Is 1-800-SKY-RIDE a SkyScam?

There are hundreds of reputable balloon ride companies worldwide, such as us at Aurora Balloon Company. They range from small single balloon part time operations to large companies flying in multiple cities.

In the US, there is a company who has been selling gift certificates for both balloon rides and skydiving for several years, even though, to our knowledge, they do not own or operate any commercial balloon ride operations themselves.

The company is known as 1-800-SKY-RIDE, and they operate hundreds of websites that give the impression each is run by a local company, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT!!

You'll see the sites are nearly identical, even the "testimonials". They all list the same phone numbers:
800-585-5555 or 800-761-5867.

As far as ballooning goes, their business model appears to be to sell gift certificates for balloon rides, then pay a local ride company after the certificate holder takes their ride. At first glance this doesn't seem to be bad, but talk within the ballooning and skydiving communities paints a very different picture.

Several balloonists throughout the USA report SkyRides certificate holders calling to schedule a ride, when the company does not accept SkyRides Certificates. The balloon company owners report that the certificate holders were given the local company's name and phone number as accepting them.

Stories from unhappy customers can be found on the internet. Here's one from someone who tried to fly in Minnesota while on vacation. The author explains the run-around they got: Unhappy 1-800-SKY-RIDE customer

SkyRides has upset much of the skydiving community, too. SkyDive Arizona filed suit against the principals of 1-800-SKY-RIDE, alleging violations of federal law prohibiting false designations of origin, false or misleading descriptions of fact, and false or misleading representations of fact in commercial advertising. According to the complaint, the named defendants misrepresent the nature, characteristics, qualities, and geographic origin of their services and commercial activities. The complaint also alleges claims of consumer deception, unfair competition, and trademark infringement.

Read more about the SkyRides Lawsuit. has detailed the company's alleged practices here.

Other complaints on 1-800-Sky-Ride:

Be sure you know who you are dealing with when you buy a balloon ride gift certificate. We present the above information to help consumers make a smart buying decision.

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