Trip Adviser Reviews
A wonderful experience for hubby, me and our granddaughter from France even though we had to get up at 5AM to be there. Everything was professional, safe and exciting for our hour in the air! We would love to go again!
I've wanted to experience a hot air balloon ride ever since a friend and I considered buying a hot air balloon many years ago. Finally, I got my chance on a Wednesday morning, June 20, 2012, when my wife and I, together with several friends, flew with R.O. Franks Aviation Co. in a balloon piloted by Addison Brown. (We timed this trip to share the experience with a good friend who lives next door and our friends from Vancouver). The flight, which flew over the Hominy Valley near Candler, N.C. (west of Asheville), lasted for approximately 45 minutes at an altitude of 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Watching the crew inflate the balloon in the early morning light was exciting. The flight was very peaceful and the view was something that cannot be experienced except in a balloon flight. Mr. Brown did a superb job of piloting. He skillfully landed the balloon in someone's back yard, after which the ground crew arrived very quickly to secure the balloon. Every one in our group enjoyed the experience with this company so much that we're thinking of flying with them again in another season.
We were a group of four. Scheduled twice in a 7 month period. Disappointed when we could not fly but we trusted the pilots judgment. Enjoyed Asheville each time anyway. We would go to Asheville with the intent of enjoying ourselves whether we got to fly or not. I can tell you that RO Franks Balloon Company was very professional. Brand new balloons that carry 10 or 12 pp each, a new shuttle buss so we didn't have to wait for the crew to pack up. Mr Brown and his Mother, Rowena were very pleasant, very professional and courteous the entire time. I suspect that when a company runs a coupon special as they had done they end up with a lot of buyers that cannot easily afford a trip to Asheville, hotels, etc. If it is a one shot trip it may be a problem for you. Mr Brown cannot control the weather. I expect and appreciate that my pilot can make a difficult decision knowing that there will be angry people leaving unreasonable malicious reviews online. It is unfortunate that people act that way.
I have secretly wanted to ride in a hot-air balloon for many years now. This was a very un-expected gift to me today, and what a wonderful gift it was! I did not know when I went to bed last night that I would be flying over Western North Carolina in a Hot Air Balloon this morning. It was a beautiful morning for flying. We flew over Candler high above the tree tops and I couldn't have asked for a smoother launch and landing. My pilot was Addison Brown. He was a professional in every way!! His attention to detail was very clear to myself and the other passengers. He is so respectful of his passengers and to the neighbors of the area where we landed. One of the neighbors even came up to greet us upon landing. The ground crew were also very professional in how quickly they came to us to secure the balloon for us to get out of the basket! Jackson was our host,and he was the perfect host!, Rowena Brown was the pilot of the other Balloon and a delight to be up in the air with, and to talk to on our way back to the parking garage where our cars were parked. We were also treated to a champaigne toast post flight! You could have water if you prefered.I would highly reccomend R.O. Franks Hot Air Balloon Company for a great gift to someone you love. Awesome gift to get! It is now 11 hours after my flight, and I still have this big smile on my face!!
My husband & I had our first hot air balloon ride July 4th. An early morning rise over Western North Carolina. It was great and a great way to celebrate the holiday. The owner, Addison and his mom are both pilots of the balloons. They have a very interesting family history of balloon pilots. Jackson is who handled the reservations and shuttle transport and he is great too. Nothing but positive to say. Put this on your to-do list and let this friendly, professional group take you up and away.
My husband and I both really enjoyed the ride over Candler. The crew and pilot were knowledgable and professional. We had wonderful weather and we have great pictures to remember our ride.
We went with friends. This was something that was on our bucket list, and we had a ball. The crew was professional and courteous and knew exactly what they were doing. The weather was perfect. The owner, Addison, even invited the group back to his place in Asheville for Champagne and each got framed certificates marking our first balloon ride. We very much recommend much. You will love it.
Hot Air Ballooning was on my private bucket list. Because everything is dependent on the weather, it took us two attempts to get a "go" for air travel. I was impressed with the caution and preparation that it took to be sure we had a safe and secure flight. We took off from Candler, a rural area of the Asheville area because the weather was more dependable in that area of the mountains than in other areas. We did not travel far from the take off location which disappointed me a little. It seemed like we could not catch the air that would move us a little faster toward other parts of the county. It was explained to us that flying over the city of Asheville was sometimes still done but the lack of landing sites was very limited and could be precarious for safety reasons. The most exciting part of the trip was the landing which tended to be the fastest we flew. We landed in someone's garden, but landed safely and securely.
The price of the adventure is a little steep for a 45 minute ride but is an activity I wanted to say I had done and happy I was able to have a clear day, lots of panoramic views – from Mount Pisgah to the west to the mountains of the north and southern areas of Buncombe County and a safe landing. I appreciate all of the effort the company made to make our trip pleasant, informative, and safe.
Funny thing about outdoor activities, events and such: They're outdoors. Which means they're subject to nature's whims, not our desires. So it is with hot-air balloon rides. As Asheville area residents, we had the "luxury" of being able to twice reschedule a flight in one of R.O. Franks Aviation's hot-air balloons – first in late March, then mid-April and finally in late May, when we both soared – literally… gently, often silently – over the West Asheville community of Candler, North Carolina, and over pastures and wooded slopes, with mountains in the distance. It was an experience we'll never forget, and was well worth the wait. But, since weather always holds the trump card, I don't think I'd recommend this experience to anyone with no schedule flexibility, or to someone who can't accept the fact that the weather at home may seem perfect, but not so a few miles away – or a thousand feet above. If you can be flexible (whether you live in the region or can return to it at a later date), an R.O. Franks hot-air balloon ride will be worth the wait. I'd purchased Groupons as a surprise birthday gift for my Angel (whose love, to quote a song verse, "keeps lifting me higher"), but had to keep my mouth shut about the specifics for more than two months – our ride had to be re-scheduled twice due to weather conditions. Each time, however, the folks at R.O. Franks Aviation (particularly Jackson) were extremely apologetic and very accommodating in efforts to squeeze us in when there was a cancellation. And each time, I learned a little more about weather's role, and the efforts by R.O. Franks to determine weather conditions at precise launch and landing spots. Which is why you also pin your hopes to flying over the city of Asheville, over the nearby Biltmore Estate or other view espoused on the R.O. Franks website – everything depends on weather conditions, on the ground and 1,000 feet up.