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“Another Amazing Balloon Trip.”
Review of Skybus Ballooning

Skybus Ballooning
Ranked #6 of 9 things to do in Headcorn
Attraction details
Reviewed 6 July 2018 via mobile

I reviewed Skybus ballooning last year and because I enjoyed it so much my husband bought me another voucher for 2018. After a few attempts I made my flight last Wednesday and again it was beyond amazing, I loved the experience from start to finish, it’s great being involved with the set up then to experience the thrill and tranquility that a balloon flight gives you, after helping to pack the balloon away you head back to the take off location for a lovely glass of bubbly/soft drink and a chat amongst new found friends! Amazing experience with very professional pilot and back up support! I’m already hoping I can go again, AMAZING!!!! Many thanks.

Thank ScottFionaHolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 October 2017

My Daughters bought me a Skybus balloon voucher for my 60th Birthday in August 2014. I thought it would be nice for my partner to join me on the flight and bought her a voucher. After 3 years and 24 attempts, we finally got up in the air in September 2017. To be a little fair to Skybus, I didn't try to book a flight in the winter. In the 3 years we waited, we did make the airfield twice, one was cancelled when we had got all the equipment out of the truck, the other one was cancelled after we actually got in the basket to fly. I understand these flights are dependent on weather conditions but after 3 years of waiting, it does take the edge of excitement off it. As a previous reviewer stated, you can not get a refund, no matter how long you wait. Anyway, after about an hour of helping to lay out the balloon we finally took off, the take off was so effortless and its not long before you reach your flying altitude. Although it was nice to just float over the country side, it would have been better had we flown over our own area and then we could relate where we actually were, something we would have considered had we bought our own tickets. The landing was gentle, with just a couple of gentle bumps we were down. Now you can't just get out of the basket and help with the packing away, the ground crew have to get permission off the land owner to go onto the field and retrieve the equipment, this took nearly 30 minutes, by which time we couldn't have taken off again as there wasn't enough gas left. Bearing in mind that we landed in a field full of sheep, there was a lot of sheep droppings and I mean a lot. Once the balloon has deflated, you have to give a hand to put it all away, not very pleasant in a field full of poo. Once back at base you have your glass or two of champagne and some crisps and are given a flight certificate. To sum it all up, we waited so long for the flight, we were just glad to get it out of the way, the excitement we had when we first bought the tickets had dwindled and don't forget, you cannot get a refund. If you are juggling between a balloon flight, a helicopter flight or any other form of flying, I would put the balloon flight at the bottom of your list.

Thank steve m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShiraleeColin, Owner at Skybus Ballooning, responded to this reviewResponded 20 October 2017

Hello Steve, I am sorry that you felt disappointed in your flight - yes you certainly did wait a long time before your flight was successful weatherwise including a launch site cancellation. We always advise people that the final landing field could have sheep do doos or cow pats or be cut stubble etc. this is the joy of the English countryside I'm afraid. In the event that permission had not be gained by our retrieve crew, as passengers you would have been picked up and your pilot would have flown on alone to find an alternative landing site. Had you mentioned that you were unhappy about helping to pack up the balloon we would certainly have you let you wait in the retrieve vehicle - most people enjoy this aspect as part of the process however our crew are also happy to complete this task alone. Thank you for taking the time to write the review we will take your comments on board....

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Reviewed 13 August 2017

While you do have to be very patient waiting for the weather to be perfect for a balloon ride - it becomes very clear when you eventually get up why this is the case but I can assure you that it is worth the wait. We were at Headcorn Airfield at 6am Tony and we were in the air, after the safety briefing and set up about an hr later. Tony is clearly very experienced but it is entirely up to the wind where we end up and ultimately where you have to land. We were very luck in that because crops / farm animals etc we were in the air for about 1 1/2hr and by then were getting close to the Kent coast.
Tony landed the balloon expertly and Shirely was waiting in the pick-up vehicle so once the balloon was packed away we arrived back in Headcorn about 10.30am where we had champagne and cake. What a perfect way to end a fantastic experience that is bound to put a smile on your face. A big thank you to Tony and Shirley for looking after us. I would add that we were apprehensive of going so high up in a balloon but after 10 minutes - you are completely at ease as you take in the fantastic views.

