We had been waiting since July to get up in the balloon and were beginning to lose faith, but then... read more
We had been waiting since July to get up in the balloon and were beginning to lose faith, but then... read more
We had a fantastic afternoon with Adventure Balloons. Our pilot Oliver was a superb host and it was... read more
The flight was booked for me as a 70th birthday present. Although I experienced 5 cancellations, I was very pleased that I was able to go, accompanied by my step-daughter, during my 70th year - it was well worth the wait. Everyone from the company, and the other passengers, were extremely helpful in putting up with me. I required a lot of help getting in and out of the basket due to the loss of my right lower appendage. This meant that I was utterly useless in helping with take-off and landing. I thoroughly recommend the experience to anyone, no matter how disabled they think they are. Again thank you to all involved, especially Kim.
P.S. The rest of the family love the photographs, as do I, of course.More
My husband bought a pair of tickets for my birthday. It was orignally supposed to be a surprise, but it was cancelled several times due to weather forecast. The staff refuse to give any refund and we've been told that we have to pay another £80 to keep the vouchers vaild for another year. So it seems that £300 my husband spent on the tickets went down the drain. It's a waste of money, there is no guarantee that you will even fly and when the ride gets cancelled there is no compensation nor are the policies/ T&C clearly explained by the staff. It ruined my birthday treat/surprise and the time and effort spent by my husband organising it was a complete waste. Would not recommend this company, save your money.
Hi, following our recent discussion we look forward to receiving your email regarding the above matter.
We had a fantastic afternoon with Adventure Balloons. Our pilot Oliver was a superb host and it was a really hands on experience with us all involved in the preparation and setting up of the balloon - much better than just jumping in and taking off. Highly recommend the whole trip.
Hi, thank you for your comments, it is great to hear that you enjoyed all aspects of the ballooning experience.
This was our 5th attempt at booking, which I know doesn't compare to how long others had been waiting to fly! We flew on Saturday 20 October in the afternoon. We took off from the Alton Anstey Park location. They described the meeting point as "near the clock tower" - it definitely wasn't a tower. Nonetheless, the people turned up with the basket on the back of a trailer and we proceeded to the launch site.
The pilot, Kim, had his two children in the car with him. This is my biggest complaint about the whole thing. He shouldn't have them with him as they are too young and spent the whole time messing about!! The boy was far, far too young. They were messing about with each other, jumping about on the basket while the rest of us were trying to set things up. When we landed, they were jumping up into the basket telling their dad (Kim) they'd brought him mini cheddars. I mean - seriously - NOT professional. Unless they're old enough to bring something valuable to the table, leave them at home!!
We helped to unpack the balloon and get it all ready. This is a nice experience, but it's hard work. They then filled the balloon with air and we got the basket upright. We all piled in and eventually took off. It's a very smooth take off. We were up in the air for approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. We had 2 failed landings (and brushed a few trees on the way down!) but the eventual landing was a lot smoother than I had imagined!!
The view from up in the sky was lovely.
Do be prepared that you have to climb in and out of the basket. I was anticipating this (and was VERY ungraceful doing so!) but we had an 81 year old lady on our flight and the look of terror on her face when they told her she'd have to climb in was unreal!!
It's worth the wait, though, so do persevere with the bookings.
Kim - if you read this - leave the kids at home until they're old enough to stop messing about!!
Hi Sophie, thank you for your review and we are pleased to hear you enjoyed the flight.
With regards to the lady you refer to, we would have hoped that her family would have made her aware of what she would be required to do following our discussion with one member of their group, also our pilot was only made aware of other important information after landing that we would expected them to have discussed with us prior to flying. Your comments regarding the children have been forwarded to Kim.
We had been waiting since July to get up in the balloon and were beginning to lose faith, but then who would think it, but the middle of October proved to have the perfect weather conditions!
We were very excited and it didn't disappoint. A beautiful gentle ride - not at all scary. I was very impressed with how safe it felt and the ability to go high or low. The landing was very smooth, my only criticism would be that it was over too soon !!
You do have to be patient, but it is worth it in the end!
Dear Kay, thank you for your review, so pleased to hear how much you enjoyed your flight.
I bought the trip for my husbands birthday, and after just one weather related cancellation by Adventure Balloons, we flew this Friday morning, setting off from York racecourse. Having not flown in a hot air balloon before, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. We had a safety talk before helping to open out and inflate the balloon. There was 8 passengers and Oliver the pilot, and ground staff. The experience of assisting with the preparation was most interesting and enjoyable, and with 8 passengers involved, everyone was asked to volunteer for tasks which they were capable of doing. Once the balloon was lifted and the pilot was ready we all clambered aboard the basket, assisted by ground crew where necessary. There is a central portion for the pilot, and four outer compartments for the passengers, each compartment was for two people. A low level cushion is provided across half of each compartment, and we were asked to sit on this for take of, and landing. Oliver, the pilot, pointed out landmarks as we slowly drifted over York. The height varied several times and we drifted over tree tops and clouds, birds flew along beneath us, and we saw deer and farm animals as we passed over woods and farms. The whole experience was a relaxed 3+ hours, at the end we helped pack the balloon away and we ended our experience with a goblet of champagne, and a ride back to the take off site in their mini bus...with lots of chatter shared about our morning adventure. :-)
Hi, thank you for leaving your review and we are pleased to hear how much you enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you also for a great explanation of what happens before, during and after the flight which I am sure will be helpful for future passengers. Hope to see you again one day.
