(Updated 2/1/2010 - Now has edited levels and prices for patch 3.3 - wowaddic)
Flying mounts, as the name implies, are mounts which are capable of flight. Like land mounts, they come in both rare and epic forms. The rare form bestows 150% faster movement speed; the epic form's movement bonus is 280%. These mounts cannot be used in combat, and can only be summoned in Outland and Northrend.
Purchasing and riding a flying mount requires one to have a riding skill of 225, which can only be obtained at level 60. The cost of training is 225 gold, with no reputation discount available; the mount itself is a further 50 gold. Training and mounts can be found in Hellfire Peninsula, in either Honor Hold for the Alliance or Thrallmar for the Horde.
Druids, as an alternative to a flying mount, may learn the Flight Form ability. This ability is gained at level 68, with the only requirement being a riding skill of 150. When trained (at a cost of 7g), the Druid will also learn Riding (225) free of charge.
The epic level flying mount is far more expensive, requiring a riding skill of 300, which is purchased at the price of 4500 gold, no discount available. The mount itself costs 100 gold, with the exception of a drake from the Netherwing dragons, who reward your choice of mount for free at the end of a questline. (Note that you can purchase a drake of a different color later, at the same price of 100 gold.) Also, certain mounts have a reputation requirement associated with the faction who control them.
Druids can learn the Swift Flight Form ability at level 70, but must purchase the riding skill for 4500 gold before they can start the necessary questline. With the advent of Wrath of the Lich King, Druids can also train Swift Flight Form at level 71 from any Druid Trainer. (Flight Form and Artisan Riding are still required before purchase.)
|Faction||Available Mount Types||Additional Requirements|
|Alliance||Swift Blue, Red, Green, or Purple Gryphon||None|
|Horde||Swift Red, Green, Yellow or Purple Wind Rider||None|
|Both||Cenarion War Hippogryph||Exalted with Cenarion Expedition, 1600|
|Both||Green, Purple, Red, Silver or Blue Riding Nether Ray||Exalted with Sha'tari Skyguard|
|Both||Azure, Cobalt, Onyx, Purple, Veridian, or Violet Netherwing Drake||Exalted with Netherwing, questline|
|Both||Turbo-Charged Flying Machine||Level 375 Engineering|
|Both||Swift Flight Form||Druids only, questline, level 71 Trainable.|
|Both||Armored Blue Wind Rider or Armored Snowy Gryphon||Riding (300) - Only obtainable in Dalaran|
Upon entering Northrend players will be ground bound as the treacherous winds are to difficult to master with novice Outland wings. To obtain Cold Weather Flying you will need to level a character to level 80 and then you can purchase the Tome of Cold Weather Flight from ]Hira Snowdawn in Dalaran for 1000 gold. Upon purchase, you can then trade this item to any different character you own who is of the same realm, faction and level is higher then 68.
The most obvious benefit to having a flying mount is just being able to avoid obstacles on land, such as trees or rivers. Since even the basic flying mount is faster then an epic ground mount (whilst airbourne) along with its ability to avoid obstacles and enemies often makes flying a faster option for travel. However, there are also many areas only accessible through the air, including an instance hub known as Tempest Keep. Players on flying mounts also often find it much easier to locate resource nodes for their gathering professions. And of course, flying is just sheer fun! Obtaining a flying mount is often one of the first goals of newly level 70 characters.