Airial Balloon Company

10123 Airport Way, Snohomish WA  98296

(360) 568-3025






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Frequently Asked Questions


What should I wear?

Isn't it cold up there?

What should I bring?

Which flight should I choose, morning or evening?

Is ballooning safe?

What about bad weather?

How high do we fly?

Are there any age restrictions?

Are there any weight restrictions?

What happens once we get to Airial Balloon?

What's a "piball?"

I'm not flying, but can I watch or be a part of this?

Are there any physical limitations or considerations?

Are we supposed to tip the pilot?

Who is the Northwest's Favorite Hot Air Balloon Pilot?

What is your privacy policy?


What should I wear?  Dress normally for the season and time of day, remembering that we most often land in farm fields, not parks, so dress accordingly.  Long pants and closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes, are usually perfect attire.  Sandals and high heels are not recommended, and bare feet are not allowed.  Persons taller than 5'8" tall may wish to wear a cap to ward off the heat from the balloon burners.


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Isn't it cold up there?  It's about the same temperature as it is on the ground.  Sometimes it might even seem a little warmer because you generally feel less wind resistance when you are flying in a balloon.  That's because balloons travel with wind currents.  If you are in a balloon that is traveling in a wind current it doesn't seem as windy because you are moving with the wind.  Wind resistance is what makes the air temperature feel colder than it actually is.


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What should I bring?  Bring a camera!  Be sure your equipment has a sturdy strap - cameras (and other personal property) have been dropped overboard and, even though people thought they saw where their item landed, it's truly almost impossible to find something that's been dropped.  So, remember that YOU are responsible for your personal items and we won't replace or repair them for you.  What not to bring:  Baggage, valuables, pets, unattended children.  Beverages are not allowed in the balloons.


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Which flight should I choose, morning or evening?  Our recent observations indicate:

  • February and March weather patterns typically allow for more morning flights than evening flights.  

  • In April, 75% of the flights flown were in the morning and 25% were flown in the evening.

  • In May, 60% of the flights flown were in the morning and 40% were flown in the evening.

  • June often brings us windy afternoons.  70% of the flights flown were in the morning and 30% were flown in the evening.

  • Most of July has windy afternoons, too.  During the first three weeks of the month, 70% of the flights flown were in the morning so try to schedule morning flights during that time period; either flight after that.

  • August is equally good for either flight!

  • The weather starts changing in September.  During the first week, the morning and evening flights are generally like August flights - fairly equal in the number of launches.  After that, morning fog visits us regularly so you're going to want to schedule sunset flights.  On average, just over 30% of the flights flown in September are flown in the morning and about 70% of the flights are flown near sunset.  Our recommendation:  Schedule Sunset flights in September.

  • October statistics are similar to September's.  33% of the flights were flown in the morning; 67% were flown at night.  Schedule Sunset flights in October.

  • After daylight savings time begins we fly only once a day.  The meeting time for our November, December, and January flights is at 2:00 pm.  Both Sunrise and Sunset Flight passengers are welcomed on these afternoon flights.  (Sunrise Flight passengers will be served hors d'oeuvres instead of a continental breakfast.)


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Is ballooning safe?  It's been said that hot air ballooning is safer than driving a car or flying in an airplane.  However, as with any outdoor adventure, a certain element of risk is involved.  

  • We are very proud of our perfect safety record. 

  • Our pilots are FAA-licensed commercial pilots who have thousands of hours of experience flying hot air balloons. 

  • The balloons are FAA-licensed and certified aircraft which are maintained to the same high standards of any commercially-flown aircraft.  

Your safety is our number one concern.


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What about bad weather?  Since your safety is our primary concern, we will not fly if we have rain, too much wind, or any other unfavorable condition, including nasty looking cloud formations, no matter what you say or how hard you try to talk us into flying.  If we have to cancel a flight, we'll try to have this information available for you about two hours before flight time.  Sometimes we may have to cancel a flight from the launch site if the wind isn't settling to our pilots' satisfaction.  If your flight is cancelled you may reschedule.


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How high do we fly?  Flight altitude generally ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 feet, depending on wind directions and speeds available during the flight.  We may fly just inches off of the ground during part of the flight, and we may climb to 5,000 feet, it just depends on what Mother Nature has to offer at your flight time.  It's always different!


