Well, the time has finally come for us to be able to resume flying again. Our last flight was at the end of 2019s balloon season and due to COVID-19, we were unable to fly. It’s been a very hard 18 months as we did not qualify for any grants or support funding from the Scottish Government as the support available was for “land and sea” activities only. Like many businesses, we’ve battled through it and managed to keep going including retaining all of our staff.
Before flying with us, you must ensure you do not have a fever or a president cough. We will also be cleaning our basket and equipment thoroughly between each flight to help mitigate the risks of COVID-19.
To everyone that has a balloon voucher already, thanks so much for sticking with us and we can’t wait to fly you!
Here’s to better times ahead for everyone!
The Webster Adventures Team
Terms & Conditions
Get ready for your flight by checking out our terms and conditions.
Prior to your flight, please keep an eye out for an email from us either confirming or cancelling your flight. We may do this right up to the time of your flight but will always try and give our passengers as much notice as possible, this can be due to the weather changing and making it unsafe and unflyable. If this happens, please understand we will only ever cancel a flight for the safety of our passengers. If the flight is cancelled, you will be able to rebook.
Flying between 1st April and Mid October
For AM flights call the office between 2030 and 2100 the evening before.
For PM flights call the office between 1230 and 1300 on the day.
Flying between Mid October and March 31st
For AM flights call the office between 2030 and 2100 the evening before.
For PM flights call the office between 1030 and 1100 on the day.
Our morning flights take place just after sunrise (0630 in summer and 0800 in winter). In the evening our flight times are 1600 to 2000 depending on daylight hours.
Where do we fly from?
Webster Balloons fly from different launch locations based on the wind direction on the day of the flight. When you call we will be able to tell you the best launch site available to ensure a scenic and safe flight. All scheduled flights will be in Kinross/Perth region.
What to wear
If you are comfortable on the ground then you will be fine in the air. However in winter as we take off we will lose the wind chill and you will find it remarkably warm and in summer you will find it very hot. Don't wrap up for winter, even in winter! The best option would be to dress as if you are going for a walk in the country. A strong pair of shoes is recommended and ones that you don't mind getting dirty as we do land in fields. Please do not wear high heels.
Where are we going today?
This is a frequently asked question, which is usually answered with "Where Mother Nature sends us". Actually, prior to meeting, the pilot will have kept a close watch on the weather patterns and will have received a weather briefing from the Met Office. With that knowledge it is determined where to set-up and in which general direction we will go.
The winds at altitude actually travel in "layers" that are used to steer the balloon around the heavens.
On a typical flight we will ascend to 2,500 feet on take off and the pilot will make a note of wind speeds and directions at different heights. This process will give the Pilot the information he requires to put the balloon into an area suitable for landing.
The flights usually take around an hour. The distance you travel is dependent on winds strength; you would probably be looking at anything from 5 - 15 miles.
There must be no smoking anywhere near the equipment as there is always a chance that there may be a small propane leak. The processes of preparing the balloon for flight and dismantling afterwards may involve the venting of flammable gas. Please tell your friends and relatives. If you do smoke you will probably be greeted with someone screaming at you to put it out. Apart from that it is smelly and bad for you!
After the flight
After we have landed and helped to pack up the Balloon, Champagne will be served and personalised flight certificates handed out. On some flights in winter we may offer a Whisky liqueur to warm you up.
How do we get back to where we set off from?
While we were enjoying our Balloon flight the ground crew will have packed away the equipment at the launch site and set off in pursuit of the Balloon. If you have friends or relatives with you who are not flying they may choose to follow the ground crew and meet you when you land.
If all goes well the ground crew should arrive at about the same time the Balloon is landing. Although the distance travelled by the Balloon may not be particularly far it may be considerably further by road.
If the ground crew arrive ahead of us they may choose to park the recovery vehicles out of sight, wait until we have packed the Balloon away ourselves then 'arrive' when the hard work has been done.
