Ugh. You’re either reading this because you received news that your hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia has been cancelled or because you have a hunch that it might be. I’ve been in the second situation myself and miraculously scraped by with being able to take the balloon ride. In this article, I’ll pass along the insight I learned from asking many locals about everything related to hot air balloon cancellations in Cappadocia.
Accessible Travel Note: Hot air balloons in Cappadocia aren’t wheelchair accessible but we’ve put together a great resource on 10 Accessible Things to do in Cappadocia, including an accessible lookout point for watching the balloons.
The Bottom Line
I can feel your worried eyes through this post, so let’s start with the end; hot air balloons in Cappadocia are cancelled due to weather. This happens rather frequently and is for your own safety.
If your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride has already been cancelled, that’s a final, unchangeable decision. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to miss out on your tour altogether.
We’ll get into the specifics of this shortly, but since we’re discussing bottom lines here, your take-away is this: If you have more nights booked in Cappadocia or can change your plans so that you spend more nights there, it’s likely that you’ll be able to take your hot air balloon ride.
The rundown on Cappadocia hot air balloon cancellations
Now, we’ll go back to the beginning. This post is designed in Q & A format so that you can quickly scroll to areas that interest you most. If you read this entire post, you should come away understanding the whys behind hot air balloon cancellations in Cappadocia and the workarounds.
Who decides if hot air balloons will be cancelled?
The Civil Aviation Directorate decides if hot air balloons rides in Cappadocia will be cancelled as a result of poor weather conditions. They may feel like an enemy at the time of their decision, but their purpose is to ensure your safety.
What kinds of weather conditions cause cancellations?
Hot air balloon tours in Cappadocia will automatically be cancelled if the wind is stronger than 10 kilometers per hour. The balloons also won’t operate in rain, fog, snow, or stormy weather.
Do some companies run hot air balloon tours when others cancel?
No. Hot air balloon agencies in Cappadocia must be registered and all are supervised by the Civil Aviation Directorate. Therefore, if the Civil Aviation Directorate determines that the weather is unfit for hot air balloon tours, not a single agency is allowed to run that day.
An exception to this is if your hot air balloon company cancels your reservation for reasons other than the weather. This is rare but could be for reasons of accidental overbooking or a balloon needing repair, among others.
How far in advance will I know if my Cappadocia hot air balloon ride has been cancelled?
If the weather forecast is undoubtably bleak, you could find out that Cappadocia hot air balloons rides are cancelled the day before your tour. In some cases, you may even find out days before your tour.
If the weather is looking iffy, you’ll likely find out whether or not your tour has been cancelled in the wee hours of the morning. However, it’s also possible that you could be all strapped up in your hot air balloon, ready to fly, and word could come in from the Civil Aviation Directorate banning flights from taking off.
Note: It’s common for hot air balloon prices to be higher if you book your ride when you arrive in Cappadocia and there was a weather cancellation the day before. Read our guide on Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price Hacks to avoid paying more than you should.
Is there a time of year when cancellations are more frequent?
Hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia tend to get cancelled more frequently during the months of December – March. The reason? Stronger wind is more common during these months. The summer months of June, July, and August typically have the fewest weather cancellations. However, hot air balloon cancellations in Cappadocia are common and happen year-round.
Note: It’s common for hot air balloon prices to be higher if you book your ride when you arrive to Cappadocia and there was a weather cancellation the day before. Read our guide on
How many days out of the year do hot air balloons typically run?
According to this handy dandy sheet, hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia run approximately 280 – 300 days of the year. In other words, on average, flights are cancelled 65 – 85 days of the year.
Do hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia get cancelled multiple days in a row?
Yes. It’s quite common, and there are two ways this can happen.
- If the weather forecast shows undeniably bad weather in the days ahead, the Civil Aviation Directorate will announce a multi-day cancellation upfront.
- If the weather looks on the verge of being bad in the upcoming days, the Civil Aviation Directorate will make a decision on whether or not the hot air balloon tours will run on a day-to-day basis.
In my personal situation, I was faced with option #2. I spent three nights in Cappadocia and each day showed the wind hovering at the 9 kilometers per hour mark. With a stroke of luck, the wind on all three mornings was exactly 9 km/hr.
Are there fees to transfer my tour to a new date if my hot air balloon ride is cancelled?
No. If your hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is cancelled, the agency you book through, assuming that it’s a legitimate agency, will offer you the option to re-book your tour on a different day for no extra fees.
Travel Tip: Book your hot air balloon ride for your first full morning in Cappadocia and spend a minimum of three nights there. This way, if your hot air balloon ride gets cancelled, you have two more mornings as a backup.
Do I get a refund if my hot air balloon ride is cancelled?
Yes. Any reputable hot air balloon agency in Cappadocia will offer the option to transfer your reservation to another day or give you a full refund if your tour gets cancelled as a result of the weather.
On the off chance you’re reading this as you research Cappadocia in general, make sure you understand how your agency would handle a cancellation before booking your tour.
Will I have priority for space on the next tour if my balloon ride gets cancelled?
No. This is because tour companies can’t remove people with reservations after the date that you were supposed to take your original flight. In other words, if you move your reservation to a new date as a result of weather-related cancellations, you can only do so on dates when availability permits.
Is it possible that tours could be full in the days after my cancelled balloon ride?
Yes, although it’s usually not a problem in the spring, fall, and winter. However, if you’ll be traveling during the summer, particularly during the months of June – August, it’s very possible that there won’t be any space on the hot air balloons in the days after your cancelled flight.
Another item affecting availability on flights is the weather in the days before your tour was cancelled. If there were cancellations the day before- or especially two or more days- before your tour, you’ll be competing for space with other tourists who are trying to re-book their flights.
My morning Cappadocia hot air balloon tour was cancelled. Can I take it in the Afternoon?
No. There’s a reason that the hot air balloons in Cappadocia only run at sunrise- the wind picks up as the day goes on! For this reason, you’ll see a few straggler hot air balloons in the air until mid-morning at the latest, most of which are for private or smaller group tours that run longer than the usual one hour. After this, the sky in Cappadocia will be hot air balloon-free until the next morning.
Does Cappadocia always have hot air balloons?
Yes, Cappadocia always has hot air balloons. But as you now know, whether or not these balloons operate depends on the weather.
In case you’re reading this before you’ve booked your ride…
Check out the video below for a two-minute overview on how to secure the cheapest price for your hot air balloon ride.
We want to hear from you!
Leave a comment and tell us about your own experience with your Cappadocia hot air balloon ride cancellation or close call to having your flight cancelled. The more details the better- your fellow Cappadocia readers who stumble upon this page will appreciate it.
Wishing you the best of luck with taking your hot air balloon tour!
P.S.- Don’t miss our guide on What to Expect From Your Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride. We cover everything from what to wear to what happens if your camera falls out of the balloon. Also, check out our resource on Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Price Hacks.
Laura has been wandering the globe for over a decade. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.