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Are there any age restrictions?  Yes.  Through experience we've found that younger children can't see over the basket and are usually scared by burner noise.  They often get bored, fast.  Upset children reduce the quality of the ballooning experience for other passengers and, since this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people, we want the flight as comfortable as possible for everyone onboard.  Even though your child is probably very well-behaved, we prefer to play it safe and therefore do not fly children under the age of seven.  For liability reasons, we also do not allow unaccompanied children to ride in our chase vans.


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Are there weight restrictions? We're sorry to say that we've had to adopt passenger weight restrictions on the balloons.  Balloons are both weight-limited and occupant limited by the manufacturer.  Over the past few years, the maximum weight capacity of our nine-passenger balloon has often been met with only five or six passengers.  That seriously diminishes the number of passengers we can fly throughout our main flight season and that's not fair to the other people who wish to fly.  In the interest of fairness to all, we've adopted the following passenger weight policy:

The quoted flight fares are for individuals, couples, and groups averaging less than 200 pounds per person. Those individuals, couples, and groups averaging more than 200 pounds per person will need to purchase additional flights in order to make a reservation. The number of flights needed is computed by dividing the combined party weight by 200, then rounding up to the next whole number. For example, if a party of four weighing 840 pounds wishes to make a reservation, they will need to purchase five flights. (840 divided by 200 = 4.2, then rounded up to the next whole number.) If a party of one weighing 235 pounds wishes to make a reservation, they will need to purchase two flights. (235 divided by 200 = 1.175, then rounded up to the next whole number.)


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What happens once we get to Airial Balloon?  Prior to your arrival, our pilots have been busy collecting weather data.  You'll probably see them watching piballs (weather balloons) after you've checked in.  Once your pilot determines an appropriate launch site, you'll board our vans and be driven to the launch site.


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What's a "piball?"  It's a weather balloon.  Piballs (short for pilot balloons) show us the local wind direction and wind speed at different altitudes.


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I'm not flying, but can I watch or be a part of this?  Yes!  Non-flying guests can do everything the "flyers" do, except when the balloon passengers take off into the air, the non-flying guests board the chase rigs and follow on the ground.  We call these non-flying guests "chasers."  Chasers are there for the launch, and travel in the chase vehicles with the balloon ground crew.  They're there for the balloon retrieval, and take part in the post-flight celebration, too.  The fee is $25 per person.  We appreciate advance notice of non-flying guests so we can be sure to have enough food and beverages on hand.


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Are there any physical limitations or considerations?  When you schedule your flight, please inform us of any knee, leg, hip, or back problems you have, or if there are any other physical impairments that you think we should know about.  We also need to know about any recent surgical procedures, pregnancy, frailty, or any physical condition that could affect your well-being during flight.  These things won't necessarily bar you from ballooning, but our pilots need to know about things like this in case a situation arises where they need to take special care of you.  Ballooning is safe, but it's considered a sport and may place some physical demands on the participant.  By the way:

  • We prefer not to fly pregnant women.

  • Our balloon baskets are not wheelchair accessible.

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Are we supposed to tip the pilot?  Unlike many hot air balloon companies, our pilots and ground crew are not owners of or stockholders in the company; they are employees.  So, it's certainly not a requirement, but if you think that your pilot and crew did a great job for you, they appreciate knowing that you enjoyed your flight and they won't object!    


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Who is the Northwest's Favorite Hot Air Balloon Pilot?  That's Shannan.  She was voted the Northwest's Favorite Hot Air Balloon Pilot in KING TV's "Evening Magazine's Great Escapes" reader's polls in 1997 and 1998.    


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What's your privacy policy?  We value your privacy as well as your patronage.  We adhere to a strong commitment to protect your privacy and will not distribute your e-mail address or other contact information to anyone.

The only reasons we will contact you are to:

  • relay information to you about your reservation.
  • send you Airial Balloon Company news and specials.  


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Open Daily from 9-5

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Airial Balloon Company

10123 Airport Way, Snohomish, WA  98296


(360) 568-3025



Celebrating our 35th Anniversary!


This web site is an informational site only.  Airial Balloon Company does not collect, retrieve, or store any information or personal data from visitors through this web site.


This website was last updated on:  July 09, 2015.