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  • How long is a flight?
    Our typical flight lasts approximately one hour, give or take a few minutes depending on landing site opportunities. The whole experience from meeting your pilot at the launch site to post-flight refreshments can last from 2 to 3 hours.
  • How high do we fly?
    We typically fly within 500 feet above the surface, however, sometimes we fly higher to catch winds that help get us to our final destination. When possible, we try to do some contour flying, which is flying just above the treetops, which allows for spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes as well as wildlife.
  • Will there be other people flying with us?
    There may or may not be others joining you on your flight. It just depends on the reservations that come in for that day, the availability of additional pilots, and the balloon capacity. If we have other people book a flight for the same day as your reservation, depending on how many are in their group and in yours, then we may take our largest balloon (with a capacity of up to 6 people, or up to 1000lbs of total passenger weight), but if no one else books on that day, then we may take one of our smaller balloons that will accommodate 2 to 4 passengers. If you wanted to guarantee that you would get a private or VIP flight for 2 to 4 people, then it is an additional $100 per person to guarantee that you fly as a private party. Please give us a call if you want to reserve a VIP private flight.
  • What time do we meet?
    We meet approximately 15 minutes before sunrise. Our bookings calendar is preset to 5:00 a.m., as the most common time that we meet during our flying season, but sunrise times change by a few minutes each day, so check our sunrise calendar to see when you might be meeting your pilot and crew. You will receive a call the afternoon or evening before your scheduled flight with the exact meeting time and location.
  • How do I dress for a flight?
    We recommend wearing long pants and closed toe shoes - no flip flops or sandals. We also recommend that you bring a jacket and dress in layers, similar to the way you would dress if you were going on a hike. It is always better to be dressed warmer than you think you should dress, than it is to be at flying altitude and wish you would have brought that jacket. You can always remove a layer of clothing during a flight and put it in the basket if you get too warm. We also recommend that you check what local temperatures will be on the morning of your flight or ask your pilot the night before the flight about temperatures in the morning so you can be prepared to dress for warmth and comfort.
  • What if I am afraid of heights?
    Most people who are afraid of heights are just fine and no longer afraid within a few minutes of leaving the ground. We've only had one passenger in 5 years that we landed early for due to the fear of heights. If at any point, you decide you want to end your flight early, just let your pilot know and they will land the balloon as soon as reasonably practicable. You will still be responsible for the total cost of your flight, but we can get you back on the ground early if necessary.
  • How do I answer the total combined weight question?
    The number we need is just the combined weight of the passengers in your group, for which you are paying. Do not include the weight of the pilot.
  • Where is our meeting location and where do we get dropped off after the flight?
    You will be receiving a phone call the day before your flight with the exact time and location of your meeting. Your pilot and crew will meet you at the agreed upon time at either the Mammoth Site Parking lot ( located at 1800 US-18 BYP, Hot Springs, SD 57747) or at the Hot Springs Airport (located at 27858 US-385, Hot Springs, SD 57747). The forecast winds will determine which location is preffered. If we have winds out of the West, we will likely meet at the Mammoth Site. If we have winds out of the East, we will likely meet at the Hot Springs Airport. Again, your pilot will contact you the day before your flight with this information. Once you have completed your flight and you have landed, the ground crew will pick you up and bring you back to the launch site meeting location, where you parked your car.
  • What can I expect the morning of my flight?
    You will again be contacted by your pilot approximately one hour before your flight, confirming flight plans and time, either by text message or other means discussed by your pilot the day before your flight. Sometimes forecasts change overnight, and flights are cancelled due to unforeseen and unfavorable weather. If the weather is good, you will plan to meet your pilot as discussed. Once you arrive at the launch site, you will be asked to sign a liability waiver prior to boarding the hot air balloon (unless you have already filled out an electronic waiver). Our insurance company requires all passengers to sign liability waivers prior to flying.
  • What happens if the weather is bad for the day I booked my flight?
    If the forecast weather is not favorable for conducting a flight, we will need to cancel or reschedule the flight to a mutually agreed upon date. If we are not able to reschedule the flight, then you will be reimbursed your $100 deposit.
  • I am planning a vacation and not sure which day would be best to fly. Any recommendations?
    We recommend that you book your flight at the beginning of your stay in the Black Hills because sometimes the first date that is chosen may not have good weather for ballooning and you may have an opportunity to reschedule to another day if your schedule allows for it.
  • Are there any coupons or discounts for hot air balloon rides?
    Since you decided to take the time to visit our FAQ page and didn't call us to ask the same question that everyone else has, you saved us time so we will save you money!! Use PROMO CODE: FAQ24 to receive $20 off of your booking! And thanks for reading our FAQ's!
Western Horizons Hot Air Balloons
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