Ballooning FAQ

How long is the flight?

Our flights are approximately one hour in the air. We fly in a mountainous environment and weather conditions can change quickly.  Therefore, our flights may be longer or shorter than stated due to weather, safety concerns and/or availability of landing sites.

How do you steer a balloon?

The only way to steer a balloon is by finding different wind directions at different altitudes. Our pilots are specifically trained for mountain flying and are extremely skilled at navigating the balloon.

How far/high do we fly?

Because ballooning is 100% weather dependent no two flights are identical. Typically our flights take us from the treetops up to several thousand feet and travel approximately 2-10 miles.

Is ballooning safe?

Ballooning is definitely not an amusement park ride and does have inherent danger.  However, it is extremely safe when basic common sense is applied and you only fly in the right weather conditions. 

At Tennessee Balloon Rides passenger safety is our #1 priority.  It's simple - if the weather conditions are not safe we will not fly....period.

Is ballooning regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration?

Yes, ballooning is a very well regulated sport. Our pilots are commercially licensed. We are fully insured and all of our equipment is inspected and certified in accordance with FAA guidelines.

What should we wear?
Dress for the season. The temperature will only vary a few degrees.  Appropriate clothing: long pants, tennis or hiking shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses.  Baseball caps are encouraged due to the heat put off by the balloon burners. No shorts, open-toed shoes or sandals please. You will climb in and out of the basket.

Where do the flights take place?

Most of our flights are in the Smoky Mountain area around Sevier county, but we will be glad to work with you anywhere in the East Tennessee area.

What is the meet time?

The meet time is typically between 5:30am - 7:00am or 4:00pm - 5:00pm.  The exact meet time varies throughout the season depending on the time of sunrise or sunset. Your actual meet time and place will be given the day before or the day of your flight when you speak directly to your pilot.

How much will your balloon ride cost?

Private Flights are: $300.00 per person with a 2 person minimum 


How soon should we make a reservation?

It is recommended that you complete the flight inquiry form to indicate your desired time to take your flight at least three weeks or more in advance.  We also encourage you to plan taking your flight early in your stay in East Tennessee in the event that weather conditions create the need to reschedule your flight.  High altitude and ground winds around the Smoky Mountains vary regularly. East Tennesseans often say if you don't like the weather here wait 5 minutes and it'll change. So the success and schedule of your flight is totally dependent first and foremost on the wind conditions in the area.

Last minute flights are occasionally available but if ballooning is a priority on your itinerary please contact us early to indicate your desire to schedule a flight.

What is your cancellation policy?

We have a 72 hour cancellation policy.  Any passenger cancellation less than 72 hours before the scheduled flight will be charged in full.  There is no charge for any passenger cancellation more than 72 hours before the scheduled flight. However, deposits are non refundable and customers will often times have to be flexible. Any indication that a flight is unsafe automatically causes a cancellation.

What happens if our flight is canceled due to weather?

In the event that your flight is canceled due to weather we will try to work with your schedule and ours to reschedule your flight.  If we are unable to complete your flight due to continued bad weather or scheduling conflicts you are not charged anything. The deposit shall be forfeited if the customer cancels the flight, and does not agree to reschedule.

Do you offer private flights for two people?

Yes, most of our flights are for two people at Tennessee Balloon Rides we feel the privacy of sharing the ballooning experience should be an intimate flight. Of course if you have more than two that you would like to share your private flight, that's ok with us.

Check in Requirements
Please call Tennessee Balloon Rides at (865) 654-3087   72 hours prior to flight time.

By confirming your reservation, you are agreeing to these policies and charges. This policy is applicable to Private Flights, and all Package rates.

 Go to Flight Inquiry Form , click here.