Balloons Over Bagan Flights – frequently asked questions
How long is the flight?
Our balloon safari flights are a true adventure and can last from 30 minutes up to two hours. The whole experience including hotel pick ups and light champagne breakfast lasts between 3 to 4 hours. Ballooning in these remote areas is also about watching the set up of the balloon, and being rescued at the end too, not just the flight itself. Not knowing where you are going to land is always exciting and part of the adventure!
What do we see?
The exciting thing about ballooning is that you just don’t know. You will see some of Myanmar’s most remote and unspoilt areas in the early morning light. You will see forgotten and tucked away hill top pagodas, mountain villages and incredible vistas over Beautiful Inle Lake. On our Safaris the balloon is still a strange and mysterious sight, and as we come into land we are often mobbed by children and local villagers in an amazing interactive experience.
Is it safe?
- Commercial passenger ballooning is the safest form of all air transport.
- We only fly when there are light surface winds less than 8 knots.
- Our pilots and technicians are European Nationals qualified and registered in the UK.
- Our balloons are built to the highest standards of the British aerospace industry by Cameron Balloons
ltd and Lindstrand Balloons Ltd the world’s largest manufacturers of hot air balloons.
- All our crew are trained to the highest international standards and have all been trained in first aid by UK Public Transport Inspectors.
I’m scared of heights.
Ballooning does not usually affect those people who are scared of heights. Because the balloon travels with the wind, the basket is very stable and does not sway or rock during flight. There is no sense of vertigo or motion.
How many people can fit in one balloon?
We currently use our very smallest balloon for this unique and exclusive service. The balloon has room for 4 passengers in two separate compartments plus a pilot.
Where do we take off?
The take off site changes with the wind and is decided by the pilot in command on the day of the flight.
Where do we land?
Wherever the wind takes you! This could be next to the lake, a field by a village or even into the next valley, which will involve a lengthier rescue.
What time will we be picked up?
Passengers are usually picked up from their hotels by our private vehicle or boats between 05h30 and 06h00 in the morning. The exact time will be given to you the evening before by your pilot and host.
What time do we get back to the hotel?
In the morning flight, passengers are usually back at their hotels before 9.30 am!
Can our children fly?
For safety reasons there are age and height restrictions. We set a minimum age of 8 years old, but as a general rule, all passengers must be able to see over the basket.
How can we pay for a pre-booking?
For pre-bookings, full payment must be made through our company bank account one month in advance of your scheduled departure date, or through your tour operator.
For a pre-booking via Myanmar City Star Travel & Tours Co. Ltd, full payment must be made preferably by bank transfer at least 30 days in advance of the flight date. All payment must be paid in US dollar via paypal or via bank transfer, please see details here.
Can I get my money back if the balloon flight is cancelled?
Balloon Safari holidays are an all exclusive package, including all accommodation, meals and transport in addition to your balloon flight. We guarantee a refund of USD 250 per person per flight in the event that we are unable to safely conduct one of these flights in each location. Our flights only operate when the chief pilot decides that the weather is suitable and it is safe to fly.
Therefore it might be possible that we have to cancel the balloon flight at the launch site for safety reasons. Our flights normally take place during the months of November, December, January, February until mid March which are normally the most reliable and clear months for flying in Myanmar.
Why do I have to give my weight?
It is important that we receive the correct weight of each passenger as soon as possible. The chief pilot needs this figure to calculate the total ballast of the basket, so that he can determine the total amount of lift available on that day.
Who owns Balloons over Bagan?
Balloons over Bagan is a 100% private Myanmar company, which was set up and is run by husband and wife team Brett Melzer and Khin Omar Win.