Frequently asked questions

Balloons UK Ltd

During our many years of operating hot air balloon flights we have been asked most questions. To try and assist with some of these questions we have compiled a list of those most frequently asked. Should you have a specific question not answered below please feel free to contact us on: 01785 280450 or contact via e-mail.

Q Can I give a Balloon Flight as a Gift?

Absolutely! Our Hot Air Balloon Flight Gift Vouchers make an ideal present for a relative or friend for Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries etc. You can purchase an “Open Dated” gift voucher which is valid for 12 months. The recipient then telephones our reservations office quoting the voucher's booking number and arranges the flight at a convenient time.

Q How do I book a Gift Voucher?

Gift vouchers can be purchased in one of the following ways: by calling at the Visitor Centre at Trentham, online by clicking on this link or by telephoning our Central Reservations office on 01785 280450.

Q Is there an age limit?

The lower age limit is 8 years old and 4ft 6 inches in height. Any passengers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. We have no upper age limit and our oldest passenger to date was 100 years young! However ballooning is an outdoor sport requiring a small degree of agility. If passengers have any health problems, they are advised to contact both their doctor & our office to discuss the possibilities of flying.

Q Do balloons fly all year?

Yes, although the most reliable weather is March to October. However, whenever the weather remains favourable during the winter months it can be a fantastic time to fly. In our opinion, a frosty winter's day is just as beautiful as a mid-summer flight. Remember you can purchase an “open dated ” Gift / Flight Voucher any time of the year and it will be valid for  a full 12 months.

Q Do Balloons fly in any weather conditions?

No. Ballooning requires light winds, no rain and good visibility to provide you with a safe and enjoyable flight. Passengers are requested to call our “flight information” line before their flight (this number is on the back of the gift voucher). This is continually updated with information specially provided for us by the Met Office. Should your flight need to be cancelled because of unsuitable conditions, it will be rescheduled for a mutually convenient date.

Q What time do balloon flights take place?

Balloon flights take place early morning & evening when the weather is at its calmest & there is no thermal activity. Times vary throughout the year, as general guide balloons fly about 1 hour after sunrise and two hours before sunset. When you call our booking office to book your flight date you will be given the approximate flight times.

Q Can I purchase a voucher for just 1 passenger?

Yes, our balloons vary in size with some carrying just 2 passengers (plus pilot!), others carrying 6 or 8, and some that can take 12, 14 or even 16 passengers. So you can book for as many as you wish!

Q How long is the flight?

The flight lasts for at least 60 - 90 minutes, but you should allow 3 to 4 hours from the time we meet you on site to the time we get you back to the launch site after landing.

Q Where do we fly from?

Our flights take place from the Trentham Estate, near Stoke on Trent. It may be possible to fly from your own launch site providing the site is suitable and you have a group booking normally of 8 people. Should this be of interest to you please telephone our office for advice. We also operate flights from other midlands launch sites in Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire, Derbyshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Our vouchers can be used from ANY of these sites.

Q What should I wear?

For your safety and comfort we suggest outdoor clothing suitable for the time of year. Long trousers and long sleeves, preferably in natural fibres, are recommended. Owing to the British climate, take off and landing sites may be wet from dew etc, therefore suitable footwear is advised. High or pointed heels must not be worn, and neither should sandals or flip flops! Bring a hat if you are tall or thinning on top; this will protect you from the heat of the burner.

Q Can I bring a camera?

Yes, we encourage you to bring cameras (at your own risk) because this is a stunning photo opportunity, and the gentle, smooth progress of the flight makes this an ideal platform for photography (or video filming). No windows to obscure your view!

Q Can I Bring friends & family to see me off?

Friends & family who are not flying but would like to watch are most welcome, entry to the launch site is free and instruction and information will be given to all passengers and spectators prior to the flight.

Q Where do we land?

Every balloon flight is different and is dependant on the speed & direction of the wind. Your pilot will select a suitable landing site on the day. We can travel in literally any direction, usually straying no more than 20 miles from Trentham.

Q How do we get back?

We have a pair of Land Rovers following your flight and in radio contact with the balloon. Once the balloon has landed the crew from the vehicle will gain the necessary permission to drive on to the landing site, pack the balloon away and drive you back to the launch site.

Should you need any further clarification or advice please do not hesitate in contacting us on 01785 280450.