Ride Information

Seeking a new experience? Riding in a hot air balloon on your bucket? Looking for a unique gift?

Emerald City Express can provide the ballooning experience to meet your desires.  Rides are available in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa within reasonable driving distance of Omaha Nebraska.  Contact us to schedule your personal ride in a hot air balloon.


Some Ride Facts:

  • Rides are given year round although late spring to late fall is the primary flying season. 
  • Two to three people can be flown at one time depending on weight and weather conditions.
  • You can expect to pay about $250 per person - have a deeper interest in ballooning than a onetime ride? Check out the pilot instruction and chase crew page.
  • Flights happen two hours before sunset on weekdays during the summer and at sunrise on weekends.
  • Take off is generally at a location selected to fly away from cities and large airports, such as Eppley in Omaha, and is also dependent on weather dependent.  
  • The whole experience is about three hours including inflation, flight, and landing with return trip to launch point.  The amount of actual flying time is about an hour depending on weather conditions.
  • Strictly speaking there is no lower or upper age limit to fly in a balloon, however, the safe operation and health of passengers may restrict certain people from flying. Children too small to stand and comfortably look over the basket are generally unhappy flying in the balloon and rather watch or chase the balloon from the ground.  Watching the balloon inflate may be exciting enough for some. Flying passengers is always at the discretion of the owner or pilot of the balloon.   


Shopping the internet for a balloon ride? Then please read this warning about balloon ride scams:

There are only a small handful of balloonist in the Eastern Nebraska/Western Iowa region.  Within a two hour drive of Omaha, you can count the number of legitimate commercial balloon pilots on one hand. Unfortunately, there are a number of national hot air balloon scams which claim to be balloon operators in any given city across the country including Omaha,  Lincoln and Des Monies. These operators take your money and then hope to find a local pilot to give you a flight. No local pilots are known to currently be working  with these national rides sales organizations. To avoid being scammed, always deal directly with the owner/pilot of the balloon.  Be suspicious of national or non-local phone numbers.  Always ask to speak with the pilot directly.  In most cases if it is not the pilot or their spouse answering the phone in the first place, you are dealing with a national ride broker.  We don't want to see anybody scammed. Even if you do not want to fly with Emerald City, please contact us and we will refer you to legitimate commercial pilots in the area. 


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