Hot Air Balloons
Hot Air Balloons


Air Display Balloon Ride FAQs


Who Is The Air Display Hot Air Balloon Team?

The Air Display Hot Air Balloon Team (Air Display) was founded by Ken Rolland and includes about 70 volunteers across the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.  Besides providing balloon tours just north of Toronto, Ontario Canada, Air Display also attends organized hot air balloon festivals, remains available for a balloon advertising sponsorship and hot air balloon pilot instruction.  Air Display also offers consulting services to communities interested in their own hot air balloon festival.

Who Is Rolland Enterprises Inc.?

Rolland Enterprises Inc. is a private corporation based out of Barrie, Ontario Canada.  Rolland Enterprises owns and manages Air Display, a provincially registered name.  Air Display (sometimes called Air Display Hot Air Balloon Team) provides hot air balloon passenger rides and and other balloon services including balloon pilot instruction.


Balloon Ride Booking Process

The requestor of a hot air balloon ride with Air Display receives a flight confirmation email once they have provided the required passenger, credit card information and booking fee.  This confirmation email provides all the necessary information including what to wear, meeting location, times and the phone number Air Display will be using for the advance flight notification telephone call that gives the weather status of the scheduled balloon ride.  Air Display meets ONLY if the weather forecast for your flight is promising.

Are there any physical and/or medical restrictions?

None of Air Display's team are qualified medical practioners.  If you have a medical condition or questions regarding your capabilities please ask your medical practitioner for advice.  Do this with enough notice to avoid penalties if you are advised to not participate.


All aircraft (including hot air balloons) have a maximum allowable weight they can carry.  This is called gross lift.  Air Display's passenger capacity (numbers and weights) are based on industry averages.  If either yourself or your party exceed these, Air Display will try to offer you options which may have a surcharge or require your reservation to be a private charter.  Please be aware, Air Display means no disrespect if your reservation request cannot be accommodated. 


For passenger and aircraft safety:


Maximum individual passenger weight not to exceed 250 lbs (112 kg).

Maximum combined passenger group weight not to exceed 850 lbs (385 kg).


If you or one of your guests is expecting (pregnant), do not fly in a balloon!

Previous injuries could be aggravated.  Back, neck and joint injuries are particularily susceptible.  If you have had a dislocated a shoulder, this would be a definite a weak spot.  Stitches and other post surgery sutures are another weak area that could reopen.  Recent knee and hip replacement surgeries will require advice from your medical practioner.  Do not fly in a balloon without a qualified medical opinion if you have had these.


Passengers must be physically fit for modest exertion, able to see over the edge of the basket (42 inches), hang on by themselves and enter/exit the gondola (basket) unassisted.  There are no seats in the gondola.


No appliances (e.g. canes, walkers, oxygen bottle) are permitted in the basket.


A jump from the seat of a kitchen chair would be equivalent to the landing impact.

Passengers may be required to hike from the balloon landing location to the balloon chase  vehicle.  This hike may not be across level ground.

If you have serious allergies please be prepared and inform the Pilot.  Remember ballooning is an outdoor, rural adventure.  Immediate medical assistance may not be available.

If you have conditions which may require another person’s assistance, that person must fly with you.

What happens if we are late or fail to show up for our scheduled balloon ride?

If the balloon ride has been called on and you are late or fail to show at the scheduled time, the credit card you provided to hold the reservation will be charged the full fare. 

We have changed our mind and want to cancel or reschedule our balloon ride.  How do we do this without a penalty?

The Air Display "TERMS and CONDITIONSpage provides information about client requested balloon ride rescheduling and cancellation.  Client requested ride rescheduling or cancellation for their party or members of their party without sufficient notice given to Air Display, will incur an escalating penalty up to the full fare.

What is the difference between an Air Display Balloon Ride Certificate and the Air Display Balloon Ride Voucher?