Advice on Booking a Balloon Flight
We, at Webster Balloons, LOVE ballooning and we would obviously like to sell you a flight in one of our balloons, so you too can enjoy the experience. We must, however, point out a few things about ballooning before you dive in and make a booking to ensure that this is for you.
1) Do you or the person who will be flying, have the patience to wait for a flight as you can (and will) get cancelled due to weather?
2) Will you or the person who will be flying, be able to make the required number of attempts to keep the voucher valid after the expiry date, should you get cancelled?
3) Do you or the person who will be flying, mind travelling to the launch site only to find the conditions are unsuitable or safe to fly and be cancelled on the field?
This may sound like we do not want your business but actually we really do. BUT we want it to be right, we want it to be safe and we want you to enjoy the whole experience. Other operators may or may not tell you any of the above but we feel it is important that you are aware BEFORE you book your flight.
1) All purchases of a voucher for a hot air balloon flight experience must be made on our standard booking form.
2) Vouchers may be purchased by telephone if payment is made by credit/debit card but you must send us a completed booking form as soon as possible.
3) This contract is made with you but you can give the flight experience (on the terms of this Contract) to someone else provided you tell us in writing. These Terms and Conditions will still apply and “you” in the rest of these Terms and Conditions will refer to that person.
4) It is our intention that all the terms of the contract between us are contained in these Terms and Conditions and in the brochures and associated documents issued by us. If you wish to reply upon any variation in these Terms you should ensure that the variations are agreed in writing by us when the completed booking form is returned. If you purchase a voucher through a booking agent or a hotel you should agree any variation in these Terms with us and not the booking agent or hotel.
Our Obligation To You
1) The voucher will entitle you to participate in a hot air balloon flight experience at a date, to be arranged within 12 or 18 months of its
Purchase depending on your voucher including:
- The preparation and inflation of the balloon for the flight
- A flight in a hot air balloon
- A glass of champagne / Bucks Fizz on landing
- A flight certificate
- The recovery of the balloon at the end of the flight
- In flight photograph
2) The voucher is not redeemable.
3) Hot air balloon flights are completely dependent upon the weather and are regulated by the Air Navigation order. It may be necessary to postpone a flight at any time if in our judgement the conditions are not safe or the flight would not be permitted under Air Navigation order. We will give you as much warning as operational procedures allow of any postponement but in order to ensure your safety we reserve the right to postpone a flight at any time up to the moment of launch.
4) It is intended that the balloon will be in the air for approximately 1 hour but the pilot has ultimate responsibility for deciding the duration and conduct of any flight and the appropriate time and place of any landing. We cannot guarantee that a flight will follow any particular direction.
5) If we have to postpone your flight on eight or more occasions and your voucher is then valid for a period of less than two months we will extend the validity period of your voucher to include the next three months of the main flying season which is April to October. If this extends the validity of the voucher in the main flying season of the next year, the voucher will also be valid for the intervening months.
6) We will make you a refund less our reasonable administration costs (see Clause 9) in the following circumstances:
- If you die or it is certified by a doctor that there is no possibility that you will be or were medically fit to fly (other than the reason of pregnancy) during the validity period of the voucher.
- If we have agreed in writing at the time of the voucher purchase that the flight must be taken on a specified date or within a specified period of time of not more than one month and we are unable to fly at the time.
7) If you are unable to fly during the validity period of the voucher because you are pregnant we will extend the validity period by 9 months.
8) Refunds in any other circumstances are at our discretion.
9) Our administration costs are 35% on the voucher price.
10) We carry limited insurance cover against the risk of injury or damage to passengers and their belongings during the course of our flights in accordance with the international agreements covering air transport. The level of cover varies from time to time as a result of currency fluctuations and you may consider it adequate. We can provide further details upon request and if you do not consider that the amount of insurance cover would be adequate to compensate you for any loss whether death, personal injury or damage to your belongings you should take out your own additional cover. We will not be liable for any loss or damage to equipment and effects brought with you on the flight nor for death or personal injury above the level of our insurance cover unless it has been caused by our recklessness.
