But when we rescheduled for two days later, conditions were perfect and so was our flight. They have a special accessible basket (with a door) available upon request, so ANYONE can fly. Our group had a 91 year old who says "Everyone should have this experience!" It's at the same time both peaceful and exciting, comfortable and thrilling, what you'd hoped for and still surprising. The post-flight toasts and picture viewing at the historic Boars Head Inn cap a great time. Don't miss the chance to fly with Boars Head Ballooning.
Written November 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Boar's Head Ballooning - Private Flights - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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