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Virgin Balloon Flight - Not worth the money
Virgin Balloon Flights
Author Name: Disgruntled
Virgin Balloon Flights
Advantages: Spectacular views
Disadvantages: Labour intensive, cut costs attitude from the Virgin team
Given as a gift one Christmas, we received 7 day anytime tickets. The problem really starts from booking. I called up religiously every Tuesday to get flights flying from Biggar our closest departure point from Edinburgh. Only to be told to call next Tuesday as there were no new launch dates. I eventually asked for Aberdeen Castle Fraser and decided I would just need to make a weekend out of it.
We were really very very lucky. It was a blistering hot day on the 26/05/2012 yet if the wind did not die down we may not have flied that evening- even though we were told to attend the site at 7pm.
After speaking to the other 14 people there it was evident some had been waiting 2 years to fly.
Eventually it was agreed that they would start to inflate the balloon. With a 3 man unit (including the lazy pilot) they asked for our help to set up. If we hadn't have helped, I could assure you we wouldn't have been able to fly, because it would have been dark easily would have taken over an 2hrs, with only 3 of them to set up the balloon. With 10 it took 1hour. We fly at 8pm.
Amazing views and experience when you are up there - but you have no control over where you end up. The other 2 guys drove the car & trailer following us to our landing point.
Ended up landing at 8.50pm in a cow field in some very smelly cow pat! There were delays as we had to wait for the following team to convince the farmer to come release us from the field. Then there was the laborious task of deflating the balloon and rolling this us to fit back in the bag. At this point it was covered in cow pat! It took another hour or so to do this. Come 10pm we had our cheap wine (no body wanted a top up), we were then advised that there is not enough room in the mini bus they had arranged - only for 8 people (there were 16 of us). We got split up from our partners - as women "with the short legs" can go in the back of the car (6 of us) but they would need 2 volunteers to go in the basket ON THE BACK OF THE TRAILER! Ridiculous. Virgin made approximately £2300 for that flight - labour paid for via the customer.
I hope you have a better experience - but it is NOT worth the money in my opinion.
Summary: Not recommended
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