Balloon Ride Seal of Approval Benefits Consumers

Consumers can rely on the new Seal of Approval when shopping for balloon rides. Unique program helps identify legitimate providers throughout North America.

Dallas, TX, December 04, 2007 --( A ride in a hot air balloon is supposed to be a fun, memorable experience. Imagine floating silently above the earth, enjoying a breathtaking 360 degree view. It's on many people's "must do" list! Unfortunately, some would-be adventurers are left grounded by unscrupulous vendors who seem to only want their money.

The most common way of finding a balloon ride company is through an internet search. Unfortunately, there are dishonest companies who have set up hundreds of websites targeting adventure sports activities like balloon rides, sky diving, and driving race cars. Internet message boards and the Better Business Bureau are full of complaints from consumers who bought balloon rides through brokers or booking agencies and never got their rides.

Complaints generally involve the consumer not being able to get their flight for a myriad of reasons (no provider nearby, bogus weather cancellations, over booking), price switching (unexpected extra charges that were not revealed prior to purchase), and the inability to get a refund when the purchased ride never occurs.

The dishonest companies don't actually fly balloons. They call themselves "Booking Agencies" and claim to have a network of hundreds of providers where the customer can redeem their certificate. Some of these companies have been operating for years, using the internet to trick the public and take their money.

Authorities are often slow to react. After years of complaints, the Georgia Attorney General has finally filed a lawsuit against the owners of at least two companies based there. Even if the defendants lose, some expect them to simply start up again under different business names.

While complaints continue to stack up against these corrupt companies, they continue to operate by relying on slick websites with false claims and advertising in search engines. The challenge for consumers is to find reputable companies and avoid the opportunistic companies targeting them.

The most popular website for the sport of ballooning,, has long warned its visitors about the deceitful tactics of these agencies. The website also offers a directory of genuine balloon ride companies and has never listed companies that do not operate their own balloon flights. has just announced their Balloon Ride Seal of Approval. This new program is designed to help consumers determine when a website is operated by a real balloon company. The Balloon Ride Seal of Approval is only displayed by companies that operate their own flights. It is never awarded to brokers or ticket agencies.

Any website displaying the Seal can be verified simply by clicking on the seal. A Certificate of Approval is displayed if the company is an approved balloon ride company.

All approved balloon ride companies can be found in the balloon ride directory at

Details about the Balloon Ride Seal of Approval are at:

Jim Whitesell