I am flying into Albuquerque and staying in Old Town. Is there public transportation or shuttles to the balloon field or is a car necessary in general?
Could you give us more information please? When are you coming, and how many days will you be here.
If you are planning on the mass ascension, then you can contact Uber, who has service to the Fiesta. You could use their service during the weekday ascensions as well. They have a dedicated route into the grounds, and take you right to the field.
If you wanted to use the shuttle service which only runs on the weekends, then you would need to have a way to get to the closest location, which is at Coronado Mall, about 6 miles from Old Town.
This late in time before the Fiesta, I think if you can rent a car, you would be better off, especially if you want to see any of Albuquerque besides Old Town. I would strongly suggest, that if you do want to rent, locate a site off the airport. There are several Enterprise, Budget and Avis around the city, and Uber can take you to them.
Give us that little bit of info I asked for, and we can help you much better.
We are coming in about 8:30 Monday evening the 8th and will be staying on 16th Street in Old Town. We are leaving on Friday afternoon the 12th. We won't be able to take advantage of the shuttles because we will only be there during the week. Will, we be able to see the ascension on any of those days and do you have a balloon company you would recommend?
There is a possibility that Uber drivers will be boycotting the Fiesta since they are not going to be able to use the bus lanes and will have to sit in the traffic that other drivers will be using, meaning extensive wait times at times, thus lost earnings. This was on the news the other night. I think your best bet is to either use the hotel shuttle if that is a possibility or have a car of your own.
I just posted another message about the Park and Ride shuttles. They will be running Thursday and Friday mornings, so Thursday might be your best bet. You will still have to get from your lodging to a Park and Ride. I would suggest renting a car. But, try to get one from one of the locations off the airport site. Much less expensive, and more chance of getting a car this late. On Tuesday and Wednesday, you could drive to the Fiesta, as traffic isn't as bad on those mornings. All mornings have the ascension, and even though they call the weekend flights "mass ascensions", most of the balloonists go up all week.
Sorry, I failed to answer your other question. At this late date, I'm not sure you can get a flight for yourself. But, it is worth trying. One company I know of that is quite good is World Balloons. They cannot fly from the field, but usually go up from the west side of the city. Google Hot Air Balloons, Albuquerque, and there are other companies listed..