If you have yet to take a hot air balloon ride, you should seriously consider it for your next special occasion.
Hot air balloon rides are generally safe, provide great views, and are very fun.
If you have a large group of people who want to head out on a hot air balloon ride, it helps to know the rules.
Let’s take a look at how many people can fit in a hot air balloon and a few other helpful facts about hot air balloons.
How Many People Can Fit in a Hot Air Balloon?
On average, about six to eight people can fit in a hot air balloon.
This is for a standard size hot air balloon, and those numbers would include the pilot as well.
Usually, there is only one staff member aboard a hot air balloon.
The pilot will call down to staff on the ground to coordinate the takeoff and the landing.
Other than that, you won’t have to worry about staff in the hot air balloon ride with you.
This means that, if you have a group of four or six friends who would like to go on a hot air balloon ride, you should have no problem accommodating that.
What Is the Largest Hot Air Balloon?
The largest hot air balloon will fit around thirty people.
The number of people will vary depending on the weight of the people on board.
If people weigh over 200 pounds, they are sometimes charged more as the hot air balloon can only hold a certain amount of weight.
This really will depend on the size of the balloon and how full it is.
These large hot air balloons are used for parties or special occasions, but they are quite complicated to coordinate.
Getting 30 people loaded into a hot air balloon, taking off, and landing well can be a difficult process.
What Is Better? A Small or a Large Hot Air Balloon?
Most hot air balloon companies will have a few different size balloons for you to choose from.
This will require you to make some choices.
Let’s take a look at the positives and negatives of small and large hot air balloons.
1. Pros and Cons of Large Hot Air Balloons
A large hot air balloon is excellent if you have a large group of people looking to go for a ride.
Large hot air balloons tend to be a very social experience and give people time to enjoy the experience together.
Large hot air balloons can sometimes be a little cheaper to go for a ride as well.
Sometimes you will be able to get a group discount if you can get a large number of people to head out at the same time.
The difference in price may not be significant, but it could save you a few dollars.
Large hot air balloons require a lot of fuel and a lot of expertise when it comes to taking off, in flight, and landing as well.
As great as a large hot air balloon can be, there are some reasons you may not want to choose a large balloon.
For starters, the larger hot air balloons tend to get very crowded.
You will have to be packed in with a lot of other people, and there probably won’t be too much room to move around.
On a smaller hot air balloon with a private flight, you may not feel quite as crowded.
Larger hot air balloons can require a lot more work when taking off and landing.
The experience is going to feel a bit more like a group tour with procedures and protocols in place.
When you take a smaller hot air balloon flight, it may feel like there are fewer rules and procedures.
Although there are still safety precautions in place, you will probably have a simple experience.
For some, a hot air balloon ride is a large social event.
If that is you, then you will probably enjoy the larger hot air balloon rides.
2. Pros and Cons of Small Hot Air Balloons
Small hot air balloons are a bit more maneuverable, and they offer a more peaceful and simple experience.
Hot air balloon rides on a small hot air balloon will probably be a little more costly.
These are usually private type flights for individuals or couples.
Since there are fewer people going but still a lot of expense involved, the price per person could be a little higher.
Some people think that there is going to be quite a difference in speed between a small and a large hot air balloon, but they both are equally as fast.
Hot air balloon rides, in general, are not all that fast.
Landing and taking off in a smaller hot air balloon is considerably more comfortable.
If you are working for a hot air balloon company, chances are you will enjoy the smaller balloons much more than the larger balloons.
When a flight is finished, the hot air balloon needs to be folded up and transported back to an area for the next flight.
With a smaller balloon, a hot air balloon company can run more flights in a shorter period of time, simply because of convenience.
There is no saying that a small or a large hot air balloon ride is going to be a better experience.
It is more of a personal preference.
How Long Do Hot Air Balloon Rides Last?
A hot air balloon ride is typically going to be anywhere from one to two hours.
There are options for longer flights, but they tend to be quite a bit more expensive.
The longer the flight, the higher the fuel costs will be.
Therefore, you will pay more for your experience.
Most of the time, when you take a hot air balloon ride, you take off in one area and land in another.
This is going to factor into how many hours of entertainment you get from your ride.
Sometimes your ride could leave you several miles from where you took off.
You will then be transported by the hot air balloon company to the place where your flight began.
If you are headed out on your first hot air balloon flight, we recommend going for something a bit shorter.
This is not to say that you won’t enjoy your ride, but it may not be something you want to do for four hours on your first experience.
Start with one or two hours, and you will likely be very happy.
With a one- or two-hour flight, you can see a lot of scenery while taking some amazing pictures as well.
Do They Weigh You Before a Hot Air Balloon Flight?
When you sign up for a hot air balloon flight, they will ask you some questions about yourself.
One of these questions will very likely be your weight.
This is not the hot air balloon pilot trying to get too personal.
You need to let them know what you weigh so they can calculate the formulas necessary for the hot air balloon to take off.
Flying a hot air balloon is rather simple.
The balloon needs to be able to lift the basket with all its passengers off the ground properly.
A balloon with four people, all weighing 100 pounds, is going to be different than four people weighing 200 pounds.
These things need to be accounted for so that the pilot can properly prepare for the flight.
This is going to come down to considerations about both fuel and steering as well.
You can think of this process as being similar to when a plane weighs your luggage before it gets loaded onto the plane.
If you are asked for your weight before a hot air balloon ride, give an honest and accurate answer.
As you can see, a hot air balloon can accommodate a large group of people, depending on the size of the balloon.
Although most flights are going to be smaller with around six or eight people, there are larger flight options available.
Look at the pros and cons of each and think about what makes you most comfortable.
You won’t see much difference in the hot air balloon’s safety from the small to the large.
Overall, hot air balloons are one of the safest ways to enjoy a trip through the sky.