FAQs

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We want all passengers to feel prepared, safe and comfortable in their experience with the Lake Geneva Balloon Company. If any of your questions or concerns are not addressed in this list, please contact us: we’re always looking to expand and improve this resource.
Can we pay and schedule online?
Do we pay in advance for our flight?
When is the remaining 50% due?
What is your refund policy?
What is the expiration date of my certificates?
Can we transfer our certificate to another party?
How can we pay?
How will we find out if our flight is “go” or “no go”?
What is the single most important thing I should know about hot air ballooning with The Lake Geneva Balloon Company?
Why are there so many cancellations?
What is safe ballooning weather?
When can we reschedule?
What is your policy if I have to cancel my reservation?
What should we wear?/How hot (or cold) will it be?
What paperwork do we bring with us to the meeting spot?
What time do we meet?
Where do we meet with our pilot and crew?
What happens after meeting at The Lake Geneva Pie Company?
What do I do during the inflation of the balloon?
How long is the flight?
What happens during landing?
What is the post-flight celebration at The Lake Geneva Pie Co.?
Is it appropriate to tip the pilot and crew?
What if we get lost or need to contact the pilot the day of our flight?
Dos and Don’ts


Can we pay and schedule online?

Yes! The easiest and most convenient way for you to set up your balloon ride adventure with us is by utilizing our online registration system. It’s easy to use and can be accessed at any time from your desktop computer, smart phone or tablet.
FOR GUESTS MAKING THEIR INTIAL PURCHASE & RESERVATION
  1. From our homepage at www.lakegenevaballoon.com click on the tab at the top “Reserve Your Flight”
  2.  If you are purchasing for the first time, you will need to establish an account with us by selecting the flight package that you would like to book: Either our “Champagne Flight” or our “Premium Private Flight or Two”
  3. On the next page you will select the Number of Participants, the Reservation Date and the Flight Time.
  4. The following page will ask you for your: Name, Email Address, Phone Number, Mailing Address and other pertinent information. You will also be asked for the names, birthdates and weights of each of the other participants on your flight. Choose your password and confirm your password.
  5. And finally, you’ll be directed to our payment page to pay your down payment through our secure payment portal.
  6. You will receive a confirmation email from us with all of the details of your flight.
FOR GUESTS RESCHEDULING A CANCELLED FLIGHT
  1. From our homepage at www.lakegenevaballoon.com click on the tab at the top “Reserve Your Flight”.
  2. Click on the button that says “Sign In” next to the question, “Existing Customer?”
  3. You will be prompted for your email address and your password.
  4. You will receive a confirmation email from us with all of the details of your flight.
  5. Select Either our “Champagne Flight” or our “Premium Private Flight or Two”
  6. On the next page you will select the Number of Participants, the Reservation Date and the Flight Time.
  7. You will receive a confirmation email from us with all of the details of your flight.

Do we pay in advance for our flight?

We only require a 50% down payment in order to reserve an advanced date.

When is the remaining 50% due?

The balance of your down payment is due after the post-flight celebration that follows your flight. Please be prepared to pay the full amount by cash, check or major credit card.

What is your refund policy?

Our flight certificates are fully refundable for a limited time only. We will fully refund your down payment within 30 days or before the first scheduled flight, whichever is sooner. After that time, your certificate, while still valid, is not refundable.

What is the expiration date of my certificates?

Unlike with most balloon ride companies, active certificates with The Lake Geneva Balloon Company never expire. An active certificate is one for which at least one reservation in the past 12 months has been made. Certificates that haven’t had a reservation made in the past 12 months are considered “inactive” and will be honored only at the discretion of management.

Can we transfer our certificate to another party?

Your flight certificate can be redeemed by anyone. The bearer of the certificate is the legal owner in our eyes. If you want to sell or give away your certificate… feel free. We only ask that the recipient of the transfer give us a call to register the certificate in their name.

How can we pay?

We can accept most major credit cards through our online booking application on our website or if you book by phone at (262)-206-3975. After the flight, when the other 50% is due, we’ll accept either credit card, cash or a check made out to The Lake Geneva Balloon Company.

How will we find out if our flight is “go” or “no go”?

When we have to cancel a flight, we try to limit your inconvenience by canceling your flight before you drive into Lake Geneva. Your pilot will contact you to let you know if you will be meeting. The following are the call times for our flight notifications:

  • Sunrise Flights — you will be contacted at approximately 7 p.m. the evening before your scheduled flight. You and the scheduler will arrange a wake-up time for the following morning and the pilot will contact you at the agreed upon time.
  • Sunset Flights — you will be contacted at approximately 1 p.m. the afternoon of your scheduled flight. You and the scheduler will discuss your meeting time.

In both cases, we also post flight status on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

What is the single most important thing I should know about hot air ballooning with The Lake Geneva Balloon Company?

The single most important thing you need to know about hot air ballooning with The Lake Geneva Balloon Company is our complete dedication to your safety. For that reason, cancellations are a fairly common part of hot air ballooning in the midwest. The average guest is cancelled 6-8 times before their flight occurs. If you’re going to purchase and schedule a balloon ride with us, know that multiple cancellations can occur, but we’ll do everything we can to make it painless and limit your inconvenience.

Why are there so many cancellations?

If your goal is to have a safe balloon flight in the midwest, patience is your best friend. The pilot must be absolutely certain of the weather. Our Chief Pilot, John Trione is an expert in aerostation meteorology (that’s fancy talk for ballooning weather). If a flight is scheduled and cancelled it is most likely due to unsuitable weather conditions that affect your safety. We know it’s disappointing to have a weather cancellation, but we’d rather disappoint you with a cancellation than put your safety at risk.

What is safe ballooning weather?