11) We do not accept liability for costs or expenses you incur if we have to postpone any flight, where the reason for the postponement is beyond our control.
12) We cannot supervise vehicles parked at the meeting point for a flight and vehicles and their contents are left at the risk and no liability is accepted for any loss or damage to your vehicle or contents unless it is due to our negligence.
Your Obligation To Us
1) Your voucher is valid for a period of 12 or 18 months depending on you voucher from the date upon which it was bought. If your flight is not taken within that time you will lose the right to participate in a flight unless you have booked flights on 8 occasions during the main flying season which have had to be postponed or the validity period of the voucher has been extended for some other reason under the Terms and Conditions.
2) You must contact us within 3 months of the purchase date shown on the voucher, quoting the booking number on the voucher to make a first booking for your flight which must be for a date within 9 months of the purchase date and in the main flying season.
If you do not do so and do not take your flight within the validity period the voucher will expire at the end of its validity period and you will lose the right to a flight. We will not make any refund in these circumstances.
3) If payment was not made in full when the voucher was purchased the balance must be paid ten days before the first date for which you book your flight.
4) You must telephone to check that the flight has not been affected by adverse weather conditions in accordance with our instructions.
5) You may postpone your flight: Up to 36 hours before the meeting time for the flight which you have booked if your flight has been booked for a day between Tuesday and Saturday inclusive. Up to 72 hours before the meeting time for the flight which you have booked if your flight has been booked for a Sunday or a Monday provided that at the time you do so you re-schedule your flight for a mutually convenient date within one month of the postponed flight.
6) If you do not give notice of postponement in accordance with paragraph 4 above or do not attend in time to take part in your booked flight you will not be entitled to a re-scheduled flight nor to any refund.
7) We are not qualified to express an opinion confirming that you are fit to fly and you must ensure that you are fit to fly. You must not fly if you are suffering from any serious medical condition, or have recently undergone surgery unless you have a certificate of your fitness to fly from your doctor. You must not fly if you are pregnant or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
8) Our paramount consideration is your safety and the safety of others participating in the flight and you must obey all requests and instructions issued by any of our representatives and take particular care to abide by any safety instructions given. The pilot has complete discretion as to whether to allow you to take part in the flight and will refuse to allow you to do so if in his opinion you would be a risk to the balloon, to the other passengers or to yourself.
9) We will not fly children under the age of 7 years. A child under the age of 16 years will only be flown if accompanied by a responsible adult.
10) You should wear such appropriate clothing as is advised to you in advance of the flight as further detailed in our brochure and on this website.
The preparation of the Balloon is simple. We position the basket, attach the burners then tip them over in the direction of the wind and anchor them to one of our 4x4’s. The envelope is then positioned in front of the basket and attached to the burner frame using steel cables and carabiners. Once securely attached the envelope is stretched out in front of the basket ready for inflation.
The Balloon is first filled with cold air. Two large fans are positioned at either side directed into the mouth of the Balloon. While the Balloon is inflating the Pilot and crew will fit the deflation system at the top of the envelope.
The Balloon is now pressurised, still lying on the ground, and ready for heating. The fans are turned down and the burners are ignited. The main burner is opened and a flame up to 15 feet in length shoots into the mouth of the Balloon. Within a few minutes the Balloon will have risen to a vertical position and will be ready for boarding.
You will receive a safety briefing, all pre-flight checks will be carried out and then we are off.
On a typical flight we will ascend to 2,500 feet after take off, where the pilot will take note of the wind speeds and directions at different altitudes. This process gives the pilot the information he requires to fly the Balloon into a suitable area landing.
Occasionally the winds can prove somewhat fickle and the pilot may make a decision to cut a flight short; fortunately this only happens on the odd occasion. On the other hand you may find yourself in the air for well over an hour. The distance travelled will depend on wind strength and direction, anywhere between 5 miles and 15 miles.