Frequently Asked Questions

If you can’t find the answer here, please contact us and we will be glad to help.


About the Balloon Flight

• How long is the balloon flight?
• Where do you fly from?
• When do you fly?
• What time do I need to be at the launch site?
• How high will we go?
• How far will we fly?
• Where will we land?
• Will the balloon fly over my house?
• Can people come with me to watch?

Clothing and Cameras

• What should I wear?
• Can I bring a camera?

The Balloon

• How many passengers are there in the balloon?
• Can anyone fly in a hot air balloon?
• Is there an age or weight restriction?
• What if I'm pregnant?
• What if I have a medical problem?
• Can I fly if I have a disability?
• Can I fly the balloon?

Safety and Insurance

• Is hot air ballooning safe?
• What about insurance?

Weather & Cancellations

• Why will a flight be cancelled?
• I saw another balloon flying in the area so why was my flight cancelled?
• What happens if my flight is cancelled?
• What are Back-up Sites?
• How do I find out if my flight is going ahead?
• What if I want to cancel or change my flight?


About the Balloon Flight


How long is the balloon flight?

A balloon flight with us lasts for around one and a half hour, depending on prevailing weather conditions and suitability of landing sites, but you should allow at least four hours for the whole experience.

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Where do you fly from?

We have over 50 balloon launch sites in Switzerland. Please see our locations section for more details.

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When do you fly?

We schedule hot air balloon rides morning and evening, seven days a week during the ballooning season which is March to October.

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What time do I need to be at the launch site?

These are some approximate meeting times. You will be given the exact meeting time when you book your seat.

 

 

Time of Year

AM

PM

March

07:00

15:30

Start April to mid April

07:00

17:00

Mid April to mid May

06:30

17.30

Mid May to end May

06:00

18:00

June and July

06:00

18:30

Start August to mid August

06:00

18:00

Mid August to end August

06:30

17.30

Start September to mid September

07:00

17:00

Mid September to end September

07:30

16:30

October

08:00

15:00

November

07:00

13:30

PLEASE NOTE: These are only approximate times which can vary by an hour each way and depend on weather conditions and regional variations. You will get the exact time on the day of flight, at the confirmation call.

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How high will we go?

Sometimes up as high as 2000 meters above sea level - although this depends on airspace and it does vary from area to area.

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How far will we fly?

Hot air balloons can’t be steered in the normal sense so they fly with the wind. How far you fly depends on the wind speed. It also depends on how long it takes the pilot to find a suitable landing spot. You could fly a relatively short distance or as far as 20 km.

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Where will we land?

You never know where exactly you’re going to land. The pilot will start looking for a suitable landing about 15 minutes before the scheduled landing time. The ground crew will track the balloon on the ground and aim to arrive just when the balloon is landing.

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Will the balloon fly over my house?

We’d love to be able to promise this but, obviously, as hot air balloons cannot be steered, it’s a bit tricky. If you take off from a launch site in your home town or nearby and the wind is on your side, it is possible you’ll see your home. But, to avoid disappointment, please don’t expect it.

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Can people come with me to watch?

 

 

 

 

Explore the foothills of the Alps from the view out of a balloon. The region between the city of Lucerne, the Sempachersee and the Baldeggersee is particularly appealing. See Lake Lucerne, Mount Rigi and the Pilatus moutain.

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Clothing and Cameras


What should I wear?

We recommend clothes suitable for a walk in the country depending on the time of year and on the specific day you are flying. Generally warm, comfortable layers are a good idea, plus a cap or other hat for the warmth from the burners. Depending on conditions, you may be walking in wet, muddy fields so sensible shoes or trainers are essential.

Usually passengers are asked to help with the inflation and deflation of the balloon which most people really enjoy. This is much appreciated because it helps to make the process much quicker for everyone. So we also recommend you wear clothes which you don't mind getting a little dirty. No designer wear, flip-flops or high heels please as we are unable to accept responsibility for any damage to clothing and anyone who is dressed inappropriately may not be allowed to fly.

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Can I bring a camera?

Yes, you can bring a camera, binoculars or camcorder as the balloon makes an excellent platform for photography. They must not be in metal cases and they are carried at your own risk.

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The Balloon


How many passengers are there in the balloon?

We fly with a maximum of 8 passengers in one balloon. The biggest one in Switzerland takes 21 passengers and a pilot. However when we have larger groups we split them up in different balloons.

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Can anyone fly in a hot air balloon?

In order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone who flies, passengers must be satisfied they are physically able to take part in the experience. This means that they can climb in and out over the sides of the basket (which is about 120 cm high), stand unassisted for the time of the flight and adopt the bended knee seated landing position. Passengers must also be able to fully understand and follow all instructions given by the pilot and react quickly to them in the unlikely event of an emergency. Under Civil Aviation Law the balloon pilot has a duty of care for all passengers and, ultimately, it is their decision if someone is able to safely participate on the day. Please see the sections on age & weight restrictions, medical conditions, pregnancy and disability below.

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Is there an age or weight restriction?

Children must be aged 12 years or over and at least 130 cm tall. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We know that our passengers come in all shapes and sizes, but due to weight and space restrictions of hot air balloons and baskets, anyone who is over 120 kg will be required to pay a supplement. You can call our customer service team on 062 926 22 77 to discuss this before booking.

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What if I'm pregnant?

Unfortunately, for safety reasons, we are unable to fly women who are pregnant. However, if you become pregnant when you already have a voucher, we will extend the validity until after you've had the baby. All you need to do is contact us and provide us a medical certificate.

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What if I have a medical problem?

All passengers should be sure they do not have any medical problems. Please seek professional medical advice if unsure. We may request a certificate of fitness to fly from your doctor.

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Can I fly if I have a disability?

We make every effort to ensure people with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in balloon flights with us wherever it is possible and safe to do so. As everyone’s particular situation is different and some disabilities present greater challenges than others in the unique context of ballooning, we require you to tell us about any disability before purchasing a flight voucher or booking a flight. This is so we can best advise you; consider any necessary arrangements to accommodate you, if we can safely do so, and to ensure we fully attend to our duty of care for all passengers’ safety. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, we are unable to fly anyone who requires a wheelchair.

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Can I fly the balloon?

No, our pilots are all qualified and highly experienced and we think it's best to leave the actual flying up to them. However, they will be happy to answer questions about how they got into flying balloons and how it all works.

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Safety and Insurance


Is hot air ballooning safe?

Hot air ballooning is an extremely safe activity which is highly regulated in the UK with strict safety guidelines. We are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority and all of our hot air ballooning pilots hold full commercial pilot’s licences. We also use the latest equipment and have the most modern fleet of balloons operating in the UK having spent over £1million since 2005 on balloons and baskets alone.

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What about insurance?

Funks Ballonfahrten is insured for public and employers liability up to CHF 10 million so if you fly with us you don’t need to worry about insurance.

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Weather & Cancellations


Why will a flight be cancelled?

Sometimes our pilots will cancel flights because the weather conditions are not safe to fly. Our pilots are all highly experienced and they decide whether it is flyable or not. We are not allowed to question a pilot’s judgment as this could be seen as pressuring them to fly. Our pilots put your safety first at all time. When cancelling a flight, either on the flight line beforehand or occasionally on site, the pilot will usually try to offer some explanation as to why. Our pilots make their decision to fly based on the most relevant and up to date forecast available. There are also different forecasts and they can be interpreted in different ways. So, like all weather people, we do occasionally make mistakes but unfortunately we can only go by what the forecaster says and some forecasters are better than others.

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I saw another balloon flying in the area so why was my flight cancelled?

 

  • Our pilot’s decision whether to fly is not related to what other balloonists decide. Our pilots consider all the weather factors and make their own decision, always putting your safety first.
  • The other balloon could have had better shelter at take-off from the wind on that particular wind direction.
  • It might be a private balloon and they can legally fly in much poorer visibility than balloons on a commercial licence. Private balloons are also generally a lot smaller and therefore easier to inflate and land.

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What happens if my flight is cancelled?

If your flight is cancelled because of the weather or related factors, you can immediately book onto another date. Plus if you have a cancelation near the end of your voucher validity period and you had more than 6 cancelations in the 24 month of validity, we will extend it free of charge at our discretion so you have another opportunity to fly.

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What are Back-up Sites?

Sometimes a flight will be moved to a back-up site because the forecast conditions are not flyable at the original launch site, because the wind direction from there is not suitable (i.e. going towards a large town, an airport or into the mountains) or because the site is otherwise unavailable or unsafe to fly from. Back-up sites are alternative locations which give flights improved chances of going ahead and your pilot will advise you of this on your confirmation phone call.

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How do I find out if my flight is going ahead?

Once you have a voucher and booked into a specific flight (online or by phone call) you will receive a booking confirmation by E-Mail. This will include your dedicated phone number and the time that you have to call.. If it is a morning flight you will call the night before and if it is an evening flight you will call in the afternoon on the day of flight. If the flight is cancelled before the “time to call” we will inform you by E-Mail.

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What if I want to cancel or change my flight?

You can cancel a flight up to 48 hours before it takes place. This must be done by phone (office hours) or by E-Mail. After these time you will need to attend the flight or you may send a substitute. The personal data of this substitute person must be submitted as soon as possible, but at the latest at the flight confirmation phone call.

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