I have been traveling for thirty years and I'm surprised by the people who want to transfer their lives to someone they know little about if nothing! You do not think how often I would first ask a passenger about my experience when the balloon is already down and hundreds of feet in the air! I have seen it so many times that I have begun to offer humorous answers, hoping that it will alleviate the nervousness that prompted them to ask questions first. My favorites "how long have you done that?" is "this is my first flight, I read this chapter tonight for landing!" Or "this is my third flight, and with my advocate's consent I can not speak of the first two". A little glowing humor, but it seems that it changes the mood and reduces the first-ever troublesome moments that a traveler feels for the first time. The fact that if you are high, you have no place to go to, but to ride. You are probably better off not asking any questions; you may not like what you hear, and the answer will not affect the outcome. This is the case if you have not chosen a new type of pilot and disturbed him with balloons to hit your questions – now it can affect the outcome! I hope you find this article informative and use the knowledge to find a safe and secure pilot flying a reputable company to offer their adventures.
This is the third and last article in a series where consumers are taught how to choose an experienced balloon ride company. This section will give you questions to ask before you buy a trip and before boarding a flight. Even more importantly, it will provide you with the tools you need to interpret your answers; which allows you to make an informed purchase.
In the first article on how to choose an experienced air balloon driving company and not just a broker, I explained the difference between the "hot air balloon" operator and the hot air balloon rider "dealer." In order to quickly recoup, the balloon driver has a balloon where you actually drive, and act in a way that they sell and drive. The balloon travel broker does not have a balloon and he is in a company that sells you only a gift card or an airline ticket. Part 2, an operator or broker, provided the reader with information on how to quickly distinguish between a carrier and an intermediary in a web search. If the differences are unclear to you or if you are unclear why you should directly deal with the operator or broker, I suggest you read it here in ezine for a while or you can find articles in your territory on my website by clicking on the link at the bottom of this article in the biography.
After choosing a company to call or book, there are the following questions:
1. How long have you been in business?
How long has the business been, this is usually a good indicator of how well the business is managed. Companies that have been operating for a long time must pay attention to details and provide good customer service. The market usually takes companies that treat their clients indifferently, conceal the product or offer it a quick pain. Excellent businesses are consistent, long term, and realize that trusting and giving oneself a name is something that takes time and effort.
2. What is my physical address in my area and which legal entity is the company?
If the company does not have a physical address or location in your area or even your country where you can meet them or receive a certificate and the only option is by post, it is the intermediary. Local ownership and activity means that the company should be interested in how you are evaluated as a customer. A rewarding customer tells 5-10 people about their experiences, a dissatisfied customer says hundreds. Urban ferry companies are domestic and do not worry about how much the service is offered on their domestic sales. The company has many legal forms, but the company is definitely the best indicator of a legal entity. How many locations do you have? If there is more than one or the answer is "You can redeem certificates in several places", then you are dealing with a broker. It should not be confused with the number of startup sites. Many riders go to many places, but have only one office.
3. How many hours do you make or are your pilots and what are their names?
The Federal Air Navigation Administration (FAA) licenses and regulates all balloon pilots and requires them to record their flight hours. The commercial balloon pilot's FAA minimum is only 35 hours during a flight. Full-time pilots are obviously more experienced and more experienced than part-time pilots. The American Balloon Federation (BFA) has created Pilot Achievement Awards at levels 1 to 8 or student airplanes (balloon pilot) with highly rated aeronautics. BFA has, in addition to other requirements, 600 flights of at least 700 hours of flight to qualify as an outstanding aerosol. A level of 400 to 500 hours is a mid-level pilot and 1000 hours or more is an experienced pilot. Recent experience and flights over 75 hours per year provide expertise. Flying 30 hours a year or less, in my opinion, is not enough to be at the top of your game. You can search the FAA Aviation Register at https://amsrvs.registry.faa.gov/airmeninquiry and enter your details yourself to confirm the pilot's certificate. Use the name and status of the pilot to narrow down the search. Unfortunately, this only confirms that they have a license, not as long as it is a pilot as an operator as an executing agent for the current mandate. If the company has only one pilot, this is small and maybe also a hobby. The presence of multiple pilots shows full-time driving. Finally, ask how long the pilot has a license, not how long have you been in the balloon? Many pilots will begin as a balloon crew member and may have been in sports for many years, but they have a very short time pilot. If the answer is a pilot for five to seven years or longer, you will usually be dealing with pilots with limited time and experience.
