Is It Expensive To Own a Hot Air Balloon? – Our Guide
If you are a lover of hot air balloon trips, you might have dreamed about owning your hot air balloon one day, but just how much do they cost?
Hot air balloons cost anything between $20,000 to $50,000 on average, this can change according to what’s included with the balloon, however, the size and its design.
We’ve put together a short guide down below which will take you through what impacts the price of a hot air balloon as well as some other factors to consider when buying your balloon, as well as how much it costs to fly a balloon.
What Impacts The Cost Of a Hot Air Balloon?
As we mentioned above, on average, if you are looking to buy a hot air balloon then you will be looking at spending between $20,000 and $50,000, $20,000 is the ball mark for sport-sized hot air balloons while above this is for commercial types which can carry a pilot and up to four passengers.
We’ve listed the main factors which impact the cost of a hot air balloon down below.
- The basket – Baskets and gondolas can have premium designs to carry more people and equipment.
- Envelope – The envelope of the hot air balloon is also known as the balloon, this can change the price of your hot air balloon, the better the envelope then the higher in price it will be since it shows the performance.
- Included equipment – Consider whether or not all the equipment is included with your hot air balloons such as instruments, fuel tanks and gondolas.
- Size – Smaller hot air balloons are cheaper since they carry fewer people, bigger hot air balloons are more expensive.
- If it’s used – You can find used hot air balloons on the market which cost only around 10,000 USD, these are considerably cheaper, but you should check the balloons are still in good condition, however.
Other Factors To Consider When Buying a Hot Air Balloon
If you planning to buy a hot air balloon then make sure you are considering all factors which impact a hot air balloon price including licensing and maintenance.
We’ve listed some other essential factors to watch out for below.
- Pilot licensing – Consider the cost of the pilot license you will need, you can get private or commercial licensing, allowing you to fly solo or with passengers. Training costs could be between $1000-$3000 depending on the type of license you need and the course you choose, for personal it will about 10 hours flying, while commercial would be around 35 hours flying.
- Ground crew – If you are planning to fly a hot air balloon you must factor in the cost of ground staff. Ground staff essentially chase the balloon and help with taking off, landing and getting passengers on and off the balloon.
- Safety checks – Every personal hot air balloon owned should have FAA certificates regularly after every 100-hours of use, this could cost around $350, consider regular maintenance to make sure the balloon is in good condition too.
How Much Does It Cost To Fly a Hot Air Balloon?
Now we know how much it costs to own a hot air balloon and all the other factors to consider with it, you also need to take into account how much it costs to keep the balloon in the air.
To fly a hot air balloon can cost different amounts depending on how long each flight is, for example, a litre of propane can cost $2, so if you fly your hot air balloon on average you will use around 35 gallons which could cost you $50.
Consider the trailer to carry your hot air balloon as well as the insurance for flying as well which could cost between $10,000 and $30,000 depending on if you are flying commercial or personal.
Why Are Hot Air Balloons So Expensive?
Hot air balloons are expensive to fly and ride with, but why?
Well, hot air balloons can cost between $300-$400 for each person, but this is impacted by the time you are flying for, how many people are on board and the day or season you are flying in.
The main reasons that hot air balloons are so expensive are due to –
- Ground staff.
- Extras such as photos and drinks.
Frequently Asked Questions About Buying a Hot Air Balloon
How much does it cost to go on a hot air balloon?
The cost of a hot air balloon can range between $300 and $500 per person, the more people your balloon carries then the cheaper your price will be.
Do I need a pilot license to use a hot air balloon?
You should have a pilot license for operating a hot air balloon, this can be acquired through training courses, you can get either a personal or commercial license, commercial licenses are more expensive.
Can you buy customised envelopes for hot air balloons?
You can indeed buy customised envelopes for hot air balloons, these will cost more however since they have to be personalised.
What is a chase crew for hot air balloons?
A chase crew is needed for hot air balloons since they operate as ground staff, they essentially chase the balloon to make sure it has a safe take-off and landing.
What is included in the price of a hot air balloon?
Fuel tanks, the basket and many other features are included in a hot air balloon, hence why they are so expensive.
Overall, hot air balloons are very expensive to purchase and can set you back between $20,000 and $50,000 depending on if you buy a sport-sized balloon or a commercial type of hot air balloon. You should also consider other factors such as the insurance, pilot license and ground staff which are all contributing costs to operating a hot air balloon.
If you are looking to buy cheaper hot air balloons you can always consider buying second-hand ones which drop the price to around $10,000.
I’m Annie, a twenty-something year old girl who loves hot air balloons. So much so, that I have a full time job as a Flight Instructor and it is all I love talking about. Something about being up there in the elevated altitudes helps all my stresses float away!