1  Thank funkeym0nkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017 via mobile

Wow wow wow!! Nearly a week since my trip and I am still up on cloud nine!! I loved every aspect of this trip, had perfect weather and loved getting involved with the set up of the balloon watching it inflate then boarding for an incredible trip over the Kent countryside, when the burners were off the peace and tranquillity of gently flying above farmland where you could hear the sheep in the fields and people shouting up to us was beautiful. Our pilot Tony was extremely skilled and he touched us down in a field so gently we then all helped with the deflation of the balloon and we headed back to base for a group chat and glass of champagne, a perfect start to a Sunday morning!!! I will definitely rebook I loved every minute not one tiny complaint. THANKYOU !!

1  Thank ScottFionaHolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ShiraleeColin, Owner at Skybus Ballooning, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2017

Thank you so very much for taking the time to post a review for us!

We are very happy that you enjoyed your flight and if you decide to rebook with us, remember to tell us you have flown with us before and we will be able to give you a discount :)

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Reviewed 19 April 2017

Be warned: the second you make payment for their services, your entitlement for refund is gone (you legally sign your right away)... YOUR money is now THEIR money, regardless of whether you receive their services OR NOT!

I booked a flight with Skybus Ballooning for a special occasion but it was cancelled due to "unsuitable weather conditions". Asking for a refund clearly rubbed them up the wrong way... I was told, once I give them money, that's that. They will not chase me to deliver their service, it is MY duty to ensure the flight happens by making attempts to re-book. Of course, I made half a dozen attempts to re-book, all of which surprisingly followed by the same excuse for cancellation (regardless of season - Spring through Autumn). The moment you ask for your money back, the pleasant couple on the phone turn into quite horrible and non-compliant people!

My "ludicrous" argument was, in business, we exchange money for a product/service (that's fair). If I put money into someone's hand and they cannot provide the agreed service AFTER 2 YEARS, they shouldn't be keeping my money. There has not been a business exchange, they have just taken my money, which is called stealing.

I was then told, they have a cut-off point for re-booking, which I had exceeded so I have no claim to my money or their services.

...So I waved goodbye to £550.

As I paid by creditcard, I attempted to claim through 'section 75'. Though the creditcard company did not feel liable... They can't be held responsible for the weather! Of course.
Along with Skybus Ballooning's legal terms, you are left completely powerless and out of pocket.

On my final attempt to contact Skybus Ballooning, I was told (quite smuggly) they had previously been taken to court and they won, so there is nothing I can do. Showing I am not the first and won't be the last to get swindled by them.

Skybus Ballooning are not a large company with frivolous things such as a "customer service department", they are a greedy couple out for profit, with little concern for their customers. They just ensure they get their money, good on you if you get their service but the customer comes last on their books.

I would highly suggest going with a reputable brand like Virgin, rather than entrusting these con-artist's. I'm sure they are excellent balloon pilots (they'd need to be) but that is about as much as you can expect of them. These people have pound signs in their eyes and do not deserve business from honest working people.

Thank Sam_RM44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shiralee C, Owner at Skybus Ballooning, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2017

For anyone reading this review, I believe it is always fair to present both sides of the story...

Mr Markham purchased his voucher in January 2014, the vouchers are valid for 12 months and flights are scheduled twice a day every week throughout the year. This means that Mr Markham had over 700 opportunities to book his flight before his voucher expired.

Our terms and what is expected from the customer are made quite clear, the first booking should be made within the first 3 months of validity and if a voucher holder makes 8 unsuccessful bookings during the period of validity the voucher will be automatically extended.

Mr Markham only booked once during this period on 14th February 2015, the weather was indeed not safe and suitable for the flight to proceed. In March 2015 Mr Markham contacted us and told us his partner was now pregnant and we revalidated his voucher free of charge for a further 12 months giving it a new expiry date of 13/03/2016.

Mr Markham did not contact us to book again until 14/02/16 again unsurprisingly the weather was not safe and suitable for the flight to proceed. Although Mr Markhams voucher expired on 13/03/16, we continued to give him a further extension until the end of 2016; during this period Mr Markham made only 4 further attempts at booking in. We last heard from Mr Markham on 15/10/16.

Therefore in conclusion during a period of 3 years and over 2000 opportunities to book his flight Mr Markham made 6 bookings and his voucher was finally expired.

If anyone has any concerns whatsoever, please telephone us directly and we will be more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have.

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