4. Are you a pilot, have your other pilots or your company ever been an accident?
Ask if the pilot has ever denied insurance, or was required to submit a report to the FAA or NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). Most pilots have never been to the FAA. The sanctioning of the FAA usually requires a rather uncomfortable violation. If you have been notified of FAA violations, accidents (FAAs) or accidents (FAA small-scale accidents), beware of this. Does the pilot take part in recurrent training, i.e. did they attend the safety seminar last 12 months? Most insurance companies provide basic discounts for pilots participating in a safety workshop. If an enterprise suddenly changes its name to the operation or operation of the same aircraft, it may be an attempt to ignore the consequences of poor media coverage and other accidents or significant issues.
5. How is your team trained and experienced?
Very few companies are promoting "all the experience of the balloon" and putting you to work, helping to fill, empty and pack the balloon. Even one company that I know advertises to get out and first get to know the team by paying the company for doing their hard work! An eligible company has a team that is required to operate the system with all airworthiness. It is absolutely right that passengers should be as active as they wish (as long as proper guidance is available), but it is not appropriate for passengers to be expected to pay. A full-time company is properly trained and remunerated by the team.
6. Do you fly full-time or part-time?
This may seem like an initial question, but it is significant. Balloon testing is a skill that requires skill. As every skill that needs skill, it creates competence in practice. Full-time is a professional pilots who have their own pilots and usually have more experience, lessons and lessons. Participating players generally do something else to live, rather than flying almost as much and can simply support what would otherwise be a costly hobby. This does not mean that there are no good and even large part-time balloon pilots. Simply put, the more you do something and the more often you do, the better you do it!
7. Do you have your own balloon or balloons?
If the answer is "no" or "all the companies that we use, we have their balloon", then it is an intermediary. If it's just one balloon, it's one pilot a small operator. In the case of multi-owned balloons, usually more than one pilot is a full-time balloon driver.
8. What size balloon do you fly?
The larger the balloon, the more it raises, which brings more weight to it. For more weight it can lead to more passengers. The bigger the balloon, the more it takes. Think of cars with good analogy. Balloons are measured by the amount of thin balloons they hold. Small or compact balloons are between 56,000 and 77,000 cubic meters. The medium-sized balloon is in the range of 90-105 000 cubic meters. The balloons for SUVs are 126-141,000 cubic meters, and balloons for van or truck are 180-300,000 cubic meters. Full-time enterprises generally use a balloon of more than 105,000 cubic meters to their passenger industry. If a company restricts passengers' problems or can only transport one, two or three passengers, they will use a small balloon of limited size. Many companies are promoting this limited capacity as a positive, "just yours and the pilot, a private charter". Remember what it really is about you; this is a small operation, one small balloon and probably an athletic company of sports clubs. This can also mean a limited amount of experience. Most businesses offer private charts, although at an additional cost. In addition to the size and ability to carry weight, when the hot weather also determines the lifting capacity of balloons. The hotter it is outside, the lower the weight can carry the balloon. Therefore, if the company talks about the number of passengers they can keep in cooler conditions or in hot weather, this is a smaller balloon with lifting restrictions. This is an important safety factor; balloons have maximum continuous operating temperature. The smaller the balloon, the more heat it takes to lift the weight and the safe working temperature can be exceeded!
9. What is your refund, cancellation, and policy transfer?
If the answers are vague or harassing, you need to be careful. This applies to all questions you may ask about a business. If you do not receive direct answers when trying to get your customer, what treatment will you get if you no longer want your client or if there is a dispute? Strategic responses and written policies are the way bona fide companies operate themselves. Something else is simply unacceptable. The flight should be clearly redeemable and easy to carry. Most companies have a cancellation policy of at least 72 hours.
You now have the opportunity to ask intelligent questions and, more importantly, to understand the importance of the answers you have received. Get out of there and experience romance and adventure that can only be offered when you are riding a hot air balloon. I appreciate your comments on this information, especially how to fix it. I also welcome all questions that you have after reading this information and take them right.