First Time on a Balloon Ride?
Find answers about your hot air balloon flight with Rainbow Ryders – the premier hot air balloon company of the Southwest.
To make your adventure more enjoyable, these balloon ride FAQs explain what you can expect before, during, and after your balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders.
How do I select a Balloon Ride Company?
Rainbow Ryders puts safety first on every balloon ride with FAA-licensed balloon pilots, state-of-the-art hot air balloons, and top of the line balloon chase vehicles. Click here for a list of questions to ask when shopping for a balloon ride company.
Where do you fly?
What does a balloon ride in look like?
Watch some videos of balloon rides in Albuquerque and Phoenix. See a photo tour of hot air ballooning in Phoenix with Rainbow Ryders.
How long does the balloon ride experience last from start to finish?
Plan on 3.5 to 4 hours for the complete balloon ride experience…from the meet up at our launch site, to lift off and approximately one hour in the air, to the balloon landing and delivery back to the launch site.
Before Your Balloon Ride
What makes a hot air balloon fly?
Hot air goes up! Cold air goes down! Rainbow Ryders masters these basic principles to fly hot air balloons. We heat the internal temperature of the balloon to be warmer than the ambient temperature, and voila! Liftoff!
Is hot air ballooning safe?
Relax. Rainbow Ryders has over 34 years of experience of balloon flight safety, experienced and friendly pilots who practice wise weather ballooning, and a fleet of modern hot air balloons that pass FAA inspections.
How much does a balloon ride cost?
Balloon flight pricing is seasonal. Please call (800) 725-2477 to ask about balloon flight special discounts. Children’s balloon ride rates start at $99. Balloon flight packages range between $150 and $200 per person for a balloon flight shared with other passengers.
How do I make a reservation?
Reservations must be made in advance by calling (800) 725-2477 or or click here to book your balloon ride in Albuquerque, click here to book your balloon ride in Phoenix/Scottsdale or here to book your balloon ride in Colorado Springs. Your credit card is used to hold the reservation. Payment is taken on the day of the balloon flight.
How do I cancel my reservation?
We require a 48 hour cancellation notice. Late cancellations or “no shows” forfeit of the deposit. If your flight is canceled by Rainbow Ryders due to inclement weather, there will be no charge. We will do our best to reschedule your balloon ride to another date.
Are there any physical requirements for flying in a hot air balloon?
The minimum age for passengers is 5 years old. The baskets do not have seats so you will need to stand the entire duration of the flight (about an hour).
Can pregnant women ride in a hot air balloon?
Unfortunately we cannot allow anyone who is pregnant or possibly pregnant to fly in our balloons.
How do you get into the basket?
Hot air balloon baskets are not outfitted with doors and therefore the only way to board the balloon is by going up and over the side of the basket. There is no graceful way to do it! Just up and over. Don’t worry….our courteous staff and crew are happy to assist you.
Where does the balloon take off?
Unlike other balloon ride companies, Rainbow Ryders provides our guests with an indoor meet-up location that is safe, warm, and equipped with indoor bathrooms.
Meet at the Rainbow Ryders Albuquerque office located at 5601 Eagle Rock Avenue NE in Albuquerque, NM 87113.
Meet at the Rainbow Ryders Phoenix office located at 715 East Covey Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85024.
Meet at the Rainbow Ryders Colorado Springs office located inside Hotel Elegante, 12886 S Circle Dr, Colorado Springs CO 80906 | 877-771-0776 | 719-368-3800
Do you need hotel pick up and drop off arrangements? Just ask!
What time does the balloon take off?
For sunrise flights, we gather 30 minutes before sunrise at the launch site. Afternoon/evening balloon rides, we meet 2.5 hours before sunset. Actual times vary as sunrise and sunset times fluctuate with the seasons. We will contact you to confirm your meet up time.
Why do we meet so early for a morning balloon ride?
Just before sunrise is when the weather is the coolest and the winds are the calmest which is ideal for ballooning.
Can we fly in the evening?
What should we wear?
You should wear casual clothing and comfortable shoes. We suggest light layers of warm clothing so you can easily adjust to the temperature as the sun comes up. The coolest you will be is on the ground. Once you’re in flight, the burners tend to keep the baskets nice and warm. Due to the nature of the southwestern landscape, we discourage you from wearing sandals of any kind.
Can we bring cameras and video cameras?
During Your Balloon Ride
How long is the balloon flight?
Our flights last approximately one hour in the air.
How many people fit in a balloon basket?
Rainbow Ryders has hot air balloon baskets that range in size. The smaller ones can carry anywhere from 2-4 people and the biggest ones can carry 12-14 people.
How do you get the balloon inflated?
A fan is used to blow cool air into the balloon. Later the burners are used to heat the air as the balloon lies on the ground. Gradually the balloon will rise to an upright position.
How high does the balloon fly?
The balloons will fly from ground level to a couple thousand feet above ground level, depending on wind direction and speed.
What is the temperature in the balloon?
Due to the burners, the temperature in the balloon is a few degrees warmer than the surrounding air, despite the increased altitude.
Is it quiet in the balloon?
When the burner is off, it is extremely quiet. Quiet is one of the most enjoyable aspects of ballooning.
Does the basket sway when flying?
The basket does not sway since it moves with the wind. No need to worry about motion sickness.
Can you steer a balloon?
Yes. Different altitudes provide different winds. We adjust the height of the balloon to “steer” the balloon.
After Your Balloon Ride
Where will the balloon land?
A balloon flight is dependent on wind speed and direction. Every flight is different and our landing sites vary.
What is a chase crew?
Our chase crew are Rainbow Ryders employees who follow the balloon via radio contact with the pilot throughout the balloon flight. They also meet you at landing, pack up the balloon and return you to the original launch site.
Will there be anything to eat or drink?
After landing, enjoy a celebratory toast and tasty snacks to end your safe and memorable hot air balloon adventure.
How will we get back after our flight?
The chase crew will follow the balloon while you’re flying and meet at the landing site. We then invite you to help with the packing of the balloon. After the balloon is loaded into the truck and trailer, the passengers will board the van and head back to the Rainbow Ryders office.
Should we tip our balloon pilot and chase crew?
Like any other service provider, a gratuity is always appreciated. A typical tip would be 10% per person. Like the saying goes “if you like the ride, tip your guide!”