The Air Display Balloon Ride Certificate entitles the recipient (holder) to either a shared or private charter hot air balloon ride for the number of persons the certificate is made out for.  Ride Certificates are used when a third party (a person or organization not be participating in the balloon ride) wishes to give a hot air balloon ride to someone else.  As a condition of sale, Ride Certificates are paid for in advance, not refundable and have no cash value.  See the Air Display "TERMS and CONDITIONS" page for additional information about Air Display Balloon Ride Certificates.


 An Air Display Balloon Ride Voucher is a credit the recipient (holder) may use towards the fare of an Air Display hot air balloon ride.  It's value can be applied to any of the hot air balloon ride services Air Display provides.  Vouchers are sold in $100.00 increments (plus HST).  As a condition of sale, Ride Vouchers are paid for in advance, not refundable and have no cash value.  See the Air Display "TERMS and CONDITIONS" page for additional information about Balloon Ride Vouchers.

My guest will not get in the basket for love nor money.  What happens to my Air Display Balloon Ride Certificate or Voucher?

About surprises, it is not a reach to think that someone may not want to fly in an open basket of a hot air balloon.  It is the client's responsibility to ensure their guest is a capable and willing participant.


The condition of sale for an Air Display Balloon Ride Certificates or Vouchers were made clear to the purchaser at the time of sale.  Balloon Ride Certificates and Vouchers are not refundable.


If a ride refusal occurs without sufficient notice given to Air Display, the Balloon Ride Certificate or Voucher will be considered redeemed.  In the case of a Balloon Ride Voucher, the holder will also be responsible for the balance of their fare.


 The Air Display "TERMS and CONDITIONS" page provides additional information about client requested balloon ride cancellations.

I'm surprising a friend or family member with a balloon ride to celebrate a special occasion.  What happens if they do not want to go or cannot go last minute?

About surprises, it is not a reach to think that someone may not want to fly in an open basket of a hot air balloon.  It is the client's responsibility to ensure their guest is a capable and willing participant.


Should your friend or family member refuse to fly, the credit card used to hold the reservation will be charged the full fare.  The Air Display "TERMS and CONDITIONS" page provides additional information about client requested balloon ride cancellations. 

Is there and expiry date for my Air Display Balloon Ride Certificate or Voucher?

Because hot air ballooning is weather dependent, weather cancellations are not uncommon for ballooning. Therefore as long as the Air Display Balloon Ride Certificate or Voucher remains valid, they do not expire.  See the next question regarding validation.

Why do I have to validate my Air Display Balloon Ride Certificate or Voucher and what the heck does that mean anyway?

Balloon Ride Certificates and Vouchers get lost, destroyed or otherwise abandoned.  To manage Air Display's outstanding ride debt, we have a validation process for issued Balloon Ride Certificates and Vouchers.


To validate a Balloon Ride Certificate or Voucher you simply need to schedule a hot air balloon ride at least once a flying season (May through October) until the Certificate or Voucher is redeemed.  If the recipient fails to validate their Ride Certificate or Voucher, Air Display will consider the Ride Certificate or Voucher redeemed.  The Air Display "TERMS and CONDITIONS" page provides additional information about Ride Certificate and Voucher validation.

Is Air Display insured?

Yes.  Flight insurance is a requirement for all operating Canadian aircraft as per the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs).

Does the Pilot require a license?

Yes.  The Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) require balloon Pilots to be licensed, perform annual license maintenance to remain current and as well, have regular medical checkups to verify fitness.

Are Air Display's hot air balloons mechanically fit and are they inspected by a licensed mechanic?

Yes.  Transport Canada regulates the inspection of all certified aircaft in Canada to ensure the aircraft remain airworthy and safe to operate.  Inspections occur every 100 hours of air time or once a year, whichever occurs first.  Certified hot air balloon inspections and repairs must be  performed and signed off by a Transport Canada licensed, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) - Balloons.

The weather is beautiful outside, why has our flight been cancelled (again!)?

Sometimes going for a balloon ride demands patience.  Weather is weather.  If we could control the weather, ballooning would become a whole lot easier and much less expensive.

