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“Wonderful experience”
Review of Alba Ballooning - CLOSED

Alba Ballooning
Attraction details
Reviewed 25 April 2014

After a few cancelled bookings last year due to unsuitable weather, we got our long awaited balloon flight from Linden Hall, Northumberland on Friday 18th April. It was a wonderful experience from start to finish, and well worth waiting for. We were very lucky as the weather was perfect, and we flew right over our house on two occasions. I had been bought this experience as a birthday present as I had always wanted to experience a balloon flight - but this was even better than I had expected. Thanks a lot Pete!

Thank helenNorthumberland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (83)
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"balloon flight"
in 11 reviews
"bucket list"
in 9 reviews
"glass of champagne"
in 9 reviews
"wonderful experience"
in 8 reviews
"well worth the wait"
in 8 reviews
"weather conditions"
in 7 reviews
"birthday present"
in 9 reviews
"from start to finish"
in 7 reviews
"scottish weather"
in 6 reviews
"west linton"
in 5 reviews
"st boswells"
in 4 reviews
"last year"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful evening"
in 4 reviews
"wind direction"
in 4 reviews
"great fun"
in 6 reviews
"meeting point"
in 3 reviews
"safety briefing"
in 3 reviews
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56 - 60 of 83 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2014 via mobile

We decided to go ballooning with Alba having been let down repeatedly by another ballooning company (a big, red ballooning company...3 guesses). It was refreshing to experience the personal, friendly approach that Pete provided right from start of the booking process, to the glass of champagne at the end of the flight.
We loved every moment of the experience, and were particularly lucky that this was Alba's 1000th flight, so it was even more special! Although I had butterflies in my stomach as we first floated off, Pete made us all feel completely at ease and very safe; his wealth of experience is clear and reassuring. We flew over Peebles, and landed near the Leadburn Inn - the scenery was absolutely breathtaking, and Pete's extensive knowledge of the local surroundings made it very interesting.
The icing on the cake was the champagne toast at the end of the flight. All in all, I think it was one of the most memorable and special experiences of our lives, only surpassed of course by our wedding and the arrival of our little ones!! Anyone who is swithering about booking a flight - I would say GO FOR IT, you will not regret it! And go for Alba, for a local, friendly, experienced, family-run company. We can't wait to fly with Alba again!

1  Thank Melanie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014

In September, I scheduled a balloon ride for October 19th weekend for my 3 family members who were visiting me in Scotland. I had read the reviews and thought it would be fun. I explained to the owner, Peter, that they were only visiting and that the weekend of October 19th was the only time we could go . He said no problem, buy these four tickets for about 500£ and we can refund you if there are issues with the weather. Great, I thought. A day before our scheduled flight I called the office to confirm, and a woman answered who said they had stopped balloon rides in October 1, as per usual , and would certainly not be taking anyone else out due to weather etc. I asked about the refund ( and why we weren't informed that the rides stopped October 1, considering we had specifically booked for almost 3 weeks later). She said I should email the office and they would get back to me. I did so, and got an email response saying that they were out of the office until November 6th and would get back to me. By November 16th I had still heard nothing. I emailed the office and the owner responded saying that he had " looked into" my situation and was not able to offer any refund because I did not have it in writing that the only time we were able to go for a ride was that specific weekend, so sorry, but you can come when we re-open in the spring. After multiple email conversations, he still refused to refund my money. He clearly knew that the rides would stop before our scheduled date. He took our money knowing this and fully aware that there was only one weekend my family would be visiting. If alba ballooning is so manipulative and money-hungry that they simply won't return a valid refund, I think you have to ask the question of what else do they skimp on? I wouldn't want to put my life and safety in the hands of people who are that deceptive.

8  Thank Levittert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AlbaBallooning, Manager at Alba Ballooning, responded to this reviewResponded 16 March 2014

Libberty

I am very saddened that you have chosen to write this instead of talking to me to correct your clear misapprehensions. The facts are as follows. You made a telephone enquiry (we get hundreds) without providing a name for me to note and asked about our flights. I referred you to the website which detail the various voucher options (some part refundable, one fully refundable and our ‘special refund terms’ for visitor bookings if you tell us at time of booking), all clearly laid out. The website also made clear that flights ran to 22nd October last year and resumed mid March 2014 unless we got some good winter conditions (unusual). Sometime later, I received a part refundable voucher online booking from you for 4 persons on the scheduled 19th October flight with no way of associating your enquiry with the booking. I sent you the voucher and all details and asked you to contact me if there were any issues. You didn’t alert me to any such issues and certainly didn’t inform me that this was a ‘visitor booking’. You called on 18th October and were told that the weather wasn’t suitable for the flight you booked (wet and windy I believe). Your claim that flights stopped on 1st October is untrue and your claim of deception on my part totally slanderous. You emailed on 25th October whilst I was on annual holiday and I nevertheless responded immediately and then dealt with your refund request on 16th November (only delayed because of the death of my grandmother as you are well aware and acknowledged) offering the part refund amount associated with the voucher type you chose to purchase. ONLY then did you note that you had intended this to be a one off booking but stated: “I am happy to still keep my place if those are the refund terms and I can probably find one other person to go with me”. So I replied: “I suggest we treat two of the 4 places as such 'visitor bookings' for which we would have offered a 90% refund at time of booking should the flight be weather cancelled had we been informed of the case and I will reissue a new two person voucher to you for 'yourself and one companion'. Would that be satisfactory to you?” So I offered you exactly what you asked of me (a nearly full refund on two places and a new 2 person voucher for you), despite you not meeting the conditions for this offer. I am bewildered that you have chosen not to accept this offer, nor engage in any further dialogue if this offer wasn’t to your satisfaction. The second half of your complaint is pure slander and lies (our few email exchanges prove this). If you don’t now remove this review, I will be providing full copies of these email exchanges to TripAdvisor and ask them to remove this ‘terrible’ review as baseless. Whether they consequently ban you too is up to them. I have been generous in accepting your unsubstantiated claims and deeply hurt that such consideration should be abused in this way. That is not what TripAdvisor is for.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2013

I bought my husband a voucher for his birthday last year and we were very lucky to get a flight on our first booking. A short drive took us to the launch site and in spite of a rather bumpy take-off, we felt very confident in our pilot’s ability and had a wonderful flight across Fife. It was quite surreal, drifting over familiar countryside and spotting familiar landmarks, as well as bits you never see from the ground. It was good fun to be involved in the inflation of the balloon and the packing away at the end of the flight, with a glass of champagne to round off a fantastic experience! I would thoroughly recommend Alba ballooning to anyone looking for a special gift or treat, or even just for the fun of the experience.

1  Thank blue_jeans501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 December 2013

Bought my wife a voucher for flight for her Christmas. Arranging the flight was straight forward and after one aborted effort we were lucky enough to arrange our flight on a beautifully warm evening.

After a brief period of driving to find the best take off location we inflated the balloon in the lovely little village of West Linton

I have to say it was one of the most amazing experiences, eclipsing my expectations. It felt surreal gliding over the countryside and surprisingly calm. We were very lucky that it was a lovely sunny evening and near perfect conditions. Landing was great fun and the glass of bubbly afterwards sealed a fantastic experience. Pete was a great host and it felt much more personal - not just because Alba is a small independent company, but also because there were only a few of us on the trip - so we didn't feel jammed into the basket like sardines! I'd love to do it again and have no hesitation in recommending Alba to anyone looking for a great gift or a special treat.

1  Thank GreyhoundgirlGlasgow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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