FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HOT AIR BALLOONING

Questions... We have the answers!

Hot air ballooning is an exciting new adventure, and we know that you may have many questions before making a reservation or before you fly with us.  If you do not find an answer to your question, please feel free to contact our office for personal assistance call us 951-699-9987

What makes A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure different?

There are many things to consider when choosing a company with whom to fly.  Is the company professional?  What is their safety record?  Are the pilots, crew and office staff experienced and friendly?  What is included in the price, and what are their booking policies? Our vehicles are regulated by the PUC and we meet or exceed all state transportation guidelines TCP #11964-C.  We focus on a professional and safe operation which includes a knowledgeable reservation staff, experienced pilots and crew and a perfect safety record.  We operate all flights that we book.  Be wary of companies that sell gift certificates or reserve flights they do not operate. Our flights include a 60-75 minute flight, private label champagne, orange juice, continental breakfast and souvenir certificate of flight.. We collect payment on the date that you fly, and if the flight is canceled due to inclement weather there is never a charge. If you have any additional questions about our company please feel free to contact our office.

How high do we fly?

The average flight altitude is from tree top level to 3000 feet. The flight plan depends upon wind velocity, direction and the passenger’s desires.

What fuel does the balloon use?

The hot air balloon burners are fueled by propane, which burns clean and is easy to obtain.

How does a hot air balloon 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 air, which is then heated.

How big is the balloon?

Balloons average in size from one passenger to twenty passengers. When inflated the balloon is as tall as a seven story building. The balloon is measured in cubic feet, 55,000 for a sport balloon up to 300,000 for the largest commercial balloon. A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure operates balloons of all sizes.

What type of training does the pilot have?

All of our pilots have an FAA certified commercial pilot’s license, with a lighter than air certificate. In addition, several of our pilots also fly fixed winged aircraft. A Grape Escape Hot Air Balloon Adventure only hires pilots who have a minimum of 1000 hours of logged flight time.

Is it safe?

In business since 1991, we have NEVER had an accident or injury! However, our insurance company does require that all passengers sign a Release of Liability Waiver.

How fast do balloons fly?

A balloon is carried by the wind, and thus moves at the speed of the winds. We fly passengers in gentle breezes up to six miles per hour.

Can 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.

Is age a factor in considering a balloon ride?

There is no minimum or maximum age restriction on participating in a balloon ride. Our only consideration is that passengers need to be 48 inches tall, in good health, be able to stand during the entire flight and climb in and out of the basket.

How long does a balloon ride last?

The actual flight time is approximately one hour. The entire balloon experience, including pre-flight preparation, flight and post-flight celebration, may take two and a half to three hours.

How many people will be flying with me?

A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure can accommodate passenger groups of all sizes. The average shared wine country flight includes 4-16 passengers at one time. If you are looking for something more romantic, we offer private sweetheart flights for two. Private flights for other size groups can be arranged by contacting our office.

What should I wear?

The attire for ballooning is casual. We take off and land in open fields. To maximize your enjoyment, dress appropriately for the season, using casual active wear and closed sport shoes. Bring a sweater, sweatshirt or jacket. Shorts, open toed and high heeled shoes are not allowed. Due to heat generated by the balloon, a hat is preferable for tall passengers.

Can we bring video or camera equipment?

A video or camera offers the perfect opportunity to capture the spectacular scenery and memories of your balloon tour. The crew will be available before you take off to take your picture in the basket. Our staff will also take digital photos of your flight. Pictures are posted daily on our Facebook page.

What if I am afraid of heights?

Our European designed baskets provide security and scenery with 48 inch high sides. The movement in the balloon does not affect persons who suffer from motion sickness.

When do you offer flights?

One sunrise flight is offered daily, weather permitting, year round. Meeting times vary throughout the year from 5:30 a.m. in the summer months to 6:30 a.m. in the winter months.

Why do balloons fly in the early morning?

Winds are generally calm and stable the first hours after sunrise. The sun’s uneven heating of the earth’s surface causes strong, variable winds. In the morning, it takes a few hours for the sun to heat the earth’s surface enough to generate the thermal activity that creates wind. Wind conditions in the Temecula Valley allow for balloons to fly safely ONLY at sunrise. Ideal winds for hot air ballooning are three to six miles per hour.

Can a balloon ride be given as a gift?

Yes! Gift Flight Vouchers are available for your gift giving pleasure. Vouchers can be purchased over the telephone with a credit card or purchased securely online. Flights include a one hour flight, traditional champagne toast, continental breakfast and souvenir certificate of flight. Flight vouchers are pre-paid tickets good for one year. They are non refundable and fully transferable. Vouchers are not valid on major holidays, holiday weekends and during special events.

What if I am celebrating a special occasion?

A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure specializes in making every flight a special occasion. To help you make your Birthday, Anniversary or Proposal special, we offer a complimentary basket banner. To help make the day even more special, small cakes are available for a nominal charge.

What are your office hours?

Reservationists are available Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PT) to answer any questions or make a reservation. You can call us at 951-699-9987. Online reservations are always available 24 hours a day.

Do you offer balloon tethers or glows?

Yes, tethers offer guests the opportunity to take an introductory flight in a balloon that is attached to the ground by long ropes. Tethers must occur first thing in the morning or right after sunset when wind conditions are calm and stable. A balloon “glow”occurs in the evening. The balloon is inflated and sits on the ground. When the burners are ignited it looks like a giant light bulb. Balloon glows make a beautiful back drop at parties or special events. Please contact our office for a rate quote and details on how you can have a balloon at your next party.

Can you advertise on a hot air balloon?

Yes, a hot air balloon is the perfect outdoor flying billboard. A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure specializes in customizing an advertising package to meet your company’s individual goals from local to nationwide programs. Some of our current advertisers include Wilson Creek Winery, Pechanga Resort & Casino,Temecula Creek Inn, Europa Village Winery and Robert Renzoni Winery. For information regarding how your company can get “in the air” contact Cherise at 951-699-9987.

Have I seen your balloons on TV?

Yes, we have been on the KTLA morning news, FOX morning news, The History Channel, The Real Housewives of Orange County, The Bachelorette, Millionaire Matchmaker, Parks and Recreation and the movie “The Ugly Truth” and numerous commercials and music videos.

How can I take a flight with “A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure”?

Check availability and make a reservation online, or contact our office Monday –Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (PT) at 951-699- 9987 to reserve your requested flight date. We look forward to flying you soon!