FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG IS THE FLIGHT?


Flight time varies upon location, wind speed, and direction. However, we do aim for forty-five minutes to one hour.




HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I ALLOW FOR THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE?


You should allow 2 to 3 hours for the entire experience, which includes checking in for the flight, instructions and inflation, the flight, the post-flight champagne toast, and driving back to the launch site.




HOW SHOULD I DRESS FOR THE FLIGHT?


Please dress for an outdoor adventure. If you dress to the ground climate, you should be comfortable in the air as well! Wear comfortable, loose-fitting, and layered clothing, as the temperature will fluctuate between the launch and landing. Comfortable closed-toed flat shoes are a must, and we do not recommend dresses, sandals, and high heels.




WHAT TIME DOES THE BALLOON LAUNCH?


Flight times vary throughout the year based upon sunrise and sunset times. For sunrise flights, we meet half an hour before sunrise. For evening flights we meet two and a half hours before sunset. Click HERE for sunrise and sunset times throughout the season.




WHERE WILL THE BALLOON LAND?


Because the balloon is not equipped with a steering wheel, your pilot is not able to "steer" the aircraft to land back at the launch site. Depending on wind speed and direction, the balloon will land approximately five to ten miles (as the crow flies) from the launch site. Your pilot will choose the best possible landing spot; typically a large field or backyard.




HOW WILL I GET BACK TO MY VEHICLE?


The Galena On The Fly chase crew will follow the balloon throughout the duration of your flight and will be at the landing site when you arrive. As soon as the flight is over, the passengers will board the van and head back to Eagle Ridge for the first flight ceremony. The chase crew stays behind to load the balloon on the truck and trailer.




DO YOU HAVE A WEATHER CANCELLATION POLICY?


Please remember that all balloon flights are entirely weather-dependent. If your flight is canceled, understand that it is for your SAFETY. Just because it's a beautiful day for a picnic or other outdoor activities, does not mean it is a favorable day for flying in a hot air balloon. Believe us when we say, no one wants to fly more than we do, but safety is our number one concern. If the winds are forecasted to be above 10mph, or if there is any chance of thunderstorms or rain showers within a hundred miles, you will not be flying. Flights may also be canceled due to heat. On hot days, the combination of the outside temperature and the heat from the burners will make the trip miserable for everyone involved. As a general rule, we will cancel if the heat index is over 95°. All flights and cancellations are completely at your pilot's discretion and will not be questioned. Galena On The Fly will do everything possible to reschedule your flight for the next available flight time. Because your card is not charged until AFTER the flight, no refund is necessary for a flight canceled due to weather.




WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?


Because we turn people away based on reservations, we do not have a cancellation period. What does that mean? It means, if Galena On The Fly cancels because of weather, there is no charge to you, and we will make every effort to reschedule your flight. However, if you cancel, for whatever reason, you will be charged the full amount.




ARE THERE PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FLYING IN THE BALLOON?


Due to insurance and safety regulations, we are unable to fly anyone pregnant or may be pregnant, and anyone under the age of six. While there are no age maximums, physical limitations may apply. There are no seats in the basket. Passengers must be able to stand for the entire flight (about an hour) unassisted and must also be able to hold themselves in the basket when landing. Upon landing, you may be coming to a stop from 10 mph; the equivalent impact of jumping off of your kitchen table. We do not have a height or weight restriction. We always recommend checking with your doctor before booking your flight if you are concerned with physical limitations. If you have further questions or have a health concern, please discuss this with us when you make your reservation.




HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES THE BASKET HOLD?


Our balloons comfortably accommodate up to fourteen people plus the pilot. We welcome even larger groups upon request, please call us for details!




HOW DO I GET IN AND OUT OF THE BALLOON?


The sides of the basket have slots for stepping in or use the provided step stool and swing your legs over the top and then into the basket. There is no graceful way to do it but don’t worry, our crew is always available to help. Specific physical or weather conditions may require pre-boarding. Pre-boarding is placing a few passengers in the basket while it is laying on its side. During the inflation of the balloon, the basket will return to its upright position, bringing the passengers to a standing position as well. Your pilot will give detailed instruction if pre-boarding is necessary.




WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A TYPICAL FLIGHT?


The beginning of the flight is spent at treetop level, allowing you to get a feel for the balloon. The sensation will be much like you’re floating and other than the sound of the burner, is very quiet. From there we may ascend to 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the ground. At this altitude, it is possible to see Iowa and Wisconsin, as well as Illinois! At times we may see some of the abundant wildlife that calls Jo Daviess County home. This area is known for its large population of whitetail deer.




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. We do not reach altitudes at which there is a noticeable temperature change.




WILL THERE BE ANYTHING TO EAT OR DRINK?


After landing, we provide a celebratory champagne toast and post-flight chocolates. We recommend bringing along a bottle of water for the flight.




SHOULD WE TIP OUR PILOT AND CHASE CREW?


Like all service providers, a gratuity is always appreciated. A typical tip would be 10-20% of the total price. Like the saying goes: If you like the ride, tip your guide.




HOW DO I MAKE A RESERVATION?


Flight schedules are on a first come-first served basis; you MUST CALL US at 815-777-2747 to make your reservation. We do not take reservations over the internet; this includes email. Advanced reservations are required, and while we can usually accommodate "short-notice" reservations, as the season progresses, longer lead times will be needed to guarantee your booking on your desired date. If you know the date you want to fly, it's best to make your reservations as far out as possible. If you are planning a trip to Galena, we suggest you schedule your flight within the first day or two of your visit, that way, if the weather does not cooperate, we may be able to reschedule you for another day during your stay. Certain days may be unavailable for scheduling. Galena On The Fly provides rides at the National Balloon Classic in Indianola, IA from July 26 - August 4, and at the International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM from October 1 - 15.




HOW MUCH IS THE FLIGHT AND HOW CAN I PAY?


All flights are $200 per person. From 6 to 106, every spot in the basket is the same price. A debit/credit card is required to make your reservation, however, we do not charge your card until after the flight, so if you would like to pay cash, you may do so at your pre-flight check-in. We accept Master Card, Visa, Discover, or cash. No checks, please. All card transactions will incur a 4% processing fee, cash payments are waived the 4% fee.




WILL I BE FLYING WITH OTHER PEOPLE?


THE MORE THE MERRIER! Yes, depending on your group size, you will be flying with other people. Our balloons carry up to 14 passengers, so if you have a group of two, chances are you will be flying with 12 other people.




DO YOU OFFER PRIVATE FLIGHTS?


Yes. If you would like a private flight for two, the price is $2,800.00. Please call our office at 815-777-2747 to arrange this flight.




WHEN DO YOU FLY?


We offer flights sunrise and sunset flights on weekends through May, and seven days a week from April through October. Weekdays we offer sunset flights, while weekends we offer both sunrise and sunset. Each flight is roughly 45 minutes to an hour long. If you have a day in mind that you would like to fly, please give us a call at 815-777-2747 to check availability.




DO YOU OFFER DISCOUNTS OR PACKAGES?


No. We do not offer packages or group, senior, or military discounts. We also do not offer Groupon coupons.




CAN I BUY A GIFT CERTIFICATE?


Although we do not offer gift certificates, you can still give the gift of flight! We suggest purchasing a pre-paid debit card (MC, Visa, or Discover) in the amount of the flight. These cards can be purchased at your local retail store. Please visit our Gift Certificate page for more info, or to print off a giftable certificate for your pre-paid gift card.





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