Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the flight?
The flight itself lasts approximately one hour. The whole adventure, including the pre-flight preparations, return transportation and the post-flight champagne toast will last about 3 hours in total.
What Is The Flight Like?
We will fly between tree top height to a couple thousand feet, depending on wind direction and speed. Because of the burners, the temperature will be a few degrees warmer than the surrounding air. The sensation will be like you’re floating, and it is very quiet other than the sound of the burner. Because you move with the wind, there isn't a sense of motion like you have in other vehicles/aircraft. Your experienced pilot steers the balloon by moving it to different altitudes to get different wind patterns, so the height of the balloon will vary throughout the flight.
Do you fly all year long?
Our flying season lasts from mid March until the end of September. We start our season by flying at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival.
Is it safe?
Absolutely! Our hot air balloons are built by some of the finest manufacturers in the world. Safety checks are performed before each flight by the pilot and crew. The balloons are subject to annual safety checks in line with FAA standards. All of our experienced pilots are certified by the FAA.
Where do we meet?
We meet primarily at Aurora Airport, 15 minutes south of Portland. The meeting time is usually about 30 minutes before sunrise. We will tell you the exact time when you book your flight. Click here for directions. During the Wooden Shoe Tulip festival (Mid March through April), we fly from there.
Are there any physical requirements to fly?
Due to the insurance we carry, we are unable to fly anyone who is pregnant or who may be pregnant. The minimum age to fly is 5. Children under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign the release of liability. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. While there are no age maximums, there are no seats in the basket, so passengers must be able to stand for the entire flight (about an hour) unassisted. We are sometimes able to offer a stool to sit on during the flight. If you are concerned about physical limitations, we always recommend checking with your doctor before booking your flight. Feel free to reach out with questions.
What should I wear?
Please dress for an outdoor adventure. Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing. Dress in layers with long pants preferably. Bring a hat or sunglasses, the summer morning sunrise in the NW can be bright. Wear comfortable closed-toed sturdy shoes (preferably sneakers). Also, don’t forget your camera; you’ll want to share your pictures with everyone! If you dress to the ground temperature, you should be comfortable in the air as well! Due to our balloon traveling with the wind, you won’t feel much of a wind chill.
How do I get back to my car?
There will be a chase vehicle that follows the balloon for the entire flight. Once landed, the chase crew will help pack up balloon and drive you back to the original meeting point.
What if it’s raining, foggy or very windy?
We do fly in Oregon, so the weather can influence our decision to fly. The safety of our passengers is our primary concern, so we ask for your patience and understanding if we are unable to fly because of the weather. We will reschedule your flight to another day of your choosing. If you are a visitor to the area, and are unable to reschedule, your card has not been charged. We only get your information to reserve your spot in our balloon.
Can I fly if I'm pregnant?
Unfortunately, we cannot allow you to fly if you're pregnant.
How many passengers do you fly in your balloons?
Our balloons are certified to carry between 8-12 passengers. Our baskets are compartmentalized to ensure maximum comfort and safety. Our private flight baskets can carry 2 passengers.
Should we tip our balloon 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: If you like the ride, tip your guide. You are able to tip at the checkout process when running a credit card, card, or gift certificate.
What is your cancellation policy?
Portland Rose Balloons will contact our passengers in the afternoon before the following day’s flight in regard to the weather. Remember, this is Oregon, so in the event of rain, wind or fog we will ask your patience to postpone your flight to another day that fits your schedule. If you are traveling and are unable to do so, we will refund 100% of your booking deposit. If you want to cancel or change your reservation we ask for 48 hours notice. If you fail to give us 48 hours notice, or fail to arrive at the launch site on the day of your flight, you will be liable for 100% of the total reservation charges.
Where do you fly from?
For the first 6 weeks of our season, mid March until May, we fly from the Wooden Shoe Farm during their hugely popular Tulip Festival (https://www.woodenshoe.com/events/tulip-fest/). Once that concludes in May, our balloons take off from Aurora Airport just south of Wilsonville, Oregon.