How Much is a Hot Air Balloon Ride?

So, you went on a balloon ride, fell in love, and now you want one for yourself. But how much is this going to cost you? We have compiled a list of some of the best balloons, and some of the best quality low priced balloons so you don’t have to break your bank indulging in your favorite new hobby. Check out some of the leaders in the Hot Air Balloon manufacturing world below and their amazing products! These balloons will be sure to grab your attention.

Finding that a balloon is more expensive than you bargained for?

Read our tips and tricks below for purchasing a used balloon. We’ll tell you about things you should look out for and how to make sure you are getting a good balloon from a reputable seller.

Cameron Balloons

Cameron Balloons is a world leading balloon company. Not only do they supply recreational hot air balloons, they supply marketing balloons, shaped balloons, commercial balloons, so they are true experts when it comes to anything air inflated. They offer 7 standard balloon shapes and they also have some hot air balloons in irregular shapes like Cinderella’s Castle from Disney World, a giant flying Scottsman, a Bald Eagle, a Racecar, and more.

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For a new standard Concept Series balloon system complete with balloon, baket gondola, two 15-gallon fuel tanks, burner and instruments you can expect to pay around $35,000.00 USD. This price is increased for special shapes depending on the shape you desire.

A used Cameron Balloon can cost you anywhere from $8,000.00 to $25,000.00

Cameron Balloons does offer financing on all their new products.

Lindstrand Hot Air Balloons

Lindstrand is another popular Hot Air Balloon manufacturer that specializes in custom designs and shapes. They have made balloons that look like a Bulldog, a Goldfish, a Motorcycle, a Soda Can and much more. They also offer 3 different style of regular balloon.

Lindstrand also has a very cool tool on their website that you can use to design your balloon! You can use this tool to play with color combinations. When you pull up the design center you can choose from any model of the three types of balloon they offer. Second, you will play with their color options on a grid type design sheet like Microsoft Excel and they will show you what it looks like on your balloon style. Next you can upload your logo to the balloon and add any text you want. Last, you can save your design and send it in to Lindstrand for a quote on your design.

Lindstrand Balloons start at $15,000.00 for a balloon envelope and range up from there depending on design and shape, type of basket, and additional operating equipment like fuel tank and burner.

For a complete Lindstrand system you can plan on spending $35,000.00- $45,000.00.

Kubicek Balloons

If you are looking for a fun shape or color, I think Kubicek will be the best choice for you. Their special shape balloons are so different and cute, you will just have to have one! They have a wide variety of humans, cute aliens, cars and trucks, night light balloons, wildlife balloons, and animal balloons.

In regular options, Kubicek offers 5 different models of balloon envelopes.

Kubicek has not posted their prices online. You would have to contact their sales department for pricing

Ultramagic Balloons

Ultramagic Balloons is the World leader in Hot Air Balloon manufacturing. Like Lindstrand, Ultramagic Balloons offers an online design platform to fully customize a balloon to your preferences, and offers you a quote on your design.

Ultramagic is also proud to advertise that they offer 3 types of fabric to suit your needs. Their 65-gram polyurethane coated rip-stop Nylon fabric is designed to resist fading and resist fungal attacks, so it maintains its high strength. They also offer a slightly heavier 90-gram fabric is usually used on the top of the balloon envelope where heat is more concentrated. This fabric is coated with silicon help handle a tough environment. And lastly, they offer a light weight 40-gram fabric that should be used for smaller balloons that won’t be toting a whole lot of weight. This material is also coated with silicone.

Ultramagic Balloons can cost anywhere from $20-$40,000.00 for just the envelope. If you are interested in a racing balloon, you can look to spend around $40,000.00 for the whole system.

Firefly Balloons

Firefly Balloons is a company situated in the Mountains of Western North Carolina, the heart of the textile and furniture craftmanship traditions. That’s what makes their hand inlaid and sewn envelopes some of the top products in the market. They also make hand crafted wicker and rattan baskets that will certainly be unique compared to any other out there.

Firefly may consist of great craft-men and traditional sewing, but they don’t shy away from creating some cool designs. Some they have been known for are beer cans, Tony the Tiger, Tom and Jerry, Humpty Dumpty, Shamrocks, clowns, football helmets and much more.

