Gone are the days of simple birthday parties with cupcakes and games like pin the tail on the donkey. Nowadays, parents are willing to spend an average of $400 on their child’s birthday party, according to a survey cited by USA Today’s Reviewed. And it seems that over-the-top celebrations featuring extreme experiences and high price tags are becoming increasingly popular. This trend has created a lucrative business opportunity for companies that offer party packages, and iFLY is one such company.
According to CEO Matt Ryan, “The majority of iFLY’s core customers are families looking for a great time or for a birthday party.” The company’s patented vertical wind tunnel provides the ultimate venue to celebrate a milestone. iFLY “delivers the dream of flight to everyone” over the age of three. It’s guaranteed to be a memorable experience for the honoree and guests alike. “For 25 years, iFLY has been focused on delivering an experience of putting a smile on the faces of kids, mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa,” said Ryan. “People get such huge satisfaction, they tell their friends, and that brings in [new] customers.”
A parent from Flemington, New Jersey reviewed iFLY online: “My husband and I took my daughter and friends to the Paramus location for her 11th birthday. The entire staff was friendly and helpful, and the experience was priceless. The girls absolutely loved it, and the excitement and a huge smile on my daughter’s face was something I will never forget. Our instructor Ben was fantastic. He was terrific with the girls and put on a mind-blowing performance in the tube. I wish the entire team huge success, and we will be back.”
So what happens at an iFLY birthday party? From booking to check-in all the way through gear up and flying, you and your guests will enjoy a uniquely thrilling experience unlike any other event. Founded in 1998, iFLY utilizes exclusive vertical wind tunnel technology to mimic the feeling of a traditional free fall. It’s an exhilarating experience that almost everyone aged three to 103 can enjoy. Scheduling a soaring celebration is as easy as picking a package — both include photos and video of the experience — and the talented team takes care of the rest.
Both packages include a private party room with the necessary paper products, in addition to a thrilling time in the vertical wind tunnel. Just bring your own cake. And the company’s knowledgeable team is available to answer any questions and guide you through the process of planning the event.
The Exclusive Plus package is guaranteed to be a high-flying time for guests. In addition to flight time for every attendee, this 2.5-hour party includes catered food, gear rental, flight training, an instructor air show, and an accommodating support team solely focused on the event. An event can accommodate up to 12 guests who will individually experience the thrill of floating on air during 24 solo flights.
The Elevated package is perfect for smaller groups of six to 12 flyers. It lasts 2.5 hours and includes access to a private party room and shared flight sessions. Of course, what would a party be without fun food? Light catering, including pizza and beverages, is a part of the package, which also includes an instructor air show, gear rental, flight training, and high flights.
Group flight packages are also available for those looking to experience the thrill of flight without needing a private party room. Visitors can pick between the Essential and the Exclusive. Guests looking to keep it simple should opt for the Essential package, which lasts 1.5 hours and includes photo and video souvenirs of the shared flight experience and an entertaining instructor air show.
The Exclusive is a private flight session for your friends and family. It lasts 1.5 hours and accommodates up to 12 flyers. The personal time in the vertical wind tunnel features a fantastic instructor air show. Guests get gear rental and fight training before soaring with a highly trained instructor.
Celebrants and their guests are advised to wear well-fitting lace-up sneakers and comfortable clothing. Even though a flight suit and helmet needs to be worn, it’s recommended that flyers dress in pants and a collarless shirt. Individuals with long hair should contain it in a low bun or braided hairstyle.
iFLY employees love to fly. “That’s one of the reason they join iFLY,” says Ryan. That level of enthusiasm and customer care is reflected in the feedback it receives from visitors. iFLY’s Net Promoter Score, a widely used market research metric based on a customer’s likelihood of recommending the company, is consistently above 80%. “People love the experience and are enthusiastic,” said Barrett. “The challenge is to get them to tell all of their friends. Because once they’ve come and see it as a nice, safe, wonderful family experience for all, they love it.”
A Palo Alto, California, parent online review, “I had my 9-year-old’s birthday at iFly [in Union City]. He got to choose a couple of friends to take there, and it was a blast. The instructor was super sweet and made the kids feel at ease, and their experience flying was incredible. The photos and video we received afterward were the icing on the cake.”
For anyone looking for the ultimate experience to celebrate a birthday or any special occasion, iFLY should be at the top of the list.