Taking a hot air balloon flight is a little different from taking a plane flight. There are no seats, no tray tables or inflight meals…and there’s no door. So how does one get in to a balloon basket and how fit do you need to be to do it?
When making a booking, whether over the phone or online, you will be asked to confirm that all passengers meet our ‘Fit to Fly‘ requirement with no significant knee, hip or back problems; no recent surgeries or broken bones; are able to stand for an hour; climb in to the basket using the footholds cut in to the side of the basket; bend your knees to absorb a bump as the balloon lands, weigh less than 140kg and are not currently pregnant.
This is because there is a level of active participation on the part of each passenger during every balloon flight. Firstly, you will need to be able to climb aboard the balloon at the beginning of your flight. This a bit like climbing up a short ladder and then down the other side again. There are foot-holds cut in to the side of the basket to make this a little easier.
The second reason for the ‘Fit to Fly’ questions come at the other end of the flight; the landing. As your balloon approaches the landing site, you will be asked to adopt the landing positions with your knees bent in front of you while you adopt a slight sitting posture with your back braced on the padded basket wall behind you. Upon landing your balloon basket may remain in the upright position or tip over on to its side, depending on wind conditions. Both sorts of landing are completely normal and are entertaining for all but it’s important that everyone aboard is fit enough to endure a bump on landing. The landing bump is usually similar to the impact of jumping off a small chair.
For the safety of all passengers, we are not able to carry wheelchairs, walkers, chairs or walking sticks aboard as these can’t be secured for landing and may injure someone in the event of a ‘tip over’ landing.
If you’re in doubt about where you or someone in your party is ‘Fit to Fly’ give our team a call on 1300 891 930 and if you are currently under a doctor’s supervision, remember to check with them first too.