Have Questions? We've Got Answers!

A compilation of the most common questions (and their answers) that we get.
1I want to buy a ticket from a Reseller, and want to know if a certain date is available?
It is always best before purchasing a voucher from a reseller, or from our balloon company, to confirm is the date you want to fly is available. Our flight specialist will be happy to give you a list of all available flight dates. We fly about 5 to 7 days per week so scheduling is usually not a problem.
2How much does it cost?
Please see the Price List pages of our web site to check on currently running seasonal specials. Most balloon flights include a full breakfast, snack pastries, soft drinks, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and a post-flight toast celebration including a personalized Aeronaut Flight Certificate. Other flights may include wine tasting, and a winery tour / brunch option. Children rates are available for children weighing 60 pounds or less.
3Can we hire a private charter balloon for (2) to (12) passengers?
Yes, special sweetheart flights are available for just two people for most week days and weekends. These flights are private charters so that no other passengers will fly in your balloon. The balloon, pilot and crew are yours’ exclusively for the morning. Special charter rates are available for 2 to 12 passengers. Please see price list page of web site for current rates.
4When do discount vouchers expire?
Reseller discount vouchers do not expire. However, they must be used within 6 months from the date of purchase to receive the discount. The discounted rate can be extended for another 6 months by paying an upgrade fee of $59.00/person. AF (Adventure Flights) discount vouchers do not expire. However, they must be used within 12 months from the date of purchase to receive the discount. The discounted rate can be extended for another 12 months by paying an upgrade fee of $99.00/person.
5How safe is it?
We have been flying for over 42 years without a single injury or accident. We also own an FAA Certified Pilot School and an FAA Certified Aircraft Repair Station so we can maintain our own equipment and keep it in tip top shape. Our Chief Pilot is an FAA Part 141 Instructor and has trained hundreds of pilots including a significant number of FAA Examiners and local pilots.
6Why should I book with your company instead of another?

We have a unique number of advantages over other balloon companies. Here are a few:

1) We have been in business for over 42 years without a single accident or incident. No other balloon company has that perfect record.

2) We have our own FAA Certified hot air balloon pilot training school. There are only four others like us in the U.S. We have trained hundreds of balloon pilots all over the world including many FAA Balloon Pilot Examiners.

3) We have our own FAA Certified Aircraft Repair Station. We maintain our own equipment including most of the balloons owned by local balloonists. Therefore, our equipment is always in top condition and safe to fly.

4) Our company has participated in over 160 movies and televisions shows. Major film production companies trust us with their multi-million film projects. Our Chief Pilot has over 7,000 in hot air balloons, airships, gas balloons, airplanes, gliders, helicopters and auto-gyros. He is also an actor, stuntman, aircraft repair technician and instructor. A list of some of our films are available upon request and most can be viewed on YouTube.

7How many people ride in the basket?
We have balloons that carry from one to six couples. If you purchase a discount flight, you will generally fly with three to four other couples.
8Can I propose in the basket?

Yes, you may hire a private charter balloon or fly in a passenger balloon. We have a special Sweetheart Flight that allows you to charter the balloon and crew for the morning just for one couple. The special discounted price is $349 per person week days, and $399 per person weekends.

Photographer: For an additional $99.00 we will provide a crew person with a video camera to photograph your proposal.

Banner: A colorful 8’x32’ “Marry Me” banner is available to rent for $99. For an additional $149, we will construct a custom banner with a name on it to attach to the Marry Me banner. Our crew will place the banner on the ground, under the flight path of the balloon so it can be seen by all. This colorful banner is yours’s to keep.