Hot air ballooning is weather dependent activity however the term "weather specific' may better describe ballooning's limitations.  If it is a beautiful day outside, winds (surface or at higher elevations (aloft)) are the likely cuplrit your balloon ride has been cancelled.  For safety, balloons do not fly if convective activity (thunderstorms) are within 100 km in any direction.


Another reason your balloon flight could be cancelled is wet fields.  Balloons launch from grassy fields (mowed or parklands) and land in fallow (no crop or recently harvested) fields.  If a significant rainfall has recently occurred, turf will be fragile and fields muddy (difficult to traverse by our recovery team!).  Driving on wet turf and fields may cause troublesome ruts for landowners and in some cases, the recovery truck may get stuck.  Air Display strives for good landowner relations and will cancel balloon rides under such conditions.


We are working on a new site page to help those interested in understanding how the Air Display Pilot determines when to meet with passengers and crew and when to cancel the scheduled flight.  You can view this page at "BALLOON RIDE WEATHER DETERMINATION".

About The Hot Air Balloon Ride

How far ahead do I have to book my balloon ride?

Passenger ride space is limited.  We conduct about 75 flights per year.  Dates are booked on a first come first served basis.  If a particular date is important to you, the sooner you reserve your flight the better.  Sometimes last minute requests can be accommodated.


You can check Air Display's availability on its "SCHEDULE" page.

Air Display Balloon Ride Certificate or Voucher holders must contact Air Display via the Air Display "CONTACT" page (preferred), email or telephone to schedule their balloon ride.  More information regarding certificates and vouchers is available on the Air Display   "RESERVATION" page.

Will there be other people in the balloon basket during my flight?

Air Display carries a maximum of five passengers on each flight depending on total passenger weight.  So, unless your flight is scheduled as a "private charter", there will likely be other passengers on board.

I am a single passenger but I noted that Air Display requires a minimum of two passengers to schedule a balloon ride.  How do I reserve a balloon ride with Air Display?

Single passengers need to be aware that if they book a flight time and no other passengers choose to reserve this time, their flight may be cancelled due to Air Display's minimum passenger requirements.  To avoid this it is recommended that single passengers reserve a flight time that already has a reservation.  See the Air Display "SCHEDULE" page to determine if others have already reserved a balloon ride on the date and time you would like to schedule.

Does Air Display land and exchange passengers on the same flight?

No.  This is called a balloon hop.  Air Display does not do balloon hops because we feel it is an unfair business practise unless the rider agrees to such an activity before reserving their flight.

How do I pay?

Except for Balloon Ride Certificate holders, a balloon ride reservation requires a valid credit card (VISA, MasterCard or AMEX) and payment of the booking fee.  Payment is after your balloon ride and may be by cash, credit card, e-transfer or personal cheque (identification required).  For security reasons, do not send credit card information electronically including on Air Display's "CONTACT" page where you provided passenger and contact information to reserve a balloon ride.  We will need to speak by telephone for cc details and to answer any other questions you may have..


Except for Balloon Ride Certificate holders, payment is made after the flight.  If the flight is cancelled due to weather (not uncommon for ballooning), the only charge is the booking fee which is deducted from your final fare after you get your balloon ride.  If you cannot reschedule a weather cancelled flight, the only charge is the booking fee.  Ride Certificate and Voucher holders must reschedule their flight.  Ride Certificates and Vouchers are not refundable and have no cash value.

When do I fly?

Air Display's flying season is May through October.  For technical reasons, balloon flights are conducted at sunrise or early evening (a few hours before sunset). There is no daytime flying of hot air balloons.  Because all balloon flights are weather dependent, weather cancellations are not uncommon.


Go to Air Display's "SCHEDULE" page and choose a date and time to fly.  If you can manage the time, sunrise flights tend to be better for a number of reasons.  That said you will enjoy either time assuming the weather cooperates.  Then complete the information requested on Air Display's "CONTACT" page.  Best if you can provide a convenient time to be called to minimize telephone tag.

How long is the balloon ride?

Safety and landing site availability are the main factors determining flight duration.  Changing weather, daylight and wind direction all play major roles in flight duration.  Typical flight time is 45 - 90 minutes.  You should allow up to four hours for your entire balloon adventure (i.e. return to the designated meeting location).

