Sky Bus Ballooning Hot Air Balloon Flights in Kent and Sussex

FAQ about Hot Air Balloon Rides in Kent & East Sussex

1. Where Do We fly From?

We fly from several sites in both Kent and East Sussex. We are the only company based at Headcorn Airfield which is our primary site, a must for aviation enthusiasts who can see skydiving, helicopters, Tiger Moths and stunt planes.  With a museum, bar and café it is situated a 10 min drive from Leeds Castle, Junction 8 off the M20.  Headcorn railway station is only 5 minutes away and given notice, we can arrange to pick you up.  We also fly from the lovely ‘London Beach Hotel & Spa’ based in Tenterden, where you might consider extending your stay to enjoy the excellent facilities available such as the golf course, state of the art health spa or the wonderful menu in the restaurant.  Please phone us to discuss other launch sites near Paddock Wood and in East Sussex. 

2. Can I Fly From My Own Property?

Many people have experienced the thrill of launching from their own field and providing it has no power lines, livestock or crop and has good vehicular access, then we are very happy to discuss this option in more detail with you.

3. When Do We Schedule Flights?

Skybus are the only company in Kent who schedule flights the whole year round, weather permitting. Choose between an early morning and early evening flight, 7 days a week.  Meeting times vary depending on the time of year but are generally between 6am and 7.30am for morning flights and between 5pm and 7pm for evening flights.  During the winter months of November – February we meet once a day at about 1.30pm on weekdays and 8am and 1.30pm at weekends.  Although summer months are the most popular, spring and autumn can be the most beautiful times to fly with spectacular colour and longer flights.

4. How Do We Book The Date?

Simply telephone our office Monday-Friday between 9am and 9pm to check availability and book your flight.  You will need to contact us again just before your flight and confirmation times will be given to you at the time of booking.

5. How Long Is My Ticket Valid For?

Your voucher is valid for 12 months.  If you have made a minimum of 8 bookings during the course of the year and been unlucky with the weather then we will automatically extend it for a further period. Please read our terms and conditions for full details.

6. Is There An Age Limit?

We have no upper age limit and many people have enjoyed flying with us in their 90’s!  You need to in reasonable health and able to stand for an hour.  For younger children, they need to be a minimum of 4’0” tall, so that they can see over the basket, and children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult.

7. How Many People Will Be Flying?

Skybus is more exclusive than most other companies, one of our balloons carries a maximum of 7 passengers + pilot and our second balloon, carries a maximum of 4 passengers + pilot.  It just depends on how many people are booked in on the day you have chosen as to how many people will be flying with you and which balloon you are in.  If you wish to take advantage of our ‘VIP’ and ‘Exclusive Hire’ flights then please contact our office for details.

8. How Do We Get Back After The Flight?

Our retrieve crew will follow the balloon, keeping in radio contact with the pilot.  Once we have access permission from the landowner where we have landed, it takes about 25 mins to pack the balloon away.  After everything is back in the trailer, we return passengers back to the launch site to enjoy a celebratory glass of Champagne!

9. Can Friends/Relatives Come To Watch?

Yes.  Anyone can come along and share the enjoyment of launch preparation.  During your flight relatives and friends may follow our retrieve vehicle in their own car, although our crews priority is with the balloon and cannot be responsible if any ‘followers’ lose sight of our vehicle.  Please ask them to abide by the country code as our landowner relations are critical to the goodwill of ballooning and any followers must not enter the field either by car or on foot until permission has been granted.

10. What Should We Wear?

We recommend that you wear similar clothes to those you would wear for a walk in the countryside, with sensible shoes (not high heels or open sandals) and a hat to shield your head from the occasional radiated heat of the burners.  It is no colder ‘up there’ than it is on the ground as balloons fly with the wind so there is no chill factor.  You are welcome to bring your camera or camcorder, but please bring your bag with it to stow away for the landing.

11. What Happens If My Flight Is Postponed Due To Bad Weather?

If on your chosen day the weather is not forecast to be safe and suitable, we simply re-book you when you are ready on a mutually convenient date. Ballooning forecasts are specific and obtained direct from the met office in Exeter.  Flight cancellations are based entirely on your safety and refunds are not given at any time due to poor weather conditions.  Please read our terms and conditions for full details.

12. Are We Insured?

Yes.  We carry £5,000,000 worth of third party and passenger liability insurance.  Please be advised though that your personal possessions e.g. Cameras, bags and glasses are carried at your own risk.  Skybus Ballooning are extremely proud of their 100% safety record since flying passengers in the early 90’s and our pilots are trained to the highest professional standards under required procedures laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority and which are carefully monitored annually.

Tony Hill Hot Air Balloon Pilot in  Kent and East Sussex
One of Sussex & Kent's most experienced balloon pilots

Our principle pilot Tony Hill has flown over 3000 times! - and is one of the most experienced pilots flying in Kent and East Sussex.