Hot Air Balloon Ride in Luxor?

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Feb 16th, 2010, 10:23 AM
  #21
 
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Who told you that Hod Hod did not include ground transport? Someone from your tour company or from Sinbad? It figures.

Of course they include ground transport. How else would you get there? Good Grief! And their price is $150. And yes, IF you are hurt they will cover you in a currency you can use at home. The others pay in LE so guess where you will have all your medical care at if something happens?

I am glad you had a good time and it was safe.
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Feb 16th, 2010, 07:37 PM
  #22
 
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Casual Cairo,
No, that was from the pound 40 that I chose to mention because I thought people here should know that this is possible. Do you realize how inexpense that is? About US $80.
But in getting this from the center of the city (Luxor -- a tip a couple of people gave) that particular cheaper amount didn't include ground transport - you had to get your own.

Why would you assume that Sindbad told me such a thing? Or my tour company? I didn't even have to *mention* Hod Hod at all, but I read about it on Trip Advisor and thought it was interesting for people here rather than just saying "Sindbad" !

But I didn't want to give the good without also adding that the persons had to also get ground transport but it would still be cheaper than the $163 we paid for the excursion. And it's nice to know you can book even when there rather than before (though it's safest, to secure a place, to do so before).

We didn't book our flights until the day before though, as it just came up probably because they lifted the ban 2 days before.
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Feb 18th, 2010, 10:50 AM
  #23
 
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Just to check I will send your post to the admin people at Hod Hod and get their reaction to the statement that they sell a balloon flight without providing transportation to it. It just surprises me that anyone would say that, because to me, it seems insane that any balloon company might do that, and HOPE that the people are able to get to the take off point by themselves in time for the flight to take off? It makes much more sense to keep all your customers together and make sure they get to the balloon on time. Does that sound odd to anyone else that has ever flown in Luxor? I mean, as a tourist it would probably be difficult, at best, to figure out at 5 a.m. how to get across the river, much less find out exactly where to go? Or is it that easy now, that they all fly out of the same place? If it is true, that must be the reason - but I'm going to verify it just so I know next time.
Thanks for inciting me to research this more.
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Feb 18th, 2010, 05:01 PM
  #24
 
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Casual Cairo,
Sure, but I don't think you read that this was when people went to Hod Hod in central Luxor city and ordered a balloon trip there for only 40 pounds. That's like $80.

It was a tip written on a travel discussion area about how to get the trips with a good company at a good rate at the last minute when IN Luxor.

Remember, the flights are about $150 right now (we paid $163) and that includes the boat ride and vehicle getting us to the balloon flight area.

- Andrys
http://www.pbase.com/andrys/egypt_jordan
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Feb 19th, 2010, 10:56 AM
  #25
 
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While I'm sure this comes too late to help darius2b, I just got back from a trip (with Sinbad). It was very nice, but frankly I don't know that I would do it if I had already done a balloon ride. Ride was pleasant enough, but the best parts of Luxor and the West Bank are seen from the ground and the air portion adds little to the experience. We did spot a few jackals, however (our guide told us they were wolves, but close examination on the zoom feature of my video told me otherwise).
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Feb 20th, 2010, 02:04 AM
  #26
 
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andrys,

I have checked with Hod Hod management and to the best of their knowledge their flights have NEVER been sold in the last 14 years without transport to and from the balloon.

If this is posted on Trip Advisor somewhere, it needs to be corrected as it is not possible. They ALWAYS pick up from the hotel or ship to transport you across the river. If you are in a West Bank Hotel, then there is transport provided from the dock on the river - west bank.

Can you figure out, or remember what thread was this posted on? They would very much like to get to the bottom of this rumor.

Just goes to show you that Trip Advisor, as reknowned as it is, has misinformation on it too.

FYI for all those reading this, it is not true of Hod Hod, according to Hod Hod. Also, it should be stated that it is their policy to:

... not pass passengers on to any other company.
... not fly passengers on behalf of any other balloon company.

Meaning if anyone thought (for any reason) you were flying with Hod Hod and you ended up with the t-shirt of another company, then you did not fly with Hod Hod. That may sound rediculous, but apperantly there has been some customer passing between some of the companies down in Luxor and this is happening. You might not know what balloon you are in if you can't see the name on the envelope of the balloon. They know each other by color, and the name is not always on the balloon.