Ballooning is safely done at the beginning and end of each day. Balloons do not fly during the middle part of the day. The weather map below shows what good ballooning weather looks like to us in the midwest. High pressure centered over Minnesota and moving toward Wisconsin is a good sign for ballooning. Ideal conditions include:

  1. Surface winds under 8 mph during takeoff and landing
  2. Clear radar returns in a range of 75-100mph
  3. Winds under 25mph between 1,000 and 3,000 feet
  4. Dry ground for launch and recovery

In the end, the pilot in command is always the final arbiter of the safety of a balloon flight and has the final say on whether or not conditions are flyable.

When can we reschedule?

If your flight may be cancelled, we encourage you to use our online booking application  to reschedule. Or if you like you can call us at (262) 206-3975. Please note that we only allow guests to have one reservation on the calendar at a time.

What is your policy if I have to cancel my reservation?

We understand that life happens and you may need to cancel a reservation. We require 72 hours notice to cancel your reservation without a penalty to you. Please call us immediately if you have to cancel a reserved flight. If you do not show for your flight and do not contact us, your ticket will be voided.

What should we wear?/How hot (or cold) will it be?

In general, dress as though you were going for a nature hike for a few hours. Wear closed full shoes, like sneakers or boots. Do not wear sandals, flip-flops, crocks or clogs, high-heels etc. The balloon may land in rough terrain and you want to protect your feet. If the season is cool, dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing to ensure your comfort.

It is no colder in the balloon than on the ground. Wear long pants even in summer. This helps protect your legs in case the balloon lands in an area with unfriendly vegetation like stickers, thistles, etc. Hats are suggested for taller passengers since the burner produces radiant heat.

What paperwork do we bring with us to the meeting spot?

You will need to bring the following documents:

  1. Your original Lake Geneva Balloon Co. Flight Certificate
  2. Assumption of Risk Form (must be signed and dated at least 24 hours prior to flight)
  3. Your final payment (if necessary) in the form of check, money order or cash
  4. Photo ID

What time do we meet?

We meet our passengers at the time listed on on our calendar, which corresponds generally to…
  • 30 minutes before official sunrise for Sunrise Flights
  • 2.5 hours before official sunset for Sunset Flights

For sunrise and sunset times in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, please visit our weather page.

Where do we meet with our pilot and crew?

We meet our passengers at The Lake Geneva Pie Company. A map to the Lake Geneva Pie Company can be found at this link: Map to Lake Geneva Pie Company.

What happens after meeting at The Lake Geneva Pie Company?

You’ll park your car in the parking lot and climb aboard our spacious 15-passenger van. The van will take you to the actual launch site, which is determined during an operational meeting between pilots & crew chiefs. After we arrive at our launch site, the crew will set up the equipment for the flight. The van follows the balloon until it lands, at which point you’ll be taken back to the Pie Company and your car.

What do I do during the inflation of the balloon?

If you would like, you may ask the pilot to “join the crew” and help out. It’s a fun part of the experience and your crew chief will give you all the “on the job” training you’ll need. Don’t worry, safety is our first priority and any job you will be assigned to will be one that is in-line with your ballooning experience.

If you’d rather let us do the work, that is great too — your trip, your call! If you choose instead to be a spectator and take photos, please remain in the approved areas for passengers during set-up and inflation.

How long is the flight?

Your flight will last approximately 1 hour in length. Technically, the Lake Geneva Balloon Company sales contract defines 45 minutes as a full ride, but dramatic weather changes are the only reason a flight would end before 60 minutes have elapsed. In total, the from the time you meet us in the parking lot until after our post-flight celebration at The Lake Geneva Pie Company is approximately 2.5 hours.

What happens during landing?

The crew on the ground gets permission from a land owner and we land the balloon. Your crew will take down the balloon system and pack it away. You are more than welcome to join in, but it is not required. Please remember, we are usually on private property and have limited permission to be there. Let’s respect the property of the landowners who grant us permission and leave no trace of our intrusion. The Lake Geneva Balloon Company prides itself on being a good neighbor.We will drive you back for the post-flight celebration at the Lake Geneva Pie Company.

What is the post-flight celebration at The Lake Geneva Pie Co.?

After we pack up and drive back to the Lake Geneva Pie Co. we have a small post-flight champagne toast on the Pie Company patio with longtime hosts the Adams Family. Please feel free to use the washrooms at the Pie Company. After that, feel free to purchase a delicious treat or a cup of coffee, and join us on the patio for our toast and a recitation of The Balloonist’s Prayer.

At this time that you’ll also be presented with your post-flight certificate (suitable for framing) that commemorates your time spent above Lake Geneva. You will also have the opportunity to look through the various merchandise we offer for sale. The post flight atmosphere is relaxed, so stay and enjoy the food, beverage and stories about your adventure.

Is it appropriate to tip the pilot and crew?

As with any service-oriented business, if you feel the performance, customer service and friendliness of your flight crew was exceptional and want to reward that with a monetary tip, we thank you! Our pilots and crew are professionals — paid employees who are dedicated in their training and performance to make your balloon flight safe and enjoyable. Because of the “hit or miss” nature of our business, most of our employees work other jobs and work as crew people because of their love of the sport. The wages and tips they earn are really appreciated for their dedication and hard work.

What if we get lost or need to contact the pilot the day of our flight?

Text or call 262-206-3975 … if the phone is not answered, please leave a detailed message. This phone is also manned during “non-business hours” on days when flight operations are being conducting.

Finally…

The Do’s and Don’ts of your day

  • DO be prompt
  • DO sign your waiver at least 24 hours prior to flying
  • DO wear the appropriate clothing
  • DO NOT be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • DO NOT come to the Pie Company unless called — no call, no flight