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Gentle Breeze Hot Air Balloon Rides Blog

Champagne After A Flight?

Laurie Givin - Monday, March 09, 2015

There is a long standing tradition in ballooning that after the flight the passengers and crew have a reception and enjoy some Champagne. There is actually a reason behind this that dates back to the 1780s, when the first balloon flights were staged. 

As hot air balloons became a fad, French aristocracy soon learned that local farmers didn’t much like rich people setting balloons down on their land. 

The aristocracy said the peasants were afraid because they thought the balloons looked like dragons, but while the smoke that powered early balloons may have appeared dragon-like, it seems more likely that the farmers didn’t want hot air balloons crushing their crops. 

On one of the first successfully manned balloon flights, the pilots carried along a bottle of champagne to enjoy on the flight but instead of actually drinking it, they had to use it as an offer to goodwill to the farmers whose field their balloon had landed in. The champagne convinced the farmers that they were not in fact demons and acted as an apology for disturbing the land and animals grazing in the field. 

In any case, champagne smoothed things over, and a tradition was born. The crew and passengers will meet back at the startup point and throughout the certificate presentation and picture viewing, will enjoy champagne.

Book your flight with us & enjoy a champagne toast to celebrate!

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