What time do we meet for the balloon ride?

Our meet time and the time for your advance flight notification call is given in the confirmation email sent to you shortly after the reserving credit card information and booking fee are received.  We meet 30 minutes before sunrise and about three hours before sunset.  Do not arrive late for your scheduled meeting time.  Air Display meets ONLY if the forecasted weather is promising for your balloon ride.

When do I find out if we will be meeting for our balloon ride?

Your flight notification call provides the status of your balloon ride.  For early evening flights, the notification call is made at 14:00 hours (2 pm) of the same day.  For sunrise flights, the notification call is made just after 22:00 hours (10 pm) the night before.  Please be available as it is important we speak with you in person.  Note, Air Display's flight notification calls and meeting times vary depending on the time of year.  Refer to your confirmation email for exact times.

What if I have last minute questions?

You can ask last minute questions during your flight notification call.  The person speaking with you will be qualified to answer whatever questions you may have.  Medical questions however can only be answered with an opinion.  None of Air Display's Team are Medical Practioners.  You can also email questions to Air Display at any time using the Air Display address your confirmation email came from.  The phone number given to you in the confirmation email is a cell phone.  If you text a question, please identify yourself.

Where do we meet (designated meeting location)?

The designated meeting location and the balloon launch site are not the same.  The address of our designated meeting location and times are in your confirmation email.  Parking, restrooms, 24 hour restaurant, gas and as well, a banking machine are available at or near our designated meeting location.

Do I have to sign a waiver and/or a liability exclusion agreement?

Yes.  By scheduling a balloon ride with Air Display the passenger (or guardian) agrees to the Rolland Enterprises Inc. "WAIVER" and to any other additional conditions as outlined in Air Display's "TERMS AND CONDITIONS" and your balloon ride preflight briefing.  A hardcopy of the waiver will be available for review and signature when we meet.

How do I dress for my balloon ride?

Dress for the temperature on the ground and as if you are going hiking.  Best not to wear light coloured clothes due to possible staining from occasional condensation spray (water) from the balloon's overhead heaters.  A ball cap is recommended if you are greater than 5'10" or if your head is sensitive to heat.  Please, no nylon jackets because can create static sparks which are dangerous around propane (the fuel the balloon uses).  A light weight, natural fibre dark coloured jjacket is best.  Legs and arms should be covered to minimize insect irritation and possible effects from hazardous plant contact (in the unlikely event you come in contact with these).  No high heals, sandals or flipflops.   Sturdy flat closed toe footwear important.  Morning ground wetness (dew) is common.

Can we fly over my house, wedding reception or farm etc.?

Specific balloon launch location requests for private flights will be considered.  Launch and landing site selections are critical components of balloon safety.  Besides obstruction avoidance, launch site selection is also based on the forecasted weather (specifically wind speed and direction) and air space regulations.  Each request must be individually judged appropriate.  Close proximity to overhead wires is an extreme hazard to balloons.  Septic beds are easily damaged by a traversing vehicle.

Can I bring my camera, binoculars, purse etc.?

There is no place in the basket to stow handbags, knapsacks or photography kits.  They will be on the floor and susceptible to spillage and impact should the landing get "sporty".  For safety reasons, equipment must be worn with strap around neck, under arm sling or belted at waist to prevent injury or interference with the Pilot, other passengers and persons on the ground.  Serious injury or death may occur if an article falls or is thrown from the balloon basket!  The Pilot reserves the right to refuse equipment or carry-ons.  You will need both hands free for launch and llanding.  Air Display is not responsible for personal effects.  It is illegal to drop items either on purpose or accidently from an aircraft.

Can I bring friends to watch?

We would prefer you did not bring friends with you.  If you must, please do not bring more than one vehicle.  They must not drive onto the launch or landing sites.  They must park on the road and walk to the balloon or wait for us after landing.  If they intend to follow the balloon you must notify us on arrival at the designated meeting location.  Additional instructions will be given then.


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