They also have jumped on board with an online designing platform for custom balloons. This 48 year old company is keeping up with modern times and gives you a great quality balloon for some of the cheapest prices on the market.

For a Firefly Balloon complete system, you can look to spend $26,000.00-$33,000.00.

Other Dealers

There are plenty of other hot air balloon companies out there, and you can expect to spend around the same price for any balloon on the market. Usually a good range to go by is around $22,000.00 for a smaller 1 or 2-passenger balloon, or around $35,000.00 for a balloon make for 4 or more passengers.

Buying Used

Like when you buy anything used, you are generally not going to get the same quality you would if you buy used. For a hot air balloon, it can be risky being that, well, it’s a balloon. If there is a tear, rip, worn out area in the fabric, you can be looking at a huge waste of money. Of course, it still might be cheaper to have it repaired than it would be to buy new, but it is a pain!

Our first piece of advice would be to purchase a used balloon from someone you know. Of course, that option may be a slim to none situation.

Another great option would be to visit a hot air balloon dealer in person and check out the used inventory. You may pay a higher price for a used balloon at a dealer, but you can be sure that the dealer fully inspected the balloon before putting it on the market, and just like a car dealer they can guarantee the quality.

If you don’t plan on heading off on a road trip to your closest balloon dealer and find it easier to shop online, this is where things can get tricky.

The first thing people don’t consider when they shop online for a used hot air balloon is the shipping cost. For a big corporation like Cameron or Kubicek, shipping is typically cheaper because they send out a great deal of product. Privately, you can expect a hefty shipping bill of $300.00 or more.

Also, if you are buying online it is best to use a website that is strictly for selling hot air balloons and hot air balloon parts and accessories. There is generally less risk involved when purchasing from a website like this than there would be if you were purchasing from a site like craigslist.

Remember, cheaper is not always better! Although you think you might be getting a good deal, pay attention to brand logo’s and make sure someone is not trying to pass off a low model balloon for a Lindstrand or Firefly.

Other balloon costs:

Before you go purchasing a hot air balloon, it is important to know that in order to fly it you do need to get licensed to pilot.

How do I get licensed? Good question. First, you must be 16 years of age, and must be able to read, speak, write, and understand English. You are required to complete only 10 hours of flight training, but that flight training must include one ascent to 2,000 feet with your trainer, one solo flight, and 6 additional flights of any height with your trainer. You must be in the air for over an hour on each flight, and you must complete all the flights and training within 60 days of applying for certification.

To obtain your certification or license, you will need to take a written FAA knowledge test and complete an oral and hands on practical knowledge test.

Insurance

Another cost you will need to consider before you fly your balloon is insurance. Why? Well, a hot air balloon is a big investment! In some or most cases, your hot air balloon will cost more than your car. Just like in a car, most accidents are unforeseen. The elements are not planned, and even though it may seem like a beautiful day to fly, wind can be a lot stronger when you are 2,000 plus feet in the air, and you can expect differences in temperature and weather in general too. With statistics like 33.62 crashes per every 100,000 hours happening in the ballooning world, it’s important to make sure your investment is properly protected.

If you are planning on racing hot air balloons, insurance is most times required to enter a race or competition because there will be many other balloons around you.

Finding hot air balloon insurance is easy, but keep in mind that it will cost you anywhere from $800.00-$1200.00 a year. Make sure you include this in your total cost when you are determining whether you can afford to or want to buy a hot air balloon.

If you plan on giving rides with your balloon to passengers, liability insurance is going to be a much more expensive endeavor, but you will need to have it in order to start operating.

Conclusion

To answer your question, a hot air balloon generally costs between $20,000.00 and $40,000.00. Yes, most hot air balloon companies if not all companies offer financing on their balloons. Although it can be annoying, websites typically do not post their balloon prices online and you will have to call for a price. This is because there are a lot of options like basket choices, burner choices, accessory choices, and color choices that all go into play when choosing your balloon.

If you plan on purchasing a balloon to host balloon rides, you can always consider partnering with a local business to advertise their logo on your balloon. This will take away some of the personal cost to you, the balloon is yours to keep, and you can make a little money off it as well.