Thank you.

andrys - any info you can give on this to get to the bottom of this is appreciated.
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Feb 24th, 2010, 08:26 AM
  #27
 
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Casual_Cairo,
It was more than one person reporting that you could go into town if you were staying in Luxor, to the company which they said was on Television Street (?) and buy the tickets cheaper, for around 40 British pounds if bargaining but that this price they got didn't include the ground transportation -- maybe for them if they were not at a regular hotel.

I haven't found time to even do the photos from November for 3 weeks, having done only about 2 days of them so far (I normally post photos for each area of a country), but if I come across the threads again I'll report back so that you could do any corrections. I realize you're saying that when people go to their offices and buy a trip for a lower amount, such as 40 pounds UK, that it never ever is done without transportation included. It made sense to me when I read that some said they had (and were very happy with their package).
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Feb 24th, 2010, 08:36 AM
  #28
 
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SDGlenn,
My own video of the ride over Luxor on Oct 30, 2009 linked previously in this thread was done with a zoom lens, so it is of course quite jerky. We were in a basket which holds about 20 people and there was not a lot of wind that would bring us closer to monuments -- we flew mainly over the fields.

I loved seeing the area from above, nevertheless, which includes the ability to see the amazing Queen Hatshepsut temple from a different angle altogether, though it'd have been nice if we'd been closer.

To get an idea of what a ride like that is like for others, there is a beautiful video at youtube from later in November 2009 taken by Christopher Boffoli from a balloon flying lower and closer to sites of tourist interest and I think anyone would enjoy seeing the video at least (about 6 minutes, from what I remember).

http://bit.ly/cjboffoli_flight

- Andrys
http://www.pbase.com/andrys
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Feb 24th, 2010, 10:09 AM
  #29
 
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I just used Hod-Hod Soliman last week for a balloon tour in Luxor. It was $148 USD per person cash. The balloon could hold 20 people total plus our pilot (Amr), but we only numbered 16 passengers, so we had a bit more breathing room. I ballooned in Cappadocia Turkey last August, and wondered how this flight would compare. I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy it so much, and it was completely different. The Turkey trip included lots of raising and lowering between the tufa chimneys, while the Luxor balloon stayed level most of the time, traveling over green Egyptian villages where you could see into their daily lives. The Luxor landing was perfectly smooth, setting down into a farmer's tilled field (in Turkey, we had an expert landing directly onto transport trailer). I would highly recommend Hod-Hod--their balloon seemed to travel the greatest distance from the takeoff site; other companies baloons stayed quite close to that site (and far behind us), which would have been disappointing because you wouldn't have flown over any villages or the colossi or temples (I think one was Ramesses). I wish that we had been able to actually fly over the Valley of the Kings, but none of the flights seem to include that. We got some great shots of Hateshput's Temple and the Colossi of Memnon, so it was completely worthwhile. Our flight included van pickup at our Luxor hotel, transportation to the boat dock in town, boat across the Nile (including morning coffee), van pickup on the other side of the Nile, and a T-shirt. A good deal, and I would definitely do it again. There were two flights the day we went up: the first pickup was at 5:15, and the second pickup at 6:15. The flight itself lasted about 50 minutes, with another two hours required for the transportation, safety briefing, etc.
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Feb 26th, 2010, 07:09 AM
  #30
 
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did the balloon ride in luxor 2 years ago found it very enjoyable there is nothing like seeing the valley of the kings in dawns early light, the only down side is the cost but if you shop around you can usually get a decent discount, my wife and i got 2 for the price of one and our pilot was great he helped train richard branson or so our tour guide told us(dont know how true it was but he sure knew what he was doing)
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Feb 26th, 2010, 12:30 PM
  #31
 
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< It was more than one person reporting that you could go into town if you were staying in Luxor, to the company which they said was on Television Street (?) and buy the tickets cheaper, for around 40 British pounds if bargaining but that this price they got didn't include the ground transportation -- maybe for them if they were not at a regular hotel.>>

Hod Hod reports to me that

"Magic Horizon took over our old office as the owner of Magic owns the building.
That's at the bottom of TV street and they do sell for £40 direct.
Also I think that Sindebad have their office in a street off TV street,"

Since Hod Hod is not directly on Television street, do you think maybe they meant Magic? or Sindbad?
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Feb 28th, 2010, 03:02 AM
  #32
 
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Casual,
If Magic Horizon not only took over Hod Hod's old office and owns the building besides (at the bottom of TV street) and they do sell trips for £40 direct, that's almost surely them. And explains a lot.

