Connecticut Hot Air Balloon Ride with Aer Blarney Balloons In a few sentences, tell our readers the history and experience of Aer Blarney Balloons.

“We have been in business since 1996 and we take an Uncharted Course Where the Destination is Irrelevant and the Experience is everything!!” Give us a profile or examples of the people or groups who have taken rides in your balloons during the past year.

We fly all walks of life from individuals looking to do something special to large groups and corporate outings.  We have many people visiting the US that book a flight with us to enjoy the beauty of New England. What are some of the favorite views or vistas from the basket of your balloon flights?

It all depends on the weather, on a clear day we can see the New York City skyline, the beautiful views of the Litchfield Hills including our personal favorite the Berkshires.  The view below our basket in the area we fly over is quintessential New England old villages and farms. Describe an amazing or special experience you have shared with your passengers during a flight.

One of my favorites, a couple years after we made a donation for a child battling cancer, we were getting ready to take off from Stowe Vermont, when this woman approaches me and thanks me for the donation that was made previous, we exchanged hugs and I told her it was very unusual that you receive an update after making a donation and that it was greatly appreciated.  My wife to be at the time whispered in my ear can you take her little boy along for the flight.   I said yes and before Karen could ask his mom he was over the side of the basket standing at my side, we had a great flight and had post flight reception with landowner in the fields on their farm.  The boy’s mom followed along in the retrieve vehicle with my wife and had a nice chat the entire way.  At the end of the experience the woman could not thank us enough for taking her son for a flight and that it was often hard to do something special with her children individually and this was an awesome unexpected experience.  At this time we learned that she ran an Irish bakery in Boston and offered to make two traditional Irish Groomsman cakes for our wedding a year later.   Well the year came and went along with the arrival of two beautiful cakes decorated with Celtic designs as a thank you and this story holds a special place in our hearts and ballooning. Do you offer any “special rides” or “featured tours” during ballooning season? What do they feature?

We do offer special rides, Mile High Club, private champagne charts and winter wonderland flights.  Flying in the winter is a little cooler but just as spectacular, with the snow and crisp winter mornings.  We only have a few takers per season. Do you have special activities for your passengers, either before, after, or during flights?

We offer a champagne reception post flight to carry on the tradition started back in the 1700’s.  We server homemade baked goods, cheese, crackers, and fresh fruits along with a champagne toast or sparkling cider. Do features or activities of your balloon rides vary by season? How?

The features change with the seasons and that’s way flying year round has something special in each season, in the spring its awesome to watch mother nature turning things green and leafs beginning to grow and flowers blooming, over the summer we watch the crops grow and change as we move through the summer, than in late fall we patiently watch as the greens change into bright yellows to vibrant reds, the leaves transform, showing their rich and vibrant hues.  The winter is beautiful with snow capped hills, and fields, there is very little ground cover so we often see more wildlife. I know, from experience, that wind and weather play a big role in whether balloon rides launch as scheduled and that everything is done to avoid inconvenience. However, if a flight has to be canceled on the day scheduled what earthly activities do you recommend in the general area of your balloon rides?

If you don’t like the weather just wait a minute in New England because it’s sure to change.  In our main flying locations, were are very fortunate to Woodbury Antique trails, several great restaurants and local wineries to name a few choices.   In the Litchfield area we have historic village which is full of shops and restaurants and White Memorial nature preserve and multiple wineries.   Our newest flying area of Canaan CT / Great Barrington Mass, there are plenty of outdoor activities (hiking, biking, and skiing), excellent shopping in the town square, antiques and just exploring the beauty of the Berkshires…  It doesn’t get more relaxing. Is there anything else you would like to tell folks about the ballooning experience or your company?

The weather, the weather the weather, ballooning is a fair weather activity and requires the proper conditions.    We do our best to temper our guest’s enthusiasm with practical safety which is our greatest challenge.  We only fly when the weather conditions are within our safety standards.  We do encourage our guests to schedule morning flights because the weather is more predictable but will schedule afternoons for those guests who are not early risers with the understanding that afternoon conditions have a higher rate reschedules.

Special thanks to Mr. Mick Murphy, owner of Aer Blarney Balloons, for his informative interview

P.S. By Jeff L. of What’s not to like about a hot air balloon company that describes itself (on its homepage) thusly:

Aer Blarney Balloons, LLC features New England’s premier non-direction airline. We take an Uncharted Course Where the Destination is Irrelevant and the Experience is everything!!