Report to the "Passenger Zone" at 5:00 am. To do so, go through the VIP entrance located on Chemin du Grand-Bernier and follow the signs for the volunteer/employee parking lot. Make sure you have your purchase confirmation with you as you will need it to check in at the passenger kiosk where you will be given your boarding pass.
* Morning flight reservations include a regular ticket that can be used on the day of your flight, or on any day after your flight.
Report to the "Passenger Zone" at 4:00 pm. To do so, go through the main entrance located on Gouin Boulevard and follow the "Parking" signs. Please note that you must purchase a parking ticket ($11.50 in presale or $12.00 on site). Make sure you have your day ticket to access the site. Also, you will need to have your purchase confirmation with you, as you will need it to check in at the passenger kiosk, where you will be given your boarding pass.
* Reservation for an evening flight includes access to the site for the day your flight takes place, as well as a regular ticket for the day of your choice among those following your flight.
Depending on the time of your flight, it could be cool, damp or there may be mosquitos. Dress accordingly. As well, you will be standing for the duration of the flight, so remember to wear comfortable shoes, in which you can get around easily.
Of course! We strongly encourage you to bring a camera so that you can capture this magical moment.
It is impossible to predict accurately. The strength and direction of the wind tells the pilot where you are heading, but nothing more. Usually, the landing takes place in a field near a road or path to facilitate recovery.
A chase team follows the balloon after take-off and communicates with the pilot throughout the flight. Upon landing, they help the pilot to pack up the envelope and put the equipment in the trailer. Everyone then returns to the point of departure in the chase vehicle.
In order to get the most from your flight experience from start to finish, you can offer to help pack up the balloon. If you feel comfortable doing so, the crew really appreciates it, but it is by no means mandatory.
Yes. Please be aware that:
- For safety reasons, people that have back problems, heart problems, are under 4 feet (1.2 metres) tall, are pregnant or think they might be and passengers under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be allowed to fly.
- A hot air balloon flight can make a previous injury get worse.
- If you have had joint replacement surgery, talk to your doctor and tell the pilot.
- If you have severe allergies, tell the pilot. Make sure you are prepared in case of an emergency (bring your medication: EpiPen, insulin, etc.). A hot air balloon ride is an outdoor adventure in a rural setting.
- If you have to take medication at a fixed time, it is recommended to have it with you since flight durations can vary.
Note: If you have a health problem, or if you question your abilities, please talk to you doctor and inform the balloon pilot.
- Passengers have to be able to hold onto something without help, stand up for the duration of the flight and get in and out of the basket without help.
- You may need to use the step on the side of the basket and then step up over the edge of the basket in order to get and out of it.
- Passengers must be able to walk on rough terrain.
- Upon landing, the impact is equivalent to jumping off a kitchen chair. Sometimes it is a bit stronger, and the basket can tip over on its side and be dragged along the ground. Passengers must be in good shape to able to handle the impact of the landing.
Prior to departure, you have to sign a waiver form, which releases the International Balloon Festival and the pilot from any responsibility. Please keep in mind that there is a certain risk associated with air balloon flights.
Since the situation is constantly changing, we keep an eye on the measures in effect on a daily basis, in order to make any required adjustments. For more information, please see the government website.
Your balloon flight could be rescheduled during the Festival, or you may receive a refund. However, no credit or refund will be given to anyone who does not arrive on the site on time.
Yes, the price remains the same.
Yes, but please note the following nuance.
If your flight is in the morning, you will receive a ticket giving you access to the site for the day of your choice.
However, if your flight is in the evening, in addition to receiving a ticket to the site for the day of your flight, you will also receive a regular ticket for another day of your choice.
Winds that are non-existent or too strong (more than 12 km/h), rain and thunderstorms within a 50 km radius are considered poor flight conditions.
Sometimes conditions don’t seem good during the hours before a flight, yet the flight still takes place. The opposite is also likely. The balloonmeisters (flight directors) analyze the weather conditions before each flight, in order to give their authorization.
We cannot guarantee the exact duration of a flight, since it depends on the weather conditions at the time of take-off. However, a flight typically lasts about 1 hour. As a passenger, you should allow for 3 to 4 hours for the total activity, which includes meeting the pilot, setting up the equipment, inflating the balloon, the flight, the landing, packing up the equipment and returning to the point of departure.
Hot air balloons can fly because hot air is lighter than cold air. On summer days, when the sun warms the earth, a phenomenon occurs that creates hotter zones and whirlwinds that are a risk for hot air balloons. By flying early in the morning or late in the afternoon, the earth is cool enough so these thermal phenomena are practically non-existent, which allows for safe flights.
A hot air balloon can typically reach an altitude of 7,500 feet. It is also possible to fly at 1,000 feet to better appreciate the landscape. In fact, everything depends on the pilot, the passengers, the wind direction and the weather conditions! Note that during the Festival, Transport Canada regulations require us to fly higher than 500 feet above a crowd or an area where there are buildings.
The short version is that it is impossible to steer a balloon. The long version is that a pilot is somehow able to steer his balloon according to the altitude and the winds.
This is not a phenomenon that exists, as the basket is very stable, which makes it comparable to the feeling of flying in an aeroplane.
Approximately 2 degrees Celsius are lost for every 1,000 feet of altitude. So if it is 20 degrees Celsius on the ground, it will be about 18 degrees Celsius at 1,000 feet, and so on. Also, since the balloon is moving at the same speed as the wind, you will hardly feel the wind factor during the flight.
Many factors influence the number of people allowed on board, so we cannot guarantee anything. In order to maximise the chances of us being able to accommodate your requests, we advise you to arrive as soon as the kiosk opens, either at 5:00 am or 5:00 pm, depending on the time of your flight.
No, however, we do ask passengers to specify on the booking form which languages are understood and spoken, in order to facilitate assignment to a pilot.