FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This page will give you an opportunity to learn more about what to expect during your Ottawa Hot Air Balloon Adventure. Here is a list of questions we get asked all the time by our balloon rides passengers. If you wish to obtain additional information, please contact us.

WHERE DO WE FLY AND WHAT DO WE SEE?

We fly outside the built up area of the city of Ottawa, in the eastern Ontario peninsula, between the Ottawa and the St-Laurence Rivers. Depending on the wind conditions and visibility on the day of your flight – we may fly over city, forest, farmland, wetlands, and may be able to see the Ottawa and St-Laurence Rivers, the Gatineau Hills, the Laurentian mountain range, and on really clear days – we can see the Appalachian mountain range south of the Canadian border.

HOW LONG DOES THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE LAST?

Be prepared to spend at least 3-4 hours with us. This includes check-in, transportation to the launch site, balloon inflation, flight, pack-up and transportation back from the landing site.
Passengers are invited to participate in the pre and post flight preparation and packing up of the balloon - this is all part of the ballooning experience.

IS COMMERCIAL BALLOONING REGULATED?

Yes. Our pilots are all Transport Canada certified and our equipment is inspected regularly at a Transport Canada designated maintenance facility. We belong to several voluntary organizations which set standards for ballooning, including the National Capital Balloon Club, the Canadian Balloon Association and the Balloon Federation of America.

HOW HIGH AND HOW LONG WILL WE FLY FOR?

The altitude will vary during the flight and depends on the wind conditions of the day. Average altitudes in our area are between 500 and 2,500 feet above the ground. Some of the flight may be at treetop level.
Flights typically last about one hour, but may last from 45 minutes and sometime up to one hour and 45 minutes. Pilots must take into account the wind speed, direction, and the availability of landing sites. Each flight is unique.

IS BALLOONING APPROPRIATE FOR EVERYONE?

Ballooning is a fun activity for people of almost any age. There are some individuals for whom ballooning is not appropriate and will not be permitted to fly. This includes infants, young children (less than 8 years of age) who are not tall enough to see over the side of the basket, pregnant women, individuals who have done a recent scuba dive, and people suffering from chronic pain or have had recent major surgery. If you have a medical condition which could cause discomfort or be aggravated during the flight, or have been advised to restrict your activity because of a medical condition, please do not fly. Passengers must be able to stand during the hour-long flight, and may need to walk a distance from the balloons to the chase shuttles, sometimes on uneven ground. The balloons do not have doors, and passengers must be mobile enough to climb in and out of the basket. A certain amount of flexibility and upper body strength are desirable. Ballooning is best appreciated by those who have a sense of adventure. For more information, see our Passenger Information Sheet, which is provided with your confirmation materials.
Due to safety and operational requirements we cannot fly with a combined passenger weight exceeding 500lbs.

WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR AND BRING?

Wear casual clothing, preferably in layers. Ladies are most comfortable in trousers, because of the need to climb in and out of the basket. Flat-heeled, closed-toe shoes are recommended. Some people like to wear a light hat or a ball cap. Sun glasses are optional, but cameras are a must, so that you can take amazing hot air balloon photos.

WHAT ABOUT WEATHER?

Hot air balloons can only fly when the weather is suitable, with light winds and without rain, snow or fog. 

If the weather is unsuitable, we will reschedule your flight to another available day.

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I MAKE MY RESERVATION?

We recommend booking at least 1-2 weeks in advance; weekends and holidays are generally the busiest. However, we can sometimes accommodate a limited number of last minute reservations, so don’t hesitate to contact us even if it is the day before.

HOW DO I MAKE A RESERVATION?

Please email us. You may use any kind of credit card to reserve your flight. We require 72 hours’ notice for cancellation or schedule changes.

 

IS THERE A SHUTTLE SERVICE?

We leave from the downtown Ottawa Area. A shuttle service is available to our passengers who are staying in the downtown Ottawa area.  Please let us know when booking your reservation if you will require this service.

PLAN YOUR ADVENTURE TODAY

Elevate your private and personal hot air balloon ride experience by booking with Ottawa Hot Air now!