|Can I purchase a ticket or gift card and give it to someone else?|
Yes. Remember, tickets have a 6 month expiration date. Gift cards never expire (the dollar amount is good forever). The gift card dollar amount can be applied to any ride. Cards can only be redeemed for rides and merchandise. Discounts do not apply to Gift Cards. Gift cards are non-refundable. You must present your gift card at time of ride. Lost gift cards will not be replaced.
Do tickets and gift cards expire? What is the refund policy?
Tickets are good for 6 months. Tickets have a 14-day refund policy. All ticket refunds are subject to a 10% service fee. Beyond 14 days of purchase, there are no refunds for any reason. Gift cards are non-refundable. Gift card dollar amounts do not expire and are transferable. You must present your gift card at time of flight. Lost cards will not be replaced. There are no refunds or reschedules for "no shows" and for cancellations with less than the required 24 hours notice. We will reschedule your ride if there is a cancellation due to bad weather. We make the determination about flying conditions. If we are flying and you do not show for your ride, we consider the flight flown.
Do I need a PayPal account to buy a ticket or gift card?
No. Our shopping cart checkout allows you to use your PayPal account or a credit card if you do not have, or choose not to use, a PayPal account. You can sign up for PayPal at checkout if you want, but it is not required.
How do I schedule a flight?
Call 800-759-5667 during regular business hours (10am to 5pm on Tuesday-Sunday).
If you're taking a Fly/Dine flight, we'll make reservations for you at Island Prime restaurant on Harbor Island in San Diego.
When do you fly?
Our biplane flights are available Tuesday through Sunday from about 11am until sunset. We are closed Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Our on-time performance is better than most airlines, but due to circumstances beyond our control, all departure and flight times are approximate, and flights may be slightly longer (no one ever seems to complain about that!) due to air traffic or other circumstances beyond our control.
Are there any scheduling or cancellation restrictions?
Because we're often booked and have to turn away customers, we require a minimum of 24 hours notice for canceling or rescheduling a biplane ride, cadet/discovery flight or air combat.
A 100% penalty applies to cancellations without required notice. That means no rescheduling or refunds.
Do I have to sign a waiver to fly?
Yes. All passengers are required to sign a short waiver. Passengers under 18 years old must have their waiver co-signed by a parent/guardian.
Can you help me keep a flight a secret?
You betcha. We can be real stealthy when we need to be. Just let us know.
How many people will fit? It looks like your biplane holds 2 passengers plus a pilot. I thought those old biplanes only held one person plus the pilot?
The most common vintage biplane around is called a Stearman which was used as a trainer in WWII and, yup, it only carries one passenger. Our 3-place Travel Air biplanes bear a strong resemblance to a 2-place Stearman because ol' Lloyd Stearman himself actually designed them before he designed the famous WWII trainers. In our planes 2 passengers sit side-by-side in the front cockpit (first class) and the pilot flies from the rear cockpit (coach). But keep in mind, some sizes and shapes may not fit if two of you want to fly together.
Can people with physical challenges fly with you?
Generally, yes. We're willing to try if you are. We've had folks that are blind and deaf fly with us, and we've helped paraplegics and quadriplegic find a way to make it work. We have had chronologically, gravitationally, and geographically challenged people fly with us too. We enjoy sharing the fun with everyone, if we possibly can, and if you'll be patient and give us some warning that you'll need a little extra help we'll do everything we can.
In the biplanes you'll need to be able to get up on a wing that's about two feet above the ground and then into the cockpit through a narrow door which is another foot or so above the wing. Our pilots and ground crew can help some, but they aren't Charles Atlas or Rambo.
Give us a call at 1-800-759-5667 and discuss your needs with us. If we can figure out a way, we sure will.
Are there any age, size or weight restrictions?
If you're going on a biplane ride, two large people will fit, although first class seating in a 1920s biplane is cozier than coach seats in modern airliners. Climbing in the biplane takes a bit of dexterity; you don't need to be a gymnast but you do need to be able to get up on a narrow section of wing that's about two feet above the ground and then into the cockpit through a narrow door which is another foot or so above the wing. Let us know if you're over 400 lbs. combined and we'll help you figure out if you'll fit. As for age we've flown with youngsters from 2 to 102.
How should we dress?
If it's chilly we have some toasty warm flight jackets if you need them. If you're going on an open cockpit biplane ride dress as if you were going for a ride on a motorcycle or in convertible. We'll provide the helmet and headset. There's no heat or air conditioning--but we have a big fan that works great! Air combat, Cadet flights are in an enclosed cockpit airplanes so no extra layers are needed...if anything it tends to be warm, not cool.
What if only one person rides in the biplane?
It costs the same to operate the aircraft and pay the pilot with one or two passengers on board, so the price is the same.
Is it scary?
In the biplane we'll give you a gentle, level ride described by one reporter as "like a ride in a convertible but with a better view" unless you specifically ask for some excitement. Some folks have said they're afraid of heights, but no worries...believe it or not so are a few of our pilots. Fact is, most people are afraid of edges not heights. In our aircraft you're surrounded by the cockpit and wings and there's none of that "on the edge looking down" sensation at all.
If you want a few thrills we can definitely start your heart pumpin', however loops, rolls, and spins are prohibited by the FAA without a parachute, so we don't go upside down in the biplanes. But nobody has ever complained that the lazy-eights, chandelles, and "wifferdills" that we can do aren't thrilling enough. Just be sure to tell the pilot you want more or less of whatever he's doing. Hold your hat Granny!
By the way, it's best not to come hungry. Put something in your stomach before you fly. Try bananas if you think you'll get queasy (they look and taste the same coming up as they do going down). And by all means, don't go out on a bender the night before your flight. It's the surest way we know to guarantee you'll blow chunks (that's an aviation technical term).
Is it safe?
Safety is the only thing that takes priority over fun here. After all, it ain't fun if it ain't safe. All our pilots are FAA Certified Commercial Pilots. Most are also Certified Flight Instructors. And many of our pilots are either active-duty military pilots or airline pilots.
All our maintenance is performed by FAA certified Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics and the aircraft are inspected by FAA Authorized Inspectors (AI). If you see us working on our planes be reassured. Entropy being what it is (Nature's tendency to disorder), the aircraft you need to worry about are the ones that aren't worked on.
In the end, we try to make this as safe as we can, but everything in life has some risk associated with it. You have to be the judge of what's an acceptable risk, and you did just that when you got out of bed this morning, didn't put on your seatbelt in the car, or bought a lottery ticket.
In any event, we reserve the right to cancel, shorten, or alter any flight for your (and our own) safety.
Are you insured?
By the way, did you know that while most good flight schools carry insurance, they do not carry sightseeing insurance because it's very expensive. If they take you for a hop and say with a wink they'll call it flight instruction or an introductory flight, it isn't. It's sightseeing. And if something happens their insurance will not cover them (or you).
If you choose to fly with someone other than us, be sure they're covered for sightseeing. Also, drug and alcohol testing is required for sightseeing pilots, but not required for flight instructors, oddly. Also, sightseeing flights must takeoff and land at the same airport and stay within 25 miles. If somebody is willing to take you farther, or is willing to drop you off someplace they're guilty of a flight violation and their insurance will not cover you. Ask yourself what other regulations they're willing to ignore.
Will I have to sign a waiver?
While we're very proud of our safety record, we've succumbed to the trend of requiring customers to sign a waiver of liability if you want to have fun in California--you'll even have to sign one at a nearby spa before a massage too! An adult's signature is required for passengers under 18 years old. If you're a lawyer and think you know more than ours, lets us know if you want a copy to review before you reserve your flight. If you show up for you flight and refuse to sign it you will be charged for the flight just like any one else that doesn't fly with a previously guaranteed reservation.
Ah, for the good old days when people took responsibility for their own actions, and did what was right. You ever notice that now days everything is somebody else's fault?
Are we limited to flying your standard routes?
Nosireee Bob! With some exceptions, we can go wherever you want in the time you have on your flight. Be sure to tell the pilot what you want even if it's on our standard route. If you want to fly over something/someone they must be within 25 miles of our airport, and you can figure it will take about as long to get there as it would in a car. (Heck, the cars on Interstate 5 often go faster than the biplanes!)
There's nothing standard about this business (except government regulations--and we generally exceed those) so you're welcome to tell us where to go. Lots of people do. With some limitations (such as national security, weather, and places where Marines shot big guns) we can go wherever you want in the time you have on your flight. Be sure to tell the pilot where you want to go and whether you want a gentle or thrilling ride. BTW, these decisions have to be unanimous. If you want to fly over something/someone it/they must be within 25 miles of our airport, and you can figure it will take about as long to get there as it would in a car. (Heck, the cars on Interstate 5 often go faster than the biplanes!)
You're pilot is the ultimate authority on your flight and may need to alter the standard route due to weather, safety, your bathroom habits, or other concerns (a visit from Air Force One, for example).
Can we bring cameras?
By all means bring a camera (or you phone). Panoramic one-use cameras are perfect. If you have a fancy camera, wide angle lenses work better than telephoto. Newer, smaller video-cameras fit better than older, bigger ones. Don't forget film, video tape, hard drives and charged batteries! And hang on to it tight so you don't drop it!
Can I tip the pilot?
While most of our pilots are pretty stable, if you push hard enough you might be able to tip them. (We don't recommend trying it with any of our Marines, though.) But seriously folks, tipping is certainly not expected, but many of our customers are so tickled by their flight they just can't resist a small contribution to each pilot's ICCC (Ice Cream & Cheese Crackers) Fund - a favorite barnstormer lunch, usually consumed in that order. In fact, several of our pilots are trying to keep real groceries on the table for their families with our meager pay, so your contribution is always appreciated...but, as we said...never expected.
What are your weather minimums?
For biplane rides we need clouds above about 1500 feet and visibility better than 3 miles. But please, don't no-show for your flight because you think the weather isn't good enough. We've been doing it longer than you have and we know what's fun and safe. If we're flying and you don't come out, you're flight will be treated as flown. Besides, we'll worry about you.
What if the weather is bad?
Please call to confirm your flight just before you need to leave the house or hotel. Even if it's nice where you are, we occasionally get some coastal fog that wafts in and out over the airport. And visa versa. Just because it's cloudy or rainy where you are doesn't mean it is where we are. That's why they call our neck of the woods a micro-climate.
Thanks to Sunny Diego's beautiful weather we seldom have to make last minute changes, but your pilot has the authority to cancel a flight, change a route, or shorten the duration due to weather. In such a case, you'll only be charged for the time you fly. In case of forecast inclement weather, and if our crystal ball is working really well, we'll call you to see if you want to cancel or reschedule--either way, there's no charge.
In any event, we get to make the decision about the weather. After 20 years doing this we know what is fun and safe. If you decide not to come out and we're flying, your flight will be treated as flown. All of which is a fancy way of saying we're gonna charge your card--that's what a guaranteed reservation is all about: we promise you'll have a seat on the plane and you promise to pay us for making it available.
What can I do with an expired ticket?
Keep it as a reminder to work on your anti-procrastination skills. Use it as a fossil fuel alternative. Line your kitty's litter box with it. Seriously folks, just like the airlines, when your ticket is expired it's expired; it's an ex-ticket, a former ticket, a valueless scrap of paper. A note from yo mama, your doctor, or your lawyer won't change our mind. All tickets expire 6 months from date of purchase. You must use it before it expires.
Remember, all tickets purchased in advance are refundable for 14 days. Beyond 14 days of purchase, there are no refunds for any reason. Expired tickets are well beyond the refund period.
Who am I talking to when I call?
Not some call center. You most likely will be talking to the owners or the dispatcher. We try to get to the phones before your call goes to voicemail, but sometimes we can't. We promise to call you back as soon as possible.
How do I pass on comments or suggestions?
If you had a great time on one of our flights, we'd love to know. If you had an even slightly bad experience, we really want to know that too. Just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-SKY-LOOP.
How can I reach the owners?
The best way to reach us directly is via e-mail at email@example.com. Or, call 800-759-5667.
Can I rent your hangar for a party?
Sorry. We do not have a hangar suitable for parties at this time.
Do you allow group events?
Yes. Call 1-800-759-5667 ext. 2 for a quote. We've entertained dozens of companies including Lexus, Mazda, Ford (including their president), Pfizer, TransAmerica Insurance (including their CEO and Board members), the Discovery Channel, Sprint, Merck, Microsoft, YPO, Pepsi, and many others.
We had so much fun on our flight we'd love to help pass the word. How can we help?
Word of mouth advertising is our best source of business (not to mention cheapest). We'd be happy to send a whole stack of brochures for you to give to friends, family, and even total strangers. And we wouldn't mind one bit if you posted a note in an appropriate on-line forum, nominating us for a "best of" award, posted a review on Facebook.com/Barnstorming Adventures, TripAdvisor.com or similar web site. Thanks!
Do you accept certificates from 800SKYRIDE?
No. They have proven to be too much trouble to work with.
Call 1-800-SKY-LOOP (1-800-759-5667)