The people would have meant to go to Hod Hod's but not realized that the hot air balloon trip office was now run by another company, which is why they would have mentioned Hod Hod's anyway. They probably thought they were associated.

There were at least two notes recommending the place and the great price.

Thanks for getting this further report. Really helped.
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Mar 2nd, 2010, 03:37 AM
  #33
 
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I finally put up the still-photos of the balloon-trip that I was on, showing what it's like from start to finish. Half are camera photos and half are stills from the video I took with the camera.

We were in a balloon that didn't travel far for lack of the right wind conditions, I guess, but it was fun anyway, and my zoom helped me see more.

If interested, they're at http://bit.ly/hotairballooningphotos

- Andrys
http://www.pbase.com/andrys/egypt_jordan
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Jan 13th, 2013, 03:46 PM
  #34
 
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Dear Casual, Magic took over Hod Hod office a few years ago and there is no way of mistaking it for the Hod Hod office as it has their balloon's poster outside the building. The office Hod Hod is working from now is still closer to TV street then the Magic Office so i think these reports stated by Andrys are more likely to be true about Hod Hod ... As for Sindbad we were offered a flight with them for £25each ! In 2008 we flew with Hod Hod and in 2011 we flew with Magic Horizon ... both were great trips.
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Jan 13th, 2013, 11:14 PM
  #35
 
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FYI - This is a VERY old string. Do not rely on prices quoted here to be good today. Check with the company you want to use and they will tell you want prices are today.

IMHO - I wouldn't fly with any one but Hod Hod because of their attention to detail and safety concerns that I don't see evidence of, from the others. I do not live in Luxor, but have flown 3 times over the years I've been in Egypt and feel extremely safe and confident with Hod Hod.
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Jan 14th, 2013, 04:41 AM
  #36
 
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I have been told that all the Balloon comp's sell for the same price now ... a new system set up by the Civil Aviation Authority in Egypt. I have flown with 'Magic Horizon Balloons' as do alot of the Britsh tour opperators and Magic has passed British standerd Health and Safety inspections. How can Casual say she does not see evidance of 'attention to detail and safety concerns' with the others .... ALL of the Balloon comp's go through very strict inspections by both Egyption and British Inspectors. So i think it is unfair to make such remarks. The whole of Egypt is trying to stand up on its feet again after the recent events. So the last thing the tourist industry needs is to have someone like 'Casual' telling people attractions such as the Hot Air Balloon's are not safe unless you fly with her friends Hod Hod......
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Jan 14th, 2013, 12:12 PM
  #37
 
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You've been told a person can fly with Sinbad today for 25GBP? By who? I hope to be in Luxor later this month, I'll check it out and let you know.
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Jan 14th, 2013, 12:18 PM
  #38
 
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What the tourist industry does need is to NOT HAVE ANY FURTHER ACCIDENTS due to neglect or cutting corners because of low costs to attract customers. I think my stating that one balloon company has an exemplarily safety record is NOT a bad thing.
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Jan 14th, 2013, 03:30 PM
  #39
 
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NO Casual not today for £25 with Sindbad but back in 2011. How are you SO sure this one comp has such a good safety record and the others don't ????? Are you questioning the Egyption Aviation Auth. who inspects and then gives the green light for these comp's to fly....I am sure the Aviation Auth. know what they are doing! Any way Casual have fun in Egypt.
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Jan 15th, 2013, 02:37 AM
  #40
 
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I'm sorry, I thought when you said "I have been told that all the Balloon comp's sell for the same price now ... " this comment was in reply to my saying to be careful about prices quoted herein, and I suggested people check current prices, not expect quoted prices here to be good.
The most recent quoted price was the 25GBP price you gave on Jan 14th.
If it is true that they all sell for the same price now, people still need to verify what that number is, and not take prices quoted here as any scale for what they might find these days. Do we agree on that fact?
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