Premium balloons
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Questions & Answers

How many passengers we will be?
Our balloons have small baskets which carry either: 2-5 passengers at a time. If you want so, we can make a private flight for two of You, with no other passengers. Even you are a 20, 30 or 50 people large group we can fly all!

When it is possible to fly?
We are flying all year around, even in winter. Flights are set early in the morning when sun ir rising and ~3 hours before sunset. But we can not fly if the wind exceeds 5 m/s or there are precipitations.

How long is the hot air balloon flight?
A hot air balloon ride with us lasts for around an hour, depending on prevailing weather conditions and suitability of landing sites, but you should allow at least four hours for the whole experience.

Where do you fly from?
We are flying in Latvia, usually around Sigulda, Jelgava, Bauska, Cesis or Valmiera towns. On request we are flying in other places as well.

When do you fly?
We schedule hot air balloon rides morning and evening, seven days a week during all year. Most of flights we schedule at top season which is March to October.

Why don’t you generally fly during the day?
During the day, the sun heats the ground which in turn heats the air above causing thermals or columns of rising air. These thermals cause updrafts and downdrafts which affect a pilot’s ability to safely control the altitude of a hot air balloon. Lower temperatures in late October mean these conditions are not as common which allows day flights to take place.

How high will we go?
Sometimes up as high as 3,000 feet (1 km) - although this depends on airspace and it does vary from area to area and time of the year flown. Even at a few hundred feet the views are incredible and over 1,000 you can start to see for miles!

How far will we fly?
Hot air balloons can’t be steered in the normal sense so they travel on the wind with skilled pilot’s controlling the altitude by heating the air inside the balloon. How far you’ll 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 15 km.

Where will we land?
Hot air balloons can’t be steered so they travel on the wind and you never know where exactly you’re going to land. The pilot will start looking for a suitable landing site after around 45 minutes. The retrieval crew will track the balloon on the ground and aim to arrive shortly after landing.

What’s the landing like?
Flying in a balloon is a very serene experience while in the air, but it is an adventure activity in the great outdoors and sometimes on landing the basket can tip and/or drag along before coming to rest. This is how balloons have been landing for over 200 years and is perfectly normal. The balloon and basket are designed for your comfort and safety throughout the flight. During landing you will be in the safe, seated landing position within the basket as instructed by your pilot. The landing is an exciting part of the experience and in many cases people say it is their favourite part of the flight.

Can people come with me to watch?
Spectators are welcome but please let them know that there may not be toilets or other facilities at the launch site. Spectators can follow our team car to balloon landing place and to pick up passengers there, to make beautiful photos on take-off and landing.

Is the passenger retrieval service from our home address?
No, you will need to make your way to you launch site before the flight. If you want so, our balloon crew will transport you back there after the flight. You will then need to make your own way home. If you order a transfer services from us, we will serve it.

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.

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. Most of our balloons have special pouches to stow cameras on landing. Some of our pilots in certain areas offer an in-flight photo service and if this is available they will explain this to you on the day.

Can anyone fly in a hot air balloon?
In order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of everyone who flies, it is important that passengers are satisfied they are physically able to take part, that they can climb into the basket, stand unassisted for an hour and adopt the seated landing position, which will be explained by the pilot. They should also be sure they don't have any pre-existing medical conditions which could be affected by the ballooning experience and seek medical advice if unsure.

We are unable to fly passengers who are pregnant. Children must be aged seven or over and at least 120 cm tall. Under 16's must be accompanied by an adult.

We know that our passengers come in all shapes and sizes but due to weight and space restrictions, anyone who is over 120 kg will be required to pay a supplement.

What if I’m pregnant?
We are unable to carry 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.

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. See the Meet the Pilots section in About Us for more information.

Is hot air ballooning safe?
Hot air ballooning is an extremely safe activity which is highly regulated in Latvia with strict safety guidelines. We are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority and also use the latest equipment to have the most modern fleet of balloons operating in Latvia.

What about insurance?
Premium Balloons is insured for public and employers liability up to EUR 4 000 000 so if you fly with us you don’t need to worry about insurance.

Why would a flight be cancelled?
The weather is our friend because it is what makes every flight unique but, unfortunately, we cannot control it (no matter how hard we try!). This means sometimes pilots will cancel flights because the weather conditions are not safe to fly in.

Our pilots are all highly experienced and they decide whether it is flyable. We are not allowed to question a pilot’s judgment as this could be seen as pressuring them to fly which could compromise safety.

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 just before they set their flight line message. Sometimes the actual conditions may be different to what was forecasted. 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. We can tell you some of the general reasons why a pilot may cancel a flight:

    The weather looked nice and sunny so why was it cancelled?

  • The wind at ground or gradient level (2,000ft) or the gust speed might have been too strong and outside operational limits.
  • Rain may have been forecasted in the area. We cannot fly in rain because it means there will be poor visibility and it also makes the balloon heavier to fly. Getting a balloon envelope wet can lead to some damage.
  • Thunderstorms or CB (Cumuli Nimbus) clouds may have been forecasted. These are dangerous and we would not fly in their vicinity.
  • If yours was a morning flight, the visibility early in the morning during our flight period could have been poorer than later in the day.
  • There may have been a wind direction which would have taken the balloon towards something unsuitable, like a large town or restricted airspace.
    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.
  • The other balloon could have had better shelter 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 public transport licences like ours. Private balloons are also generally a lot smaller and therefore easier to inflate and land.

What happens if my flight is cancelled?
Don't worry, if your flight is cancelled because of the weather or related factors, you can just book onto another date. Plus if you have a cancelation near the end of your voucher validity period we will extend it free of charge at our discretion so you have another opportunity to fly.

How do I find out if my flight is going ahead?
Once you have a voucher and book onto a specific flight, you will receive a booking confirmation by email or phone. This will include your dedicated flight line phone number which the pilot will update to let you know if the flight is going ahead and any other important information. 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.

All flight dates and times we confirm as possible to fly you can find at our webpage front page (

What if I want to cancel or change my flight?
You can cancel off a flight up to two working days before by email. After these times you will need to attend the flight unless there are extenuating circumstances.

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