Virgin Balloon Flights — balloon flight
Please read to the end! We bought my 70+ year old mother a balloon ride for Mother's Day one less thing on her bucket list!
Firstly the recorded message said to be at the launch site at 7pm not a second later..this had already been put back from 6pm..we got to the parking area 5 mins walk from the launch site at 6pm and saw the balloon basket on the back of a trailer parked up. At 6:45 the 4x4 with trailer moved off towards the launch site. We walked up to find it still on the back of the trailer, registered along with the others then waited half an hour for the balloon to be inflated with the help of paying customers after the pilot had introduced himself and his 1 man "crew". Surely this could have been done in the 45 mins+ they were sat in the parking area?
With the balloon eventually inflated (8pm) they set off on their balloon flight going in a circle with no more than a 2mile radius from the take off point!
Back down to ground with a small bump and they were then told they had to help the "crew" (one man) deflate and pack away the balloon. This took over an hour and was very heavy, hard work for a 70+ year old lady!! While doing this my mum asked if they were being picked up by mini bus to be taken back to the parking area and joked or are we going back in the basket on the back of the trailer! to which she was told by the "crew" yeah if they can find us. Yes you guessed it!! There was no minibus to take them back! It wouldn't have been hard to find them they were less than 2 miles from taking off and they were asked to climb onto the trailer then into the basket and keep their heads down so the police didn't see them!!!
I'm absolutely raging that my mother and 15 others (one young girl was petrified) were put in a basket on the back of a trailer with no safety precautions to be driven back to their cars!!!
Virgin and the pilot and "crew" are putting lives at risk just for the sake of saving a few pennies and getting a minibus to ferry people back to their cars and I'm sure their insurance company wouldn't be very happy about this practice either!!!