Contact Us

We’re thrilled you’re interested in embarking on an unforgettable journey with us. At Southern Tier Balloon Tours, your adventure begins the moment you reach out.

Contact us Today

Get in Touch with Southern Tier Balloon Tours in Ithaca, New York

Whether you’re ready to book a flight, have questions about our services, or simply want to learn more about the magic of hot air ballooning, our dedicated team is here to assist you every step of the way. To make your experience as smooth as possible, here are the best ways to contact us:

call us
(607) 222-7620
email us

Frequently Asked Questions

Embarking on a hot air balloon journey is an exciting adventure, and it’s natural to have questions before you take to the skies. To assist you in preparing for this unforgettable experience, we’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that cover a wide range of topics, from safety protocols and inclement weather to what to wear and expect during your flight.

Absolutely. Piloting a hot air balloon requires rigorous training and certification, including comprehensive ground and flight instruction, successful completion of written examinations, and a practical flight test evaluated by a designated flight examiner. To ensure safety and proficiency, pilots must also fulfill ongoing requirements to maintain their certification.

Hot air ballooning is subject to the whims of weather, and safety is our paramount concern. Inclement weather conditions may necessitate the cancellation of flights. Rest assured, our team is expertly trained in weather assessment and will make informed decisions regarding flight safety. Should your flight be canceled due to adverse weather, we are committed to working diligently with you to reschedule. Our goal is to provide a safe, enjoyable ballooning experience for all our guests.

Our hot air balloon adventure is a comprehensive experience that spans approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours, including pre-flight preparations, a safety briefing, and the opportunity for guests to assist with the balloon inflation. The flight path is dictated by the wind, making each journey unique. Following the flight, our crew ensures the safe recovery of the balloon and passengers, returning everyone to the launch site. Flight times will run between 45 and 70 minutes with an average of 60 minutes.

After your unforgettable balloon flight, returning to your car is hassle-free. Southern Tier Balloons ensures that your transportation back to the launch site is part of your package. Our dedicated chase crew follows the flight path from the ground and will be ready to greet you upon landing. They will then escort you and your fellow passengers back to the original launch site in our comfortable shuttle service, allowing you to relax and reflect on your aerial adventure without any transportation worries.

For safety reasons, we regret that we cannot accommodate pregnant passengers on our flights. The landing process can be compared to the impact of jumping off a chair, and while often gentle, it can vary in intensity. We warmly invite you to join us for a flight before or after your pregnancy. Additionally, please consider your overall health and physical condition when planning a hot air balloon ride, especially if navigating uneven terrain or if you have recent injuries that could be exacerbated by the flight.

The flight experience with Southern Tier Balloons is nothing short of magical. From the moment the balloon begins to rise, you’ll feel a gentle lift-off that smoothly takes you above the landscape, revealing breathtaking views of the Finger Lakes or Southern Tier regions. The peace and tranquility of gliding through the sky at sunrise or sunset offer a serene yet exhilarating sensation, unlike any other flying experience. You’ll have the opportunity to see the world from a new perspective, enjoy the quiet moments of flight, and even engage with your pilot about the mechanics of ballooning and the history of the area. The entire journey, from takeoff to landing, is designed to provide you with a safe, enjoyable, and memorable adventure.

To ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests, we welcome participants aged 5 and above, provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. While we do not have a height restriction, guests taller than 6’3″ are advised to wear a hat for additional comfort during the flight. Our pricing is based on a per-person weight up to 235 lbs. For individuals in excess of 235 lbs, please contact us directly for accommodations and detailed information to ensure a seamless ballooning experience.

At Southern Tier Balloon Tours, your safety is our utmost priority. Before each flight, our experienced staff conducts a comprehensive safety briefing to ensure all passengers are fully informed and prepared for the journey ahead. This briefing covers several key topics, including:

  • A general overview
  • Inflation process
  • Hot phase of inflation
  • Entering and exiting the basket
  • Basket positioning during flight
  • Landing instructions

Our commitment to safety extends beyond the briefing. All our pilots are commercially rated and adhere to strict safety standards and regulations set by the FAA, and our equipment is regularly inspected and maintained. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that you can enjoy your flight with the confidence that you’re in safe and capable hands.

Southern Tier Balloons prides itself on being the most accessible hot air balloon service in New York State and the Finger Lakes region. Understanding the diverse needs of our guests, we offer several accommodations to ensure everyone can enjoy the majesty of ballooning:

  1. Early Boarding for Passengers with Mobility Issues: We provide the option for passengers with mobility concerns to be comfortably loaded onto the balloon before inflation, ensuring a smooth and stress-free boarding process.
  2. Service Dogs: Recognizing the importance of service animals, we welcome service dogs on our flights. We kindly ask passengers to call us in advance to discuss the specifics of bringing a service dog onboard. This allows us to ensure the safety and comfort of the dog, considering any sensitivities to the balloon’s equipment and noise.
  3. Footsteps for Boarding: To facilitate easier access into the balloon basket, passengers are loaded using a series of secure footsteps. This method is designed to assist guests in safely and comfortably entering and exiting the basket.
  4. Commitment to Accessibility: Our dedication to being the most accessible ballooning experience in the region is unwavering. We continually strive to accommodate the needs of all our guests, making the wonders of hot air ballooning available to everyone.

For any specific accessibility questions or to discuss accommodations for your flight, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to ensure you have an extraordinary and inclusive ballooning adventure.

For an enjoyable experience, we recommend dressing in comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing suitable for an outdoor activity lasting several hours. Closed-toe shoes without heels are essential for safety and ease of movement. Although the temperatures at altitude are similar to ground level, we advise wearing long pants to protect against landing in long grass areas. A hat is also recommended as protection from the heat of the burners. Our goal is for you to have a comfortable and memorable experience, so dressing appropriately will enhance your enjoyment of the flight.

Many of our passengers express concerns about acrophobia, or fear of heights, before embarking on their journey. However, the experience of floating in a hot air balloon is unlike standing at an edge or high point. There is no sensation of vertigo, as the balloon moves with the wind, creating a surprisingly stable and serene environment. We encourage those apprehensive about heights to join us, as this experience often alleviates such fears.

While tipping is not required, it is greatly appreciated. Our flight crew and pilots work diligently to ensure you have a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable experience. If you feel that the team has enhanced your ballooning adventure, a tip is a wonderful way to express your gratitude for their exceptional service and dedication. The amount is entirely at your discretion, but as with many service-based experiences, a guideline of 10-20% of your flight cost is a common practice among satisfied guests.

question not answered?

We understand that each guest may have unique concerns or require additional information beyond what is provided in our FAQs. If your question wasn’t answered in the section above, we encourage you to reach out to us directly. Our dedicated team is here to ensure that all your inquiries are addressed, making your journey with us as smooth and enjoyable as possible.