9Where do you launch from?
We meet at Perris Airport. Once there, we gauge wind direction. If the wind is blowing South, we launch near Perris and land near toward Temecula. If the wind is blowing North, we launch near Temecula and fly back toward Perris. We transport you from Perris Airport to our launch area. It does not matter whether you schedule to fly in Perris or Temecula as the scenery is the same or similar either way.
10What do you see?
From altitude, you can see 5 lakes, mountains, and the ocean on a clear day. The near view sites consist of farmland or wine country. You will also see lots of skydivers jumping near Perris Airport, which is the world’s largest skydiving airport. The skydiver landing zone is directly across from the Airport Café, so that passengers can watch skydivers land while passengers enjoy breakfast after the flight.
11How far in advance should I book?
30 days or more if possible. Sometimes we can schedule you sooner upon request.
12How should I dress?
Dress as though you were going out on a short hike. You may have to walk a short distance through an open field from our chase truck to the balloon. Wear layers as it may be cold first thing in the morning but will warm up quickly.
13American Express card or Visa?
We appreciate using Visa as the A.E. cards charge the merchant a service charge of up to 4% as opposed to 1.5% with Visa or M.C.
14May I receive a refund if I am from out of the state or country and cannot fly on my scheduled date?
No, for Reseller vouchers. Yes, for AF vouchers, if you notify us in advance in writing (ie. Email) that you cannot reschedule if you do not fly. However, there is a $25/person service charge to cover our expenses related to the flying attempt.
15Why do I have to pay a service charge in the event I am granted a refund?
Even if the weather is bad and we do not fly, we still have insurance, office and staff expenses involved is monitoring weather, communicating with clients, scheduling crew, etc. If we did not share these expenses with our clients, we could not afford to sell discounted balloon rides at the bargain rates that they are being offered.
16If I do not show up at the field or notify you 48 hours prior to the flight, can I reschedule the flight?
Yes, you may reschedule the flight, however you must pay a rebooking fee of $99 per person. Unfortunately, we still must fly the balloon without you and incur all flight expenses even if you are not aboard the balloon.
17Can I use my Trade American Card (TAC) for the flight?
Yes, we accept TAC for payment. However, the specials are not available to TAC clients. TAC clients must pay list price.
18What kind of physical condition is required for ballooning?
A person should be able to walk up and down a flight of stairs with at least 50 steps. In the event of a bumpy landing, passengers must be able to bend their legs a little bit to use their knees as shock absorbers, in a similar manner as walking down stairs.
19How do you control the balloon?
The wind blows different directions at different altitudes. We have precise vertical control so we use that to find winds blowing in a suitable direction if possible. Many times, it is possible to navigate to an intended destination. Other times, we just must go with the prevailing wind direction.
20I am interested in flight training to become a Private or Commercial balloon pilot. How should I get started?
Each flight course takes about one week to complete. The ground school portion usually takes two weeks to complete. For that reason, we recommend that you purchase and study the ground school material prior to starting your flight training. The Chief Pilot can give you further details if you are interested in becoming a pilot.
21How do balloons fly?
Balloons operate through the basic principles of gravity and heat transfer. As air inside the balloon is heated, it rises. As the air inside the balloon cools, it descends. To make the balloon fly, an inflator fan fills it with cold air, which is then heated.
22Can you steer a balloon?
Winds determine a balloon’s direction. Balloonists can steer a balloon, to a limited extent, by adjusting the balloon’s altitude to make use of different wind speeds and directions.
23What fuel do balloons use?
Sport hot air balloons carry 20 to 45 gallons of propane in stainless steel fuel tanks.
24How high do balloons fly?
Balloons typically fly from treetop level to several thousand feet, depending on what the pilot is trying to accomplish. The world record in a stock Aerostar hot air balloon is over 32,000 feet!
25Why do balloons fly in early morning and late evening?
Winds are generally most favorable the first hours after sunrise and the last hours before sunset. The sun’s uneven heating of the earth’s surface causes strong, variable winds. In the morning, it takes a few hours to heat the earth’s surface enough to generate the thermal activity that creates wind. In the evening, the sun’s intensity has sometimes diminished enough to reduce winds to acceptable flight levels. Ideal winds are 3-6 mph. We believe afternoon flight in this area are risky. We do not want to jeopardize passenger safety so we do not fly in the evening.
26What should I wear?
We recommend comfortable clothing and sturdy walking shoes. Layers are a good idea as it is often cool before the sun comes up but warms up quickly once it has risen. Temperatures in the air are like those on the ground.
27Is there an age limit?
We have no age limit and special accommodations are available for those not able to stand for the duration of a balloon ride. Because of the noise made by the burner when adding hot air to the envelope we are concerned that children under the age of 5 might be frightened, however, we leave that to the discretion of the parent.
28Can we bring cameras and video cameras?
Yes! Bring lots and lots of free space on your digital camera!
29How do you get the balloon inflated?
A fan is used to blow cool air into the balloon. Later the burners are used to heat the air as the balloon lies on the ground. Gradually the balloon will rise to an upright position.
30Is it quiet in the balloon?
When the burner is off, it is extremely quiet. Quiet is one of the most enjoyable aspects of ballooning.
31What fabric is used for the balloon?
Most common is Dacron or rip-stop nylon.
32Does the basket sway when flying?
The baskets do not sway since it moves with the wind.
33What is good ballooning weather?
For a successful flight, we require light winds, no rain and good visibility. Call us at your specified time to confirm if the weather is suitable for hot air balloon flight. Should weather conditions cause us to cancel our scheduled flight, passengers have one year to reschedule their flight in fair weather conditions.
34Can I give a hot air balloon ride as a gift?
Yes! A balloon flight is a wonderful way to tell someone they’re special, celebrate a birthday or anniversary, and our colorful, customized Gift Certificates are just the right size to fit in a Christmas Stocking.
35How do we schedule a flight and how far in advance?
We recommend that you give us at least one week’s advance notice if you have a specific date in mind. Simply call our office and our friendly staff will be happy to take your reservation by phone, and we are pleased to accept most major credit cards. Once your flight has been reserved, a complete information pack including a map to the launch site will be emailed to you along with important information that will enhance the enjoyment of your flight.
36Who can be a balloonist?
Balloon pilots come from all walks of life. Anyone with the desire to learn to fly a balloon can become a pilot.
37What equipment is required for ballooning?
Balloons include several parts: the envelope (the fabric portion of the balloon), the basket, burners and fuel systems. The material for Aerostar balloon envelopes is made of an exclusive Aerostar Diamond Weave ripstop nylon with tough, durable coatings for heat and air retention. The basket is made of wicker, which is strong yet flexible, and is aesthetically pleasing. Burners can come in either single, double or triple configurations, and each puts out the equivalent of over 5,000 horsepower. Fuel systems consist of stainless steel propane tank(s) and fuel hoses. Other necessary equipment includes an inflator fan, two-way radios and some means of transporting the balloon from location to location when it is not flying.
38Do you need a pilot's license to fly a balloon?
Yes. There are two levels of balloon pilot ratings: Private and Commercial. Temecula Balloon Rides operates one of the few Part 141 Pilot Schools available in the United States today and we are pleased to offer this training year-round. Please visit our Pilot Training page to learn more about the training requirements, costs involved and to schedule your personalized training session.
39How much does a balloon cost?
Like cars and boats, new balloons vary in size and amenities. You can start with a smaller sport model for around $18,000 to $25,000. These balloons typically carry the pilot and one passenger. The larger balloons that carry two or three persons in addition to the pilot will range in price between $21,000 and $28,000. Adventure Flights offers a variety of used systems starting at around $5,000 to $10,000.
40How can I become involved in ballooning without buying a system or becoming a pilot?
Many enthusiasts get their start in ballooning as a member of a chase crew. If you live in the Southern California area, e-mail us or give us a call and ask how you can earn free flight time and/or training as a member of our chase crew.

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