Fantastic balloon trip and would recommend it to anyone. I was aware that I may have to try several times to get good weather and managed to do so on the 3rd attempt.
Definitely worth the wait and would love to do it again. Would recommend it to anyone - found the staff helpful and the pilot re-assuring.
Hi Martin, thank you for your review, it's great to hear how much you enjoyed your flight.
Thus far I've had 6 cancellations so it's an "average" thus far (I'll write another review of the actual flight if/when it happens). Of course, one can't predict the weather, though had I known in advance how many flights were cancelled I may have re-thought the booking. Flights are usually early and you have to pay more for a weekend and for evening flights. I've read the terms and conditions (some reviewers don't appear to have) and have re-booked quickly after each cancellation. Lines tend to get busy after each cancelled flight and the website goes down (presumably because of traffic, from people trying to re-book) so it can be difficult to get the date you want when you try to re-book after a cancelled flight.
I'm still waiting for my flight to go: summer is now over (October) and I've been waiting since June. Perhaps next summer, I might eventually fly!
Dear Katherine, thank you for your review. You have been unlucky with the weather on the days you have booked, as you will see from other reviews some people fly first time, some it takes many attempts. We start our flights again in April and we look forward to flying you all in 2019.
I have previously left poor feedback on here for Adventure Balloons, however have since experienced the flight so wanted to give an update.
The flight was absolutely fantastic. The whole experience, from helping with the set up and inflation of the balloon to take off, to the incredible views and unbelievable feeling of calm during the flight, the smooth landing and the excellent, informative and funny pilot, Mr Hull. Awesome, many thanks Adventure Balloons for a really great morning.
As I stated in the subject line, there are bits that could definitely be improved on.
The stress we felt during the year and a half of trying to book. At times we really did think we were not going to get the flight at all. I think we tried 12 times to book prior to getting the flight. I understand that weather is extremely important, but I feel that as a customer this was not made clear. It felt that the company had sold us the flight knowing that there was a good chance we would not get what we paid for at all. I know that not to be the case, but that was how we felt. I believe the company should make it VERY clear that it could take many bookings before one was successful.
Another point that really caused some stress, was the attitude of the people who answered calls. When faced with a stressed customer, they had no empathy and if anything came across as patronising. I would suggest some customer service training is urgently needed.
My final issue with the whole experience is the extortionate fee to renew the voucher for an extra year. I understand that there should be a fee, but £40 per passenger????? Absolute robbery. The patronising lady on the phone did ask me how they were expected to run a business with it??? The admin required to update the info would be to change 1 number on a database of expiry dates. 5 seconds work??? I am really disgusted by this final point but unbelievably I'm looking to book another flight as it was so much fun. I might have to shop around tho due to the issues.
PLEASE READ ALL THE SMALL PRINT :)
Dear Stuart, thank you for your review and it is good to hear how much you enjoyed your flight after 6 cancellations. Your voucher bought from Buy A Gift was registered with us in June 2017 and your first flight attempt was 28 April 2018. You contacted us by phone on 3 occasions, February 2018 when dates and upgrading your voucher was discussed, April 2018 when you were advised that the launchsite would be notified on the weatherline, the other occasion was late May when your voucher was about to expire. We advised you the charge would apply to extend your voucher, we were not patronising and neither were you told the comments you have written in your review. You were unhappy about the cancellation in April and your costs incurred when that flight was cancelled. We notified you two days before the flight that is was going to be cancelled, rather than you finding out at 11pm the night before. If you decide to fly again, whoever you book with please book early in your voucher validity as you will find most balloon operators operate a similar extension charge policy, some will charge £50pp.
no customer service. Hide behind terms and conditions, again stating on their website they don't cancel often. Don't fly every day in season. Seems like its a hobby and they are out of their depth. Don't care why but I am sorely disappointed with them. Shame on you.
Hi, thank you for your comments, we note you have not mentioned the free extension you were given after only a couple of cancelled flights, we would normally do this after 5 flights. You bought the vouchers and would have been sent a full information pack at the time of purchase. Your availability to book seems to have been restricted to booking flights around school holidays, which we took into consideration when giving you the free extension. We have several flights scheduled each morning and evening during the season, we fly when the conditions are safe.
We finally got to fly on Saturday morning after 10 cancellations this summer. It was worth the wait and frustration! Ian on the ground and Ravi the pilot were great. We really enjoyed helping with the unpacking and packing of the balloon - really added to the experience. It was all very well organised. The flight itself was fantastic. We could have stayed up there all day! Just a brilliant experience. A great 50th birthday present.
Dear Tracey, many thanks for taking the time to leave your review. From your comments it sounds like your experience was worth the wait, which is so great to hear.