FAQ

I have a flight booked for TOMORROW and cannot find my flight confirmation, what do I do?

If you have a flight booked for tomorrow, you will need to follow the below procedure so you can be advised if the flight is proceeding and the exact meeting time in the morning.

Melbourne Flight:

http://www.globalballooning.com.au/melbourne/checkin


Yarra Valley Flight:

http://www.globalballooning.com.au/yarra-valley/checkin

 

For either flights, you can also download the Global Ballooning Mobile App:

1. Search for Global Ballooning Australia in your mobile App Store/Play Store and download the app.

2. Click 'Sign Up' and enter your details into the app.

3. Input your Trip Code into the FLIGHTS tab. This will be either of the below depending on whether you are on the Melbourne or Yarra Valley flight:

Melbourne: MELDDMMYY eg. MEL15/02/17

Yarra Valley: YRVDDMMYY eg. YRV15/02/17

4. Make sure your notifications are switched ON in your phone settings so you can receive updates

5. You’ll receive a notification the night before your flight or if you are downloading it late, you'll see the update in the itinerary.

Are discounts available for groups?

Yes, we offer group discounts depending on the size of your group. Please note, any discounted booking is strictly non-refundable.

Please contact our office on (03) 9428 5703 or via email on balloon@globalballooning.com.au for more information & please provide the below details -

- How many people in your group?

- Date you are interested in?

- Melbourne OR Yarra Valley flight?

- Would you like to include breakfast?

 

How do I know whether my flight is going ahead?

Hot air ballooning is weather dependent.

All passengers need to check if their flight is going ahead the night before anytime after 6pm.  Check a link online where you will receive the weather report and find out the exact meeting time as below -

 

Melbourne Flight:

http://www.globalballooning.com.au/melbourne/checkin


Yarra Valley Flight:

http://www.globalballooning.com.au/yarra-valley/checkin

 

 

You must check the link on our website after 6pm the night before your flight. If you don't you may jeopardise your places. You will obtain the final weather update and meeting time/pickup time.

 

Why do I have to check if the flight is proceeding?

Ballooning is a weather dependant activity and it is not safe to fly if the weather is unsuitable. This could be because of too much wind, not enough wind, turbulence or thermal activity, poor visibility due to low cloud, fog or smoke or storms, lightning or rain. Our pilots liaise with the Bureau of Meteorology to determine if a day is flyable, and they receive their final weather report the evening prior to your flight. This is why we cannot tell you any earlier if the flight is going ahead.

Global Ballooning Australia understands that it is disappointing to have a flight cancelled but we make the decision with your safety in mind. Please be understanding when this situation occurs - we never want to cancel a flight, it is mother nature who makes that decision for us!

What do I do if my flight is cancelled?

If your flight is cancelled due to inclement weather, you will receive a cancellation email and can reschedule to an alternate date.

Simply contact our friendly office on (03) 9428 5703 or via email balloon@globalballooning.com.au and quote your reference number. Please note, our weekend flights are extremely popular and can book out up to 8 weeks in advance at some times of year. Please be aware of this when re-booking, and understand that we will do our best to get you on a flight! You may like to consider a weekday flight instead. We schedule flights everyday of the year except Christmas Day (25/12).

If you cannot reschedule, you may request a refund. Please note, discounted bookings & gift vouchers are strictly non-refundable.

Any refund will incur a $25 administration fee which Global Ballooning Australia retains.

Is it cold during the flight?

You will be no colder in the balloon than when you are on the ground. The burners are located above your head and, as you will be moving with the wind, there is no wind chill. The burners can be quite warm so wear layered clothing & we recommend you wear a hat to protect your head from the heat of the burners.

What time do we meet?

We meet around 2 hours before sunrise. The pilot will tell you the precise time when you check the flight details (by phone or online) the night before the flight (see your flight confirmation for full details).

How long does it all take?

You can expect to be with us for around 4-5 hours. This includes the flight as well as the setting up and packing down of the balloon, and breakfast. The flight itself is approximately a 1 hour duration.

Can extra people join me for breakfast?

Yes, you can book this through our office by calling (03) 9428 5703 and quoting your reference number. The cost is $35 per adult and $15 per child (up to the age of 12).

Can I purchase an open dated gift certificate and how long is it valid for?

Yes, we have open dated gift certificates. They are valid for twelve months, are transferable, but non-refundable. We schedule flights everyday except for Christmas Day so there are plenty of opportunities for your loved ones to book in with us using their gift voucher.

What happens on the morning?

We meet at the confirmed time and you are driven in our vehicles to the launch site, which is determined according to the weather patterns on the day. You are then welcomed to help us with the inflation of your balloon, this usually takes about 30 minutes. During the flight our ground crew follow the balloon and meet you at the landing site. The flight lasts for approximately 1 hour. After the balloon is packed up, you will be taken back to our meeting place where a hearty breakfast has been organised for your adventure-fuelled appetite!

What should I wear and bring?

Ballooning is an audience participation activity and you will be encouraged to assist with the set up and pack away of the balloon. It is an active morning in the outdoors, so wear clothes that can get stained or dirty.

⦁ The burners can sometimes drip water mixed with Carbon. Global Ballooning Australia will not be responsible for clothing that is stained or damaged as a part of our adventure activity.

⦁ Do not bring any bags as these will not be allowed on the balloon. You can leave them in the ground crew vehicle whilst on your flight or leave them at home/in your hotel.

⦁ Wear clothes as for hiking, including sturdy shoes, warm socks and a cap, plus sunglasses if you wish.

⦁ We meet before sunrise so depending on the time of year and weather, it can be extremely cold.

⦁ Generally it will not be any colder in the air during the flight than on the ground, so wear layered clothing that can be removed as the day warms up.

⦁ The burners can radiate heat so a hat is recommended.

⦁ Your feet can get wet and cold in the early morning dew, you may like to bring a change of socks.

⦁ High-heeled shoes are not suitable.

⦁ Don't forget to bring your camera as there are plenty of photo opportunities!

Where do you park on the morning of your flight?

Both meeting points have parking available:

Yarra Valley - free parking at Balgownie Estate.

Melbourne - $10 flat rate parking at Pullman on the Park has parking. Once you drive into the car park located at the front of the hotel, you can take a ticket and arrange payment through the hotel Concierge after the flight.

What if I need to cancel my flight or change my flight date?

As long as you give us 7 days or more notice to change or cancel a flight, there are no fees involved. Within 7 days of the flight date, a $50 per person fee is applicable. Within 48 hours of your flight date, no changes or cancellations can be made to the booking.

Full terms and conditions are available on our website: www.globalballooning.com.au/terms

I want to get married in a hot air balloon! Is this possible?

It certainly is! We have a wedding package that can be tailored to fit your requirements on your special day. Our balloon weddings take place over the picturesque Yarra Valley, and include a beautiful champagne breakfast at Balgownie Estate to celebrate the day. We have flown an increasing number of weddings in recent years, so you couldn't be in better hands. Please contact our bookings office on (03) 9428 5703 or by email: balloon@globalballooning.com.au to make further enquiries.

I'm thinking of proposing to my partner, is there something romantic I can do?

If you're looking for romance, ballooning is definitely for you! And what better way to propose to your significant other than with our Proposal Package. We have a customised "Will You Marry Me" balloon, and, as it is slowly inflated by our pilot, the words become visible. That's your cue to get out the ring! The package includes an exclusive flight for just the two of you, and a romantic champagne breakfast afterwards to celebrate your engagement. Please contact our office on (03) 9428 5703 or via email: balloon@globalballooning.com.au for further details.

Can you accommodate corporate groups?

Having the largest fleet of balloons in Victoria, we can certainly accommodate corporate groups. Settingup and packing down a hot air balloon provides for a great team building activity, and the flight itself is a great incentive. Please contact our office for further information on (03) 9428 5703.

Can I come into the office and buy a gift certificate or pay for my flight?

Yes, see the contact us page for our address details & office trading hours: https://www.globalballooning.com.au/contact

 

Where do we launch and land?

We have a number of launch and landing sites for Global Ballooning Australia's Operation around Melbourne and the Yarra Valley.
It is unknown until the morning of the flight which launch and landing site will be used as it is dependent on the wind direction on the morning - each flight path is different.

This is the reason for our meeting places as this avoids confusion on the morning. We transfer passengers to the launch site and after the flight take all passengers back to the meeting place.

Can you accommodate people who have disabilities?

The Global Ballooning Australia and Burt & Davies have developed an Easy Access Basket (EAB). This incorporates a door to allow less able-bodied individuals, including those with serious physical disabiliites, to enter and exit the basket with ease. The EAB also incorporates customised seating, seat belts and a grab handle suspended from the burner frame. Unfortunately, we don't have a wheelchair accessible vehicle though.

Read more information on this basket here: https://www.globalballooning.com.au/accessibility

For more information please contact us in the office on (03) 9428 5703 or email: balloon@globalballooning.com.au.

How many people are in a basket?

Yarra Valley flights can have up to 24 people in one basket but there are other sized balloons if less or more passengers have booked.

Melbourne flights hold 10 people per basket.

Can pregnant women fly?

We can fly pregnant women in their 1st and 2nd trimester only. Please consult your doctor for health risks and advice.

We will NOT be able to fly you in your 3rd trimester.

When should I book?

Flights are scheduled 7 days a week, all year round except on Christmas Day. Weekends always book up the quickest, we suggest allowing 6-8 weeks notice to book on a weekend, or try for a Monday-Friday flight. You're always welcome to call us to enquire about availability.

What training is provided to pilots and how often?

Global Ballooning Australia has quarterly safety seminars to ensure quality and safety is a first priority.

To fly balloons a person must first obtain a private pilot certificate by learning to fly with an instructor and passing a number of theory exams.  After completing at least 75 hours of private balloon flights the person can then start commercial instruction and start studying for the commercial theory exams. Every commercial pilot must pass a similar level of commercial theory be it for flying balloon, plane or helicopter.  Once the person passes the commercial theory and flight test they can start work as a commercial pilot.  A new commercial pilot starts work in a small Class 1 balloon that can take between 2 and 6 passengers.  Over the years with further training and qualifications the person can build up to a Class 4 balloon that can take up to 24 passengers.  All of the commercial pilots currently working for GBA have a Class 4 licence.  A new commercial pilot may start in open country areas such as Mansfield.  As they get more hours and experience they will fly in open areas such as the Yarra Valley.  With further training and qualification a pilot can be authorised to fly over Melbourne.  With limited landing areas flying over a city requires the highest level of skill and judgement for a commercial balloon pilot.

Every GBA pilot has an Annual Operational Review, does an Annual training session in Emergency Procedures and does a Bi Annual Flight Review.  Each pilot has to pass a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Aviation Medical and works under the guidelines of a strict CASA Drug and Alcohol Management Plan.

Why are hot air balloon flights only held at sunrise?

Sunrise is the best time to fly - it is calmest and coolest time of the day allowing for more opportunities to fly passengers so the winds are light and stable. As the sun warms the morning air, the wind begins to increase. It is also the prettiest part of everyday and a fantastic way for passengers to start the day.

We meet 1 hour before sunrise so that by the time we drive to the launch site (which is unknown until the morning of the flight due to the wind direction), set up the balloon and are up, up and away everyone is seeing the stunning sunrise from up above.