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Review of Balloon Over Napa Sonoma - CLOSED

Balloon Over Napa Sonoma
Attraction details
Reviewed 20 August 2012

We purchased 2 balloon + wine limo tours through Living Social in April 2012. We scheduled our trip for August 19. We received a confirmation call in July, telling us where to meet (some random parking lot at an RV park) and when (5:30 AM). We received an email shortly after, telling us to meet at 6:30 instead. First red flag.
We had not received any more communication from anyone at the "company", and when we tried to call the phone number to confirm, it went straight to voicemail, with directions to go to the website (which was down) or to email (which they have not responded to). The voicemail box was full (of irate messages, no doubt). I found a different number based on Washington state online, and was able to leave a message there, but I still haven't heard back.
We showed up on time before dawn, and we found 20 other people in the parking lot, similar voucher holders, but no limo, no pilot, no balloon, and no representative from the company whatsoever. No one had heard anything from the company in weeks. Everyone had the same story: no answer from the phone, website down. We stayed until 7AM. No one showed up.
We managed to get Living Social to return the money we paid for the vouchers, so kudos to them, I guess. I'm still out the $56 I paid to the company for "taxes and fees", as well as the $230 we paid for the hotel the night before.
Do an internet search for "balloon wine tour scam" and you'll see that this situation is not unusual. I guess I (and probably hundreds if not thousands of others) were fooled into thinking that because Living Social or Groupon had put their name behind this company, they would be reputable. Lesson learned.

10  Thank Brewsterman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (14)
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8 - 12 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2012

I purchased 2 living social deals for a balloon ride. We booked a hotel to stay overnight and at 1030 pm the night before I got a text message saying our flight was cancelled. No explanation. I tried to call the company but the voice mail was full. Now I am trying to get a refund from Living Social because I don't want to drive the 2 hrs it takes to get there only to be told that the trip was cancelled. I am still waiting to hear from Living Social. Hope to get my money back. And this balloon company charged me for fees, etc. I don't think they should have charged for anything unless you really get on that flight., which is not likely to happen. Beware, this is more aggravation than anything, waste of time, hotel money, and expensive gas!

6  Thank supernurserch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2012

Booked a balloon tour from this company via a Groupon deal a couple of months ago. We showed up at the pick up location where 20+ people waited for an hour (August 18, 2012). There was no pickup, the company's website seems dead (http://balloonwinetours.com/), the phone number goes straight to a voicemail with no way to leave a message. An email to support@balloonwinetours.com goes unanswered. We've basically been fleeced, and I suspect it's too late to even leave a bad review warning about the company since they've obviously skipped town with the money already.

6  Thank ec_on_the_road
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2012

I was very excited to book a Groupon deal for 2 to have a ballon ride and winery tour. We booked a room to stay overnight and woke up at "o'dark thirty" to meet at designated place and time of 0545. Unfortunately, due to fog we were not able to take our ride. I tried two more times to book my flight and each morning I arrived it was canceled due to bad weather. Now, I know people can not control the weather but here is my issue...

Why offer a Groupon to people during a timeframe that they must know has horrible odds of success- AND that has an expiration date, that ensures you will not be able to redeem during allotted time? If I had been familiar with that region's weather pattern, I would not have purchased it with such a short redeemable timeframe.
My other complaint is that the company is hard to reach and I was only able to reach them through emails that were of a slow response time.
The pilot and crew seemed nice but it was not worth all the aggravation and wasted sleep, time and gas to get turned away after 3 failed attempts.
Good news is Groupon refunded my money and now have Groupon bucks to spend elsewhere.

2  Thank RUBIRN93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 July 2012

Maybe its my lack of ballooning knowledge but my friends and I had an awesome time!!! Amazing way to start a day of tasting wines!

The balloon they fly is definitely bigger then some of the tiny ones we saw but it never felt cramped at all. We were all happy we got to go together! The pilot was very professional, funny and the equipment seemed well maintained. (BTW - the other balloons out that day went on the same exact route as us but actually landed much sooner!)

They were booked up on the day we originally wanted to go - but it was easy enough to find a different time which would work for us since this was really the reason we were headed up to Napa. The limo pick up was also a good addition.

The valley was absolutely stunning with fog just starting to lift - Definitely bring a camera with panoramic setting and